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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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