Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Jun 16, 2015

China breaks into 2015 Innovation Lions shortlist

GLOBAL - From a compact pool of 226 submissions for this year’s Innovation Lions, a shortlist of 34 has been revealed, with 12 entries from Asia Pacific and three from China (Baidu, Cheil and DDB) making it through to the final round of judging.

Volkswagen: Clean air in a box
Volkswagen: Clean air in a box

Japan and China are well-represented, with each country appearing three times in the shortlist, which in 2015 contains a broader range of innovative initiatives including ad-tech platforms and models (see curated shortlist below).

Last year, only five APAC entries made the shortlist, with two from Japan and none from China.

This year, the three China entries comprise of almost a tenth of the shortlist. Baidu's submission is the only stand-alone technological solution not in association with a brand or campaign, unlike DDB (for Volkswagen) and Cheil (for Friends Of Nature). 

People have long been fascinated with innovation that comes out from Japan. But China is a newer market that people have a great deal of genuine interest in. Apart from the sheer scale of China, that recent interest has been stoked by the emergence of the market's creativity as well as technological innovations. 

The reality of China is that it is on a learning curve, Terry Savage, chairman of Lions Festivals, told Campaign Asia-Pacific. Looking back to history when China won one bronze Lion in 2007, to now when China's economic mandate is about "internal consumerism", the opportunity presents itself for China to be more creative to meet this mandate, Savage said.

"From the visits I make to China, the market is increasingly showing an awareness of the value and need of creativity, and I think that would continue," he said.

Chinese technology companies such as Baidu (which is shortlisted for its smart chopsticks) have not been historically associated with Cannes Lions, but last month, the same work won gold at the 42nd One Show awards in New York.

"We are going to see them [Chinese tech companies] start to emerge on a wider scale and I suspect people will be surprised at their ability to do things well and fast," said Savage.

Here is a list of the Asia-Pacific entries shortlisted for Cannes Innovation (full shortlist available here):

Category A01: Innovative Technology (including Stand-alone, Technological Solutions not in Association with a Brand or Creative Campaign)
Title Client Product Entrant Country
FENCING VISUALIZED SPORTS BIZ CO., LTD. FENCING VISUALIZED DENTSU INC. Tokyo JAPAN
EYE PLAY THE PIANO THE UNIVERSITY OF TSUKUBA’S SPECIAL NEEDS SCHOOLS A UNIVERSAL PIANO SYSTEM CALLED “EYE PLAY THE PIANO,” WHICH ENABLES A USER TO PLAY PIANO WITHOUT USING HIS HANDS OR ARMS, BUT ONLY WITH HIS EYES HAKUHODO KETTLE Tokyo JAPAN
BAIDU KUAISOU   SMART CHOPSTICKS BAIDU ONLINE NETWORK TECHNOLOGY (BEIJING)  Beijing CHINA
PEPPER SOFTBANK MOBILE CORP. / SOFTBANK ROBOTICS CORP. / ALDEBARAN ROBOTICS COMMUNICATION PARTNER ROBOT DENTSU INC. Tokyo JAPAN
Category A02: Creative Innovation (including Business Solutions in Association with a Brand or Creative Campaign)
Title Client Product Entrant Country
CLEVER BUOY OPTUS THE WORLD'S FIRST SHARK DETECTION BUOY M&C SAATCHI Sydney AUSTRALIA
THE FACE OF LITTER HONG KONG CLEANUP HONG KONG CLEANUP OGILVY & MATHER GROUP HONG KONG  HONG KONG
KINETIC ENERGY SHOE GREEN CROSS THE SHOE THAT GENERATES POWER WITH EVERY STEP DDB GROUP VIETNAM Ho Chi Minh City VIETNAM
PENNY THE PIRATE LUXOTTICA STORYBOOK AND APP WITH INTEGRATED CHILDRENS EYE SCREENING SAATCHI & SAATCHI Sydney AUSTRALIA
CLEAN AIR IN A BOX VOLKSWAGEN GROUP CHINA CLEAN AIR IN A BOX DDB CHINA GROUP Shanghai CHINA
LIFE SAVING DOT TALWAR BINDI LIFE SAVING DOT GREY GROUP Singapore SINGAPORE
REDUCE SPEED DIAL VOLKSWAGEN REDUCE SPEED DIAL COLENSO BBDO Auckland NEW ZEALAND
REBIRTH AFTER READING FRIENDS OF NATURE FADING INK CHEIL Beijing CHINA

The shortlisted entrants will present live in front of an audience of delegates and a 10-person jury, which will interrogate the makers about their work before further discussion and voting for metal. Winners will be announced at the concluding awards ceremony on Friday, 26 June.

For the rest of us, let's make do with a few online presentations: 

CLEAN AIR IN A BOX:

 

REBIRTH AFTER READING:

 

BAIDU SMART CHOPSTICKS:

A stronger trend toward solutions for global issues has been observed by judges this year. This energised altruism is something which Nick Law, jury president and global CCO of R/GA, attributes to the growing role of creativity as an agent of change.

“A creative culture with the courage to imagine a better future will reshape an industry and the world," he said in a press release. "These Lions are a measure of our industry’s appetite for innovation, and our collective ambition to effect change, not just react to it.”

 

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