If you were asked to come up with an idea that wasn't possible five years ago, for any brand you wanted, what would it be? That was the challenge for 1,760 students from 40 countries competing for the Future Lions at the Cannes Festival of Creativity.
The 2014 theme of the competition, managed by AKQA, was "Rise," and five winners were announced, spanning work for brands like Apple, Google, and IBM. "Donate By Update" is an idea that would have Apple donate a small amount of the purchase price from any product (RED) merchandise to help fight AIDS in Africa. "Google Gesture" turns sign language into speech. "Do Zero for Climate Change" asks the people of New York to turn the heat up in their freezers for Ben & Jerry's. The "HEARt Me" idea for the Children’s Heart Foundation is for wearable tech to help parents monitor kids with heart problems. Last but not least, a World Cup-themed idea—"Passion Is Power" for IBM would see vibrational energy sheets installed in soccer stadiums to use futebol fan power to provide clean, free energy to the favelas.
"This year’s Future Lions competition had the most forward-thinking and daring ideas to date," said AKQA chief creative officer Rei Inamoto. "We were blown away by the caliber of submissions and the winning teams rose to the challenge by providing concepts that not only inspire marketers, but help brands connect with their consumers in a way that has never been seen before."