Thousands of busy people converged on Cannes last week, to select, applaud and be inspired by the best demonstrations of creativity. To quote from the official description “Inspiring Creativity is at the heart of Cannes Lions. The Festival is where creative professionals come to debate, learn and be inspired; where the greatest industry honours are bestowed; where those pushing creative communications forward are celebrated”.
I was not there. But, as a professional in the creative industry, I followed the proceedings – the nominations, the shortlists becoming ever shorter as hectic rounds of judging choose the absolute winners in category after category.
The increasing integration of social media and digital channels to solve marketing problems was particularly interesting. Whether it was a restaurant chain, a country seeking to re-position itself or a natural conservation effort, each saw digital technology woven into the solution.
Here are my personal favourites from the list of winners, chosen for impact and their ability to inspire thinking. Let us dive in.
1. Curators of Sweden:
A campaign that hands over the @Sweden twitter account to Swedes, one citizen each week, that opens up Sweden to the entire world of potential visitors. In giving each citizen a free rein to express their thoughts, Sweden declares itself as a transparent nation, with interesting (and sometimes exasperating) points of view. There have been some challenges with the openness, with a recent curator tweeting a stream of anti-Semitic comments.
Read through the case study here.
And watch the case study video that won over the jury at Cannes.
2. Honda Internavi:
Big Data has been a buzz word this year. Honda’s Internavi went beyond it’s day to day role for Honda drivers in Japan where it helps them avoid congestion, drive more economically and log their journey details for future analysis, it became a core tool in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquakes.
Just 20 hours after the quake rocked Japan, Honda made the Internavi data open source on the web enabling rescue crews, public broadcast and private individuals to see and share where aid could reach victims and where roads were out of action. It was also a key contributor to Google’s Crisis Response page after the quakes.
Watch the video here. I think you will agree that this is perhaps the most significant initiative to earn accolades at Cannes.
3. Nike + Fuelband:
Fuelband takes the original Nike declaration of “if you have a body, you are an athlete” and elevates it to an amazing level. It takes day-to-day activity, converts them into counts, a new currency that gamifies one’s life. And that is great news for couch potatoes like me who can now clock counts for every activity, even if it is to raise a beverage to one’s lips.
Watch the work, right here.
4. Google Re:Brief Coca Cola:
Google is the world’s largest advertising company. To prove that, they recreated four iconic advertisements from decades ago and re-engineered them for the digital age. While the original ‘Hilltop’ spot, featuring the song “I want to buy the world a Coke”, was just a promise, the mobile version, actually enables a viewer to buy someone across the world a Coke, right from their phone. Watch it here. It is the real thing.
5. Only Jeans:
If you were to pick one piece of work which is truly about the future, this is it. You watch a movie, you like a piece of fashion that you like, you click on it and then, it becomes part of a personal catalogue that you can share with your friends and yes, buy.
Watch the drama unfold here.
Finally, my personal favourite.
6. Bear 71:
Bear 71 was a grizzly bear in Banff National Park in Canada. She was radio-collared at three and then tracked through her entire life via camera traps. It is a tragedy.
The case study is here.
An example of digital storytelling, rather, a brilliant example of immersive storytelling, Bear 71 is a twenty minute film that you must watch.
Inspiration is sometimes daunting and many a time irrelevant. Do we have the budget? Do we have the tools? Do we have the technology?
What each of these cases showcase are the ability to apply everyday technology, wrapped around with brand values and catapult into the ether with excellent storytelling techniques.
Be it geo-tagging, be it radio cameras, be it a mobile ad network, be it a cloud based platforms for next generation apps and experiences – the building blocks are right here. All you need to do is to apply just a little creativity.
For more on Cannes Lions, visit http://www.canneslions.com/. A wealth of information and seminars that you can watch from the comfort of your chair.
My employer, SapientNitro partnered with the Cannes Lions to bring these infographics. They are a cornucopia.