News & Views

Cannes Lions / Mobile Winners

by Chloe Markowicz

A virtual reality experience from The New York Times bagged the Grand Prix in Mobile at the Cannes Lions Festival today.

The publisher was awarded the top prize for the VR content it created for its own newspaper, as well as the branded content it developed for Google, GE and Mini. The publisher's T Brand Studio was behind the content, developed in conjunction with Framestore

Malcolm Poynton, the Mobile jury president and global chief creative officer at Cheil Worldwide, said that the jury was looking for work that demonstrated how ‘mobile can connect brands in a meaningful way to consumers’.

The jury was especially impressed by The New York Times’ entry because of the potential it had to transform not just a single brand, but an entire industry. ‘It’s potentially a Wright Brothers moment for mobile in how it can help a brand succeed in really challenging times,’ Poynton explained. ‘While I appreciate that from a media point of view it showed the potential of partnerships, the power really lies in transforming a 165-year-old analogue brand and catapulting it in a way that makes it digitally relevant.’

This marks the second year in a row that a virtual reality-led project has scooped the Mobile Grand Prix. Although last year, the Grand Prix-winning entry was not a VR experience but rather Google’s Cardboard headset.

Malcolm Poynton said that most of the jury expected they would be overwhelmed with VR entries but that wasn’t the case. However, he did say that the jury was encouraged by the quality of really good virtual reality entries. He added that some of the campaigns were ‘probably inconceivable a year or so ago’.  He also spoke about how mobile can bring ‘an unprecedented level of empathy and excitement’ to the world through VR.

In total 7 Gold Lions were awarded in the Mobile category:

-Samsung Blind Cap / Samsung Spain / via Cheil Spain, Madrid

-#Comeonin / The Sydney Opera House / via DDB Sydney

-Shop with the Force / Stance / via Zambezi Venice

-Hashtags for Life / Peruvian Red Cross / via McCann Lima

-Manboobs / Macma / via David Buenos Aires

-The Swedish Number / Swedish Tourist Association / via Ingo Stockholm

-WhatsGerman / Group / via Serviceplan Munich and Munich


Cannes Deconstructed