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Espresso of Innovation: Cannes Lions Special

By Chris Miller, chief digital officer

Hello and welcome to this week's Espresso of Innovation; the hottest news and strongest stories from the world of creativity and technology filtered into a quick shot of inspiration. This week we're at Cannes Lions, hear us roar!

Having just served as a judge and completed the judging for mobile at the Cannes Festival of Creativity, I can tell you it’s just as you would expect — a growing category. Although only in its second year as a category, entries were up over 30% and came in from across the globe.
Our choice of the Grand Prix winner was perhaps unconventional, but one that reflects that innovation can be both a forward leaning technology as well as the smart repurpose of an old technology.TXTBKS won the Grand Prix, because, while in developed countries tablets and e-readers have become the solution to large, heavy textbooks, these type of e-readers are too expensive for the majority of students in the Philippines. But these students all have, or have access to, feature phones. Smart Communications innovatively utilized the feature phones SIM cards, installed the text books onto them, thus creating a simple, low-tech, but transformational solution.
At the other end of the spectrum were Augmented Reality apps likePenguin Navi, which allowed mobile phone users to find their way to the Tokyo Aquarium by following penguins on their screen. Or the even broaderBAOBEIHUIJIA.COM — or “Baby Back Home”— for China, that used Augmented Reality to tell the story of missing children. Even more importantly, once the app was downloaded, users could take a photo of a child they thought might have been kidnapped and then use the app’s face recognition capability to compare its listings on the Baby Back Home site to identify a match.
One of our other mobile gold winners,Scorecleaner, shows how innovation can be as simple as having the technology appear to be like magic. And lastly, the trend in flat design that Apple is pushing with iOS7, was visibly evidenced by Lion winnerLevel .06 and shortlisted appCalWatch.
These three trends all illustrate that, especially in mobile, award winning work takes its lead from innovation in many types of forms. I suggest however that at its core are three areas that award winners need to include: Mobility, Proximity and Connection … three important words to think about for your next mobile project.