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Is your ad shop Innovative? Compete in Cannes for Innovative Lions Award

Innovative online advertising agencies may find themselves with a new bauble to play with, thanks to the latest category to be added to this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Shops putting their names forward for the Festival will now need to decide whether they wish to compete in the “Innovative Lions” category, which is described as “a new awards category to honor the technology and innovation which lead to the creative idea being possible.” It brings the total number of categories at the Festival to 16, following the addition of branded entertainment in 2012 and Mobile Lions in 2011.

A hard one to judge

While firms will now be able to show off their technology-building prowess in the new competition, the rules for judging will be complicated.  The category isn’t as neatly defined as many of the others, like film or print, so working out exactly what qualifies and how it should be judged could well be a brain frizzler.

Contenders will have to submit a written proof of concept and a proposal to enter. Those shortlisted will be expected to deliver a 10-minute presentation and undergo a Q&A grilling afterwards.

The Festival, which celebrates its 60th year in 2013, is scheduled to run between 16th and 22nd June. A 10-person international jury composed of technologists from within and without the world of ad agencies will judge the competition. An official statement describes its remit as highlighting “pioneering forms of technology, including, but not limited to, apps, tools, programs, hardware, products and other radical software which have been developed to help facilitate creative excellence in commercials.”

What qualifies?

Commenting on Innovative Lions, Festival Chairman Terry Savage said:

“They will pay tribute to the actual technology that is driving the industry forward and making it possible for these incredible award-winning ideas to come to fruition.”

There are no subdivisions within the category. But what qualifies? According to a spokesman, examples might include Thunderclap/De-De, a platform that enables groups to share messages simultaneously, or Google’s new web app “Jam With Chrome”, which allows users to play music with others within the browser in real time.

All you art directors, copywriters and account mangers out there who think your firm is in with a chance, take note: the deadline for entry is April 19.

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