Another Cannes Lions festival has now come and gone. Plenty of inspirational sessions featuring celebrated speakers, plenty of yacht parties, and inevitably, plenty of rosé have made the rounds in the South of France. As a Cannes Lions newbie, I initially hoped to dabble in a bit of all of these. However, the honour of being selected as a Mobile Lions judge this year meant that my Cannes experience ultimately consisted of long days of intense discussion in a windowless room as opposed to celebrity keynotes and rosé fuelled evenings. Nonetheless, I loved every minute of it and came away feeling truly inspired by where mobile technology continues to take our industry and the work submitted from all corners of the world.
With over 1,200 entries submitted into this year’s Mobile Lions from across the globe, it was clear from the onset that there would be A LOT of discussion in the judging room. With a diverse group of industry leaders from over a dozen markets that included creative and specialist agencies, clients, and developers, there would inevitably be plenty of viewpoints and consequent debate. Over the course of five days and nearly 60 hours of judging, we talked, laughed, and debated. We argued for pieces of work that personally spoke to each of us, against work that may have seemed questionable in regards to its creativity and originality, but above all, we celebrated the beacons of mobile creativity that collectively inspired us. Without a doubt, the overall quality of the work was impressive and indicative of how far mobile can take us as marketers, and more importantly, as people connecting with others in our daily lives and for the greater good.
From using location as a trigger to personally invite people uploading photos on Instagram to go inside the Sydney Opera House with tailored experiences, to the use of Bluetooth technology incorporated into a swimming cap for visually impaired Paralympic swimmers in Samsung’s Blind Cap, the winning work was diverse and it was powerful. However, across all 62 Mobile Lions awarded, the campaign that stood out as worthy of the Grand Prix was the New York Times VR project, which has demonstrated how a 165 year-old traditional media brand can use mobile to bring virtual reality to the masses and immerse them in factual story-telling in a way that traditional journalism previously couldn’t.
Fittingly, this year’s theme at Cannes was ‘Thank You Creativity’ and the quality of work personally inspired a sense of gratitude as it made it clear that there has never been a more exciting time to leverage mobile as a creative medium.