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‘The Imperfect Stunner’ Has Won The Contest Of This Year’s Ad Age Cannes issue

For the Cannes issue’s 10th anniversary in 2019, they partnered with Dove, Getty Images and Girlgaze and asked them to address a special brief to create a cover image for Ad Age magazine to communicate the power of truthful representation in advertising, creativity or the broader cultural world.

Ad Age challenges young artists around the world each year to conceive the cover of the Cannes issue ad this year’s topic is the power of truthful representation in advertising.  The winner is Arnel Villanueva, a 29-year-old Associate Creative Director at BBDO Guerrero, Manila.

He decided to release a message about a more truthful representation of beauty and created a striking digital painting called “The Imperfect Stunner”. It depicts the Willendorf Venus walking down the steps of what appears to be the Palais des Festivals in Cannes.


The concept of the idea delivered on the brief in spades–it was exquisitely crafted and had a universal and timeless message: while society’s notion of physical beauty changes with the times, all women are beautiful—and should stand proud in their own skin.

Villanueva explained Ad Age the creation,

Our time calls for no more idealistic and ‘perfect’ representations of the body. Even if you’re the opposite of what the ideal of the day is, you stand out. … People have become mature enough to know what to sympathize on. Nowadays they’re latching on to messages that are authentic and speak for themselves.

A number of finalists tapped the Dove, Getty and Girlgaze Project #ShowUs inclusive photo collection to create their works. Helen Ratner of Rauxa USA conceived a powerful piece that overlays the face of a model with vitiligo onto that of another representing a more “traditional” notion of beauty.

Ratner explained,

Historically, advertising has skewed toward a narrow view of beauty. Recently, the lens had widened tremendously. I’m celebrating this growth by juxtaposing our past fragility with our modern reality.

American students Johanna Granlund and Amanda Wennberg challenged stereotypes with their image of a handsome woman, surrounded by handwritten “misconceptions” about older females.


Another student duo, Melina Filippidou and Philippa Baines, based in London, imagined a world in which a young girl’s role models don’t fit into the Barbie mold.

The challenging ones of course exist. Giorgi Maghradze and Lasha Milorava of JWT Metro in Georgia created a microphone, the holes of which actually turn out to be the heads of diverse individuals. they explained their work like, There are millions of diverse stories about beauty. And we can make them all be heard. That’s the power of truthful representation.”


Juan Vargas of Pagesbbdo in the Dominican Republic showed how more truthful communication can easily achieved by diversifying a simple, everyday tool—emoji.


Jimmy Cobos of Maruri Grey, Ecuador, conceived a colorful world showing an “everyday” woman applying lipstick in a mirror— in the background that reflection appears in billboards all over the city.

Everything is about sizing and beauty concepts when it comes to women in today’s industrial and media and even the magazines are trying to cope up with the issue at this point. No matter what, the winning of ‘The Imperfect Stunner’ shows us that women cannot be branded or engraved.

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