The Misheard Version wins two Grand Prix Lions

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We are so proud to announce that our ground-breaking work for Specsavers has won six awards at the 2024 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, including two highly prestigious Grand Prix. The creative campaign, which we worked on alongside our sister agency, Golin, also won a Gold Lion and three Silver Lions across the Audio & Radio Lions, PR Lions and Health & Wellness Lions.

In fact, the Grand Prix in the PR Lions made history for Golin and Virgo, as we became the first-ever PR agency to win PR Lions Grand Prix awarded for our creative idea.

In a bold move to address hearing loss, we transformed one of the most famously misheard songs into an unavoidable nationwide hearing test. Partnering with singer Rick Astley, we re-recorded his 80’s smash hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” with intentionally incorrect lyrics. Within eight hours, over 20 million people played the new “misheard” version, doubling online searches related to hearing loss and propelling it to a nationally trending topic in the UK on Google. Specsavers exceeded its hearing test booking target by an unprecedented 1220%.


Cannes Lions Audio & Radio jury president and chief creative officer at Colenso BBDO, New Zealand, Simon Vicars, shared the jury’s verdict, saying: “The Misheard Version by Specsavers is a brilliant example of creativity turned up to 11. A nationwide hearing test, disguised inside an iconic song. Creative to its core and recklessly ambitious in its execution. It powered business results and broke into culture. Thank you, Specsavers for making us laugh, for committing properly to this idea and for making our jury’s biggest decision an easy one.”

Al Wood, chief creative officer at Golin London, reveled at the work’s impact: “An incredible result. This was an earned-first idea that started in laughter, but ended up changing how Brits hear. It owes its success to so many people – and it means the world to see that collective work recognised and celebrated on such a global stage.”