The pair, who were recently hired by the London-based creative comms agency, took gold ahead of Ireland (silver) and Taiwan (bronze).
At the global final, Rice and Bellwood competed against 24 national winners by creating a global campaign for One Young World in 24 hours.
The brief asked competitors to create a campaign that would promote young voices in conversations about climate change.
Rice and Bellwood’s idea targeted global leaders and politicians with a series of bespoke sustainable luxury watches, each named after a young leader.
“The brief was a challenge with what we felt was a few red herrings thrown into the mix. The charity, One Young World (a global forum of young leaders) asked us to convince policymakers and governments that young leaders are the key to fighting climate change. The brief honed in on the fact that these decision makers don’t take young people seriously, they just listen but never implement changes,” Rice told PRWeek.
“Our idea was Time for Action. We noticed that the top challenge for CEOs was the management of their time, but they all seemed to be flashing expensive watches. This led us to our idea to create a one-off collection of Patek Phillipe-partnered timepieces that were each inspired by a One Young World leader. The watches could only be bought with a tangible commitment to tackling climate change.
She added: “Competing in Cannes was amazing. We are so inspired by the other teams that put their hearts and souls into their work. We also have to thank Hope and Glory, Candace Kuss and several other wonderful people in PR who gave their time and guidance to us in preparation. After a hard first year in the industry and having to pay the entrance fee to the competition ourselves, it has made it all worth it.”
Rice and Bellwood claimed the UK Cannes Lions heat as freelancers earlier in the year, beating 60 teams.
Previous gold winners have hailed from Japan (2019), China (2018) and Hungary (2017).