Innovation Sighting: Cannes Lions 2010

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June 21, 2010
Innovation Prosthetic
July 5, 2010

Innovation Sighting: Cannes Lions 2010

Cannes Lions, the International Advertising Festival, is the world's only truly global meeting place for professionals in the communications industry. It celebrates advertising winners each year in a variety of categories. The 57th festival was held last week. The Young Lions Film Competition is held the same week. Two creatives have 48 hours to write, shoot and edit a 30-second commercial. At the beginning of the week, the teams receive a brief from a charity chosen by the Festival. Forty-eight hours later, the teams' work is judged by the Film Lions jury. Here is a winning commercial from this year's Young Lions Film Competition:


Cannes Lions, the International Advertising Festival, is the world’s only truly global meeting place for professionals in the communications industry.  It celebrates advertising winners each year in a variety of categories.  The 57th festival was held last week.

The Young Lions Film Competition is held the same week.  Two creatives have 48 hours to write, shoot and edit a 30-second commercial. At the beginning of the week, the teams receive a brief from a charity chosen by the Festival. Forty-eight hours later, the teams’ work is judged by the Film Lions jury.  Here is a winning commercial from this year’s Young Lions Film Competition:


This commercial is an example of the Unification tool, one of the eight advertising tools described by Dr. Jacob Goldenberg and his colleagues in their new book, Cracking the Ad Code.  The tool works by making new use of existing resources.  There are two unification approaches: use components of the medium, or recruit a new medium in the environment.  In this example, a water goblet has been given the additional “job” of “sounding the alarm” about the lack of access to water.  Commercials using this tool tend to be cost effective, memorable, and most importantly, creative.

Here are all eight of the advertising tools.

  1. Unification
  2. Activation
  3. Metaphor
  4. Subtraction
  5. Extreme Consequence
  6. Absurd Alternative
  7. Inversion
  8. Extreme Effort

If you had only 48 hours to innovate an award-winning commercial in Cannes, these tools would be the best  place to start!