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Cannes Lions Predictions: Denstu’s CCO predicts medal for Dole’s Piñatex initiative


By Kenneth Hein | Editor

June 7, 2022 | 4 min read

What will win at Cannes Lions this year? We asked Dentsu International’s global chief creative officer Fred Levron to pick his favorite (with the caveat that it couldn’t be Dentsu’s work). He explains Dole’s Piñatex Initiative is going to give Dole, and its agency L&C, some trophies for their mantle while at the same time helping to save the planet.

  • The brand: Dole Sunshine Company

  • The agency: L&C


    These Nike shoes were made from pineapple – who knew?

  • The key partner: Ananas Anam

  • The idea: Turn pineapple waste into a leather alternative

  • Key stat: 2.5m pounds of pineapple are grown in the Philippines annually. For every ton of pineapples harvested, three tons of pineapple leaves are wasted

  • Fun fact: Nike used Piñatex for its Happy Pineapple sneakers

Why it will win: Each person in this industry has immense influence. We’re entrusted with this power to shape brands, build industries and shift culture. My favorite pieces of work this year employ three tools to tap into this authority most potently: data, creativity and technology. Ideas at this intersection can truly help improve society today and for years to come. The Piñatex initiative by L&C for Dole Sunshine Company has lived into this great responsibility and created something that goes beyond the traditional campaign to truly invent the future.

Data is the foundation of this initiative. It was born of two facts: first, that there are three tons of pineapple leaves wasted for every ton of fruit harvested and the decomposition of those leaves will potentially produce methane emissions 20 times more harmful than CO2. Second, next to the oil industry, leather production is ranked as one of the most prominent polluters in the world.

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The team behind this work tapped into technology and creativity to find a solution at the intersection of these insights, resulting in a beautiful, realistic vegan leather, which is a completely new byproduct of their crop. In addition to creating a marketable, sustainable product with the potential to completely change the fashion industry, they built a completely new revenue stream from waste. Trash to treasure. This work is resonant and impactful because it is so courageous. This brilliant innovation is now giving the fashion industry, which has an incredibly outsized effect on our environment, an opportunity to operate in a more mindful, conscious manner. The textile is being used by 200 brands in 80 countries – the impact is unreal.

Piñatex’s power is in its simplicity and interconnectedness. It’s a brand story, a partnership story, an industry growth story, a sustainability story – and none of these pieces get lost. Each are critical to the narrative in equal measure. This initiative reminds me of our potential and inspires me to push for braver and more exploratory partnerships that change the world.

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