"Gorilla Issue Tissues" by Sadie Mayes, Art Director at VCCP Health London was chosen as the Grand Prize winner of the Gorilla Doctors' competition. This winning work, which was chosen from more than 250 entries, was awarded by the panel of judges comprising Dr. Mike Cranfield and Dr. Kirsten Gilardi of Gorilla Doctors together with top creatives; Bob Isherwood, Jeremy Craigen, Mark Tutssel, Anna Fawcett and Marcia Goddard.  More than 90 attendees from the Creative LIAisons program were also invited to the judging process.


Sadie Mayes, the winner, and a guest will travel in August 2019 on a unique journey to experience the famed Masai Mara in Kenya, combined with the opportunity to twice trek Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda. The 9 day trip was donated by Terra Incognito Ecotours.  She will also receive a trip to attend the 2019 Creative LIAisons program.  

Additional Winners and Finalists:
Gold - Annie Kimber / Caitlin Biller of Langland, Windsor "Donate Your Difference"
Gold - Jack Harrison / Janice Ko of Y&R Melbourne "Gorilla Health Plan"
Silver - Megan Knoph / Chelsey Eichler of MRM//McCann Detroit "#LikeMe"
Bronze - Lucy Downs / Nick Crawford fromNew York "Limited Edition"
Bronze - Soleil Badenhop of Dentsu JaymeSyfu, Makati "Citizen Ape"
Finalist - Javi Ramirez / Derek Mikitik of McCann Health NJ "Gorilla n'Me Interactive  Kiosk"
Finalist - Sadie Mayes of VCCP Health, London "Almost Human"
Finalist - Tiago Daltro, Igor Pontes, Gabriel Moraes, Erik Machado and Rafael Costa   of the Miami Ad School, Rio de Janiero "Gorilla Note Donation"
  • The final judging was done in Las Vegas on 6th October.
  • The panel of judges was comprised of industry leaders in advertising, film, digital and the client, Gorilla Doctors, with participation and input from the 2018 LIA Creative LIAisons attendees.
  • The judge's decision on the winning work is final.
  • The winning work will be commissioned by Gorilla Doctors and professionally produced with supervision from the client and LIA.
  • In the spirit of getting your script or ideas made, please be mindful of the cost of production and post, so that we can find companies to come on board and participate.
  • This work will become the property of Gorilla Doctors.

There are currently about 1004 mountain gorillas left on earth. Habitat loss, poaching and disease have made these gorillas one of the most endangered species alive. Today, thanks largely to the efforts of a group of dedicated veterinarians called Gorilla Doctors, their numbers are rising.


This is a team of 16 doctors who operate across gorilla territories – spanning the rainforests of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This team is supported by the non-profit Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (MGVP. Inc) and the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center.


They are the ONLY provider of in-situ veterinary care for wild mountain gorillas in Rwanda, Uganda and DRC and their close cousins, the Grauer’s gorillas in eastern DRC.

Gorilla Doctors’ main goals are to keep the gorilla populations safe, healthy and thriving. They treat the gorillas for life-threatening injuries and illnesses caused by close contact between gorillas and humankind. 

Using an integrated “One Health” approach (recognizing the close link between the health of the gorillas and the people with whom they share their forest ecosystem) that combines healthcare, research, capacity building, information sharing and strategic partnerships, Gorilla Doctors hopes to improve the sustainability of mountain and Grauer’s gorillas. The veterinary team regularly monitors and treats these gorillas for illness and injuries. They also help rescue and treat young gorillas orphaned by poachers.


Gorilla Doctors maintains an archive of thousands of high quality biological samples that are made available to researchers around the world. Their research is important to the human health sector, as gorilla and human DNA are almost identical. Diseases can be passed back and forth between humans and gorillas as both have very similar susceptibility to pathogens and the comparative aspect is important for further understanding disease physiology. If researchers and doctors can better understand the ecological and behavioral drivers for the sharing of pathogens among people and wildlife, they can better protect human health, as well as wildlife populations.

Moreover, a thriving mountain gorilla population impacts more than the individual gorillas: it benefits the local communities, other wildlife, and the ecosystems they share. Mountain gorillas survive in protected areas surrounded by the densest human populations in all of continental Africa. These communities are comprised largely of subsistence farmers who subsist on an income of little more than $1 per day.

Mountain gorilla tourism is an extremely important source of income for the region. In fact, it is the #1 source of foreign revenue in Rwanda: more than 30,000 people from around the world come to view wild mountain gorillas every year, bringing much-needed cash to a country still recovering from the 1994 genocide. Mountain gorilla tourism funds the management of the parks, which in turn creates jobs in and around the parks for people living in the surrounding communities.

Mountain Gorillas in these areas garner the protection and management that effectively prevents deforestation of the critical forest habitat, which provides surrounding communities with a year-round fresh water supply for human consumption and for subsistence farming. During the rainy season the dense rainforest of the gorillas’ habitat soaks up the water, and then slowly releases it during the dry season. If mountain gorilla habitats were to be degraded or destroyed, the “breadbasket” for the region would be destroyed, creating more poverty and food scarcity.