Marketing, particularly the advertising part thereof, is often vilified for its soulless commitment to pandering items with the goal of producing a profit. And while there is a fair amount of truth to this, every once in a while the very skills and creativity that generally cause the public to criticise advertising are used for causes nobler than selling random items.
One such instance recently occurred with the announcement of the Cannes Chimera winners, an initiative, backed by Bill and Melinda Gates, which aims to bring ideas to life that can make the world a better place.
Released during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June 2014, the Cannes Chimera brief challenged entrants to develop an innovative communication concept which would inspire Millennials to get involved with and feel connected to global health and development problems.
This year, four entries from Australia, China, Singapore and the UK have been chosen to each receive a prize of up to $100,000 to further develop their ideas. In addition to this funding, the winners will also head to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle this November to attend a series of workshops, where previous Cannes Grand Prix winners will give them information on how to bring ideas to life.
Here's a breakdown of the four winning ideas:
Personal Social Responsibility – Manning Gottlieb OMD (UK)
Personal Social Responsibility (PSR) is inspired by the existing CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) system. PSR introduces a point system that ranks personal altruism and everyday acts that help address the biggest problems in the world, from sharing relevant content on social media, to donating and volunteering.
The Finish Line – Y&R, Wunderman (Singapore)
The Finish Line – Takes all Global Health and Development problems and breaks it down by geography, demographics, and actions towards eradication until we are able to present it as viable steps that are needed to achieve that immediate goal. It makes the problem seem defeatable and most importantly, it makes the effort needed immediate and result oriented.
Watch for good – Naked Communications (Australia)
Today, as pre-roll and interruptive video ads become more pervasive, ‘skip’ functionality is increasingly common as a way of ameliorating viewer frustration. This initiative partners with providers to add another option to their ad format – ‘Watch For Good’. By pressing the ‘Watch For Good’ button instead of ‘skip’, they watch the ad in full. The advertiser pays the same pay-per-view cost, but the publisher shares this, donating a defined portion of it to the Watch For Good fund, which then invests in various altruistic projects. Interestingly, this idea shares a premise with Colenso BBDO's 'Sharity' campaign, which earlier this year aimed to turn YouTube shares into something that could raise funds for animals in shelters.
Plight Map – BBH (China)
The closest many Millennials get to the developing world is when they fly over it, en route to first-world holiday destinations. Recognising this, Plight Map is an inflight map, re-designed as an interactive storytelling platform. It tells airline passengers exactly what’s below them on the ground – and lets them know what issues are happening there, in real-time.
Whittling the entries down to the final four wasn't an easy task. A total of 870 ideas from 66 countries were initially sent through, and these were considered by an international jury made up of previous Cannes Lions Grand Prix winners.
Over the next six months, the winners will be invited to pilot their ideas and then submit a proposal to the foundation for funding to fully implement it.
“This year’s brief for the Cannes Chimera is a fantastic reflection of how those in the industry are continuously pushing boundaries and using their creative talents to really make a difference," said Philip Thomas, the chief executive of the Lions Festivals, in a release. "By focusing on Millennials, the projects embrace technology and interconnectivity. The four successful ideas show how technology can bridge gaps and create greater awareness to really help others. The workshops with the Cannes Chimera will allow for further exploration of the strengths and challenges of the projects with the end result bringing us one step closer to achieving our goal to change the world.”