Creatives who enter the Lions and attend Cannes are the world's greatest communicators. Imagine if you could harness the talents of the world's creative community to solve a global problem.
The Cannes International Festival of Creativity is teaming up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest philanthropic foundation, in an effort to generate communication ideas that could help change the world.
The brief calls for new and innovative ways of telling the real story behind global aid. 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 theme is 'Aid is Working. Tell the World'. Part of what the programme is looking for is game-changing ideas we might never imagine on our own, and that could revolutionise the field. Examples include: new ways to collect and share first-person stories from those impacted by aid in the developing world, creative distribution mechanisms to deliver stories, data and information and concepts that spark active engagement through methods like games and crowdsourcing.
Tom Scott, Director, Global Brand and 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."
Entrants have until 15 May to submit their work. Up to ten ideas will be picked to be awarded $100,000 to develop them further - with the chance to be flown out to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campus in Seattle, USA. Finalists will be mentored by the Grand Prix Winners from Cannes Lions 2011, who have come together to form the 'Cannes Chimera'.
Taking its name from a creature in Greek mythology with parts from multiple animals, the 'Chimera' includes: Amanda Clelland, Associate Creative Director, Droga5, USA, Mark Bernath, Executive Creative Director, Wieden+Kennedy, Amsterdam and Yang Yeo, Chief Creative Officer, JWT, Shanghai - amongst others. Finalists will then be able to apply for a follow-on grant of up to US$1million to make the idea into a reality.
"The global Cannes Lions community is made up of the world's greatest communicators who are solving problems for clients all day every day," says Cannes Lions CEO, Philip Thomas.
"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."
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $100 million to encourage scientists worldwide to expand the pipeline of ideas to fight our greatest health challenges. Launched in 2008, Grand Challenge Explorations grants have already been awarded to 602 researchers from 44 countries.
Harnessing creative talent from the communications and ad industries for good causes will also pop up in other projects and events in 2012. This year also marks the tenth anniversary of Act Responsible.
Since 2001, the non-profit organisation based in Switzerland has been collecting campaigns, which promote responsible and highlight social and environmental issues.
To celebrate the anniversary, Lürzer's Archive is creating a 200 Best Ads to Save the World Special. A jury of international creative gurus, major NGO representatives, co-hosted by our Editor-in-Chief, Michael Weinzettl and ACT Responsible Founder, Hervé de Clerck, will be pulled together to select the top 200 ads.
The special selection celebrates outstanding creativity for good causes and shows how the creative community uses its talent to raise awareness of the world's major issues and play its part in today's society.
The Special will be launched at the ACT Responsible exhibition in Cannes, during the 2012 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, June 17-23. To be part of this edition, submit your work before March 15th.
Image: ACT Responsible "The World Can't Be Saved Without Humans"