Cannes Lions joins hands with Gates Foundation

Cannes Lions has joined hands with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to launch a communications challenge to change the world

by exchange4media Staff
Published - Mar 1, 2012 7:55 AM Updated: Mar 1, 2012 7:55 AM
Cannes Lions joins hands with Gates Foundation

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropic foundation, in an effort to generate communications ideas that could help change the world.

‘Grand Challenges Explorations: Aid is Working. Tell the World’ is a unique call for action that aims to inspire the world’s greatest brand communicators to come up with an idea that will help solve a global problem.

Any individual, team, agency or company can submit a communications idea simply expressed on just two-pages, based on the challenge issued through the Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations programme. The brief calls for new and innovative ways of telling the real story behind global aid.

“The global Cannes Lions community is made up of the world’s greatest communicators who are solving problems for clients all day every day,” said Philip Thomas, Cannes Lions CEO. “Imagine if our community could harness this creativity to solve a global problem with an outstanding idea expressed on just two pieces of A4 paper? Imagine if a great idea emerged, and if that idea was honed and improved by the best thinkers in the industry? And imagine if there was the money to actually make something happen, to create the idea.”

Up to 10 participants will be awarded $100,000 for the development of their idea - and the chance to be mentored by the Grand Prix Winners from Cannes Lions 2011, who have come together to form the ‘Cannes Chimera’. Successful projects will then have the chance to seek additional funding up to $1 million to bring their idea to fruition.

Tom Scott, Director, Global Brand & Innovation at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said, “Aid is effective, but the story of aid isn’t breaking through. Now more than ever it’s critical that we look at new and innovative ways to change the debate. We are excited to partner with Cannes Lions to help ensure that the world’s greatest creative minds can put their energy against a really important challenge.”

How to Take Part
The programme is open to everyone. The idea has to be submitted on two sides of A4 paper between now and May 15. In the summer, all the ideas will be judged anonymously, solely on their merit, stripping everything back to the purity and creativity of the idea itself. The jury will be made up of the Cannes Chimera, as well as members of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s review board and a small group of panel experts.

In the autumn, Cannes Lions will fly the finalists and the Cannes Chimera to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campus in Seattle, USA. There, the Cannes Chimera will draw upon their different skills and expertise to help hone the winning ideas and mentor their creators. The ideas can then be re-submitted to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with a chance of winning up to $1,000,000 to put them into practice. There, the originators will be invited back to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in 2013 to show the rest of the global advertising community what they produced and the difference it has made.

The Cannes Chimera
Created by Cannes Lions, The Cannes Chimera is made up of one senior creative from the award-winning agencies of each of the 2011 Cannes Lions Grand Prix winning pieces of work. The Chimera will advise the programme, review the submissions, and mentor the finalists as they develop their projects.

The first Cannes Chimera will be made up of the following talented communicators:

Mark Bashore, Head of Creative, Digital Kitchen, Chicago, USA
Winner of the Design Grand Prix, 'The Cosmopolitan Digital Experience', The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Mark Bernath, Executive Creative Director, Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Winner of the Film Grand Prix, 'Write the Future', Nike

Adrian Botan, Creative Partner, McCann Erickson Bucharest & Regional Creative Director, McCann Erickson Central and Eastern Europe
Winner of the Direct Grand Prix, 'American Rom', Kandia Dulce AND
Winner of the Promo & Activation Grand Prix, 'American Rom', Kandia Dulce

Paul Brazier, Executive Creative Director, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO London, UK
Winner of the Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix, 'Sandwich', Pepsico

Amanda Clelland, Associate Creative Director, Droga 5, New York, USA
Winner of the Film Craft Grand Prix, 'After Hours Athlete', Puma

Neil Heymann, Creative Director, Droga 5, New York, USA
Winner of the Outdoor Grand Prix, 'Decode Jay-Z with Bing', Bing/Jay-Z AND
Winner of the Titanium & Integrated Grand Prix, 'Decode Jay-Z with Bing', Bing/Jay-Z

Ant Keogh, Executive Creative Director, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, Australia
Winner of the PR Grand Prix, 'Break Up', National Australia Bank

Thomas Kim, Executive Creative Director, Cheil Worldwide, Seoul, Korea
Winner of the Media Grand Prix, 'Homeplus Subway Virtual Store', Tesco

Aaron Koblin, Artist, Google Creative Labs, New York, USA
Winner of the Cyber Grand Prix, 'The Wilderness Downtown', Google

Nick Law, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, R/GA New York, USA
Winner of the Cyber Grand Prix, 'Pay with a Tweet', Innovative Thunder

Rob McLennan, Executive Creative Director, Net#work BBDO, Johannesburg, South Africa
Winner of the Radio Grand Prix, 'Bud', 'Love', 'Toby', Mercedes-Benz

Iain Tait, Global Executive Interactive Creative Director, Wieden+Kennedy Portland, USA
Winner of the Cyber Grand Prix, 'Response' Campaign, Proctor & Gamble, Old Spice Body Wash

Jason Williams, Executive Creative Director, Leo Burnett Melbourne, Australia
Winner of the Grand Prix for Good, 'See the Person', Scope

Yang Yeo, Chief Creative Officer, JWT Shanghai, China
Winner of the Press Grand Prix, 'Heaven and Hell', Samsonite

A new challenge will be set each year to harness the power of creativity for the greater global good. Each year, a new Cannes Chimera will be formed with the respective Grand Prix winners. Previous years members will remain part of the Cannes Chimera consultancy board, which will grow year on year.

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