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Mobile Shortlist at Cannes Lions

Hi everyone — this is Mike writing here, with the first post from the Young Marketers team at the Cannes Lions festival. It’s been a whirlwind experience and a little difficult to process at times, but we’re finally catching our bearings amidst all of the general insanity.

I’ll be starting the blog off with some observations on the Mobile shortlist, which was shared earlier today. I took some time this afternoon to go through most of the 116 entries, and as expected, the competition this year was insane – especially in such a dynamic, fast-evolving category.


(Mobile Marketing tent just outside the Palais, featuring all this year’s submissions)

While I’m not exactly an esteemed Cannes juror at this stage in my career, I do have my trusty Marketing Gut at my side, which helped me identify some standouts from this year’s submission pool:

  • Gumulon” – Stride Gum: this is an interactive mobile game where you guide Ace, the main character, by making chewing gestures with your mouth, My former 15-year-old self would have had an aneurysm over this. Facial recognition was a popular theme amongst many of the breakouts submissions this year, and this was easily one of the best examples of the tech.
  • Wake Up and Smell The Bacon” – Oscar Mayer: We all love the smell of bacon in the morning, so the natural train of thought is… why not engineer an alarm clock device that attaches to your mobile phone and serves as a bacon odour emitter!? (Shockingly, this wasn’t the only artificial smell-emitting product within the submission pool… perhaps Smellovision was truly ahead of its time). With 300,000 applications for these limited-edition devices and 35 million + online video views, it’s safe to say this idea was more than likely a category growth driver.
  • Pay Per Laugh” – Teatenue Theatre Barcelona: easily my favourite of the entries I saw this year. I mentioned that facial recognition technology was a popular theme, and this was by far the most mind-blowing use of the tech. Essentially, auditorium seats in a Spanish comedy theatre were wired with iPads, and they would detect how many laughs the viewer would let loose within the duration of a comedy set (with the audience being charged 0.35 Euros per laugh). Entrance is free, but the viewer would be charged per laugh, up to a maximum of 80 laughs. I’m not sure what injuries you could sustain for suppressing too much laughter… but adverse business effects due to extreme cheapo’s aside, this is an amazing example of next-level mobile technology driving a great idea.

Eagerly awaiting the results later this evening — in the meantime, stay tuned for more updates from the team.

Cannes Lions

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