6 mobile innovation lessons from Cannes Lions 2015

By David Skerrett - 6 July, 2015

As the only mobile agency to have won a Cannes Lion, we thought we’d weigh in on this year’s International Festival of Creativity. Now the Oscars of advertising has been and gone; what can we learn from the runners and riders at this year’s festival?
First of all lets talk numbers to set the scene: There were 10,000 more delegates at Cannes this year than in 2009, with ad tech, start-ups, VCs, and celebs invading in greater numbers than ever before. This was the 62nd year of the festival. Over 41,000 entries were submitted, with 1,688 lions awarded. And if you win a Grand Prix, don’t lose it, as a replacement costs over €2k from the Cannes Shop!
Headline speakers included Al Gore, Monica Lewsinsky, Kim Kardashian, and Tim Berners-Lee. Brands and agencies tried to hijack the festival; one of the better stunts actually involved sending giant phones to people with numbers pre-programmed to encourage meeting up in person to network with a stranger your get on with.
Notable work sought to make the world a better place by promoting freedom, and equality, or by making people safer.
And there were many powerful demonstrations of the increasingly powerful combination of data and technology. Mobile transcended its category with an App being the Grand Prix winner in Media, and the Outdoor category being a UGC campaign shot on a mobile.
So let’s look at 6 golden rules for innovation from this years’ Lions winners that you can apply to your own brand’s mobile products from today:
Rule 1: Simplicity
Domino’s made life easier for customers by allowing them to order a pizza though Twitter, with words or with a simple pizza Emoji. This efficient friction-free ordering system impressed the jurors who awarded it the Titanium Grand Prix.
Rule 2: Show, don’t tell
Sometimes the most powerful story telling happens when you show people, rather than telling people. Nivea’s sequel to last year’s Grand Prix winning child tracking wristband was a Doll made from UV-sensitive material. It quickly turns lobster red if left in direct sun light for too long. If the child applies sun cream to the doll, it is protected from sunburn. Nivea Doll won several Lions in Direct, and Promo & Activation.
Rule 3: Deliver New Partnerships to Deliver New Value
A Grand Prix winner in the Promo & Activations category, Volvo Life Paint is a true life safer of a product. The campaign sought to raise awareness of the XC90 and promote cycling safety, and they came up with a spray paint that made you glow in the dark. In-order to make this happen Volvo partnered with a Swedish start-up Albedo100 to produce & release the spray paint cans.
Rule 4: Think about connected physical and mobile experiences
The Pursuit by Equinox is a new kind of experience – the world’s best connected spinning class and something that completely differentiates this gym brand as they expand globally.
It comprises an instructor console, the wide screen view on the studio wall, and a second screen smartphone App. Performance games were created with exercise science data to deliver the ultimate workout. Produced by R/GA New York this campaign won a Gold in the mobile category.
Rule 5: Create joy, have fun
The Dancing Traffic Light sought to solve the problem of over eager pedestrians. smart had the belief was that smart ideas can turn the city into a better place. So they created a dancing traffic light manikin that makes people wait and watch rather than walk through the red light, powered by an actual person’s movement it was fun and joyful.
Rule 6: Create new experiences from sensors
The mobile and sensor driven world that is the Internet of things, will power new and life saving experiences. This was powerfully demonstrated by Life Buoy from Optus in Australia.
It uses sonar detection via ‘Life Buoys’ in the ocean to detect the unique signature of Great White Sharks to send real time mobile alerts to lifeguards in Australia. It’s an efficient, economical and human solution to a big problem. And something that simply wasn’t possible until recently. This won a Gold in mobile.
By David Skerrett - 6 July, 2015