News & Views

Cannes Lions / Innovation Lions Award Winners

by Contagious Team

Russian telco Megafon was awarded the Innovation Grand Prix with its Megafaces Pavilion at the Sochi 2014 Olympics. The work marks the first Grand Prix awarded to both Russia and an architecture: firm – Axis, Moscow and Asif Khan in London.
The irony was not lost on us that the Innovation Jury sat down to deliver its press conference at the same time the Contagious seminar kicked off, asking whether advertising is coming in second place to Silicon Valley in terms of developing powerful innovation. The answer of course, was a rousing ‘NO’ but to find out why, check out the full session here.

Megafaces was an installation that ran at Sochi’s Winter Olympics, which gave visitors the chance to have their face 3D scanned, and then displayed people's faces on the side of the brand's Pavilion in three dimensions, with each of the facade’s 11,000 actuators and coloured RGB lights representing one pixel in the eight by six meter portraits – selfies on a massive scale. A live video stream of the façade ensured that it could be viewed from all over the world, and the Pavilion toured Russia after the Winter Olympics. Coverage of the sponsorship was valued by Megafon at $12m. Contagious covered the installation in issue 38. Check out our first take here.

Tom Bedecarré
, jury chair, described the work as ‘a first on several levels’. He also spoke of how it fitted into the trend of 'the blurring of digital and real experiences and the blurring between marketing communication as an experience and marketing communication becoming a product or a service or a technology, which really captures the Innovation Lions.’

The jury was looking for breakthrough technology – an idea that scales and empowering creativity. Jury member and founder of Blumberg Capital, David Blumberg, spoke of how architecture is traditionally a static medium, while Kochi Yamamoto, senior planning director at Dentsu Japan, added that the ‘entry had the most impact on how it inspires us creatively’. As the costs of producing something of this scale drops, there is potential for the technology to be scaled up and down to suit different situations.

Three other Innovation Lions were awarded from the 200 entries and each of the 30 shortlisted pieces of work were pitched to the jury over the week. Breakfast New York’s Points is an internet of things-enabled signpost which can give directions, display messages and respond to changes in real time, swinging round to point in different directions. It was described by the jury as ‘beautiful and captivating, taking an old medium like signs and making it fascinating with technology’.

Innovation Lions also went to Fiat Live Store (see above) created by Agenciaclick Isobar, São Paulo to provide an online guided tour of the car with an expert on hand to answer any questions and Ogilvy France for its connected tennis racket and social platform Babolat Play.

The Contagious Seminar wasn’t the only place where Madison Avenue vs Silicon Valley was being discussed. David Blumberg sees hope for future innovations in the intersection of these worlds: ‘We have three fusions – Silicon Valley, Madison Avenue and Hollywood and they’re bringing together very important things for humanity and for business. From Madison Avenue – aesthetics, human passions, loyalty and consumer behaviour. From Silicon Valley – technology, incredible new platforms that have never existed before social media, mobile technology, cloud, machine learning, big data, internet of things – all of which we saw put in play by the contestants that presented to us. And that fusion will drive unlimited new opportunities to not only make great money but also to make things better for people in 196 countries around the world.’ 

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