Cannes Lions launches Chimera communications challenge


Cannes Lions is partnering with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in an effort to generate communications ideas that could help change the world.

Grand Challenges Explorations: Aid is Working. Tell the World is a unique call for action that aims to inspire the world’s greatest brand communicators to come up with an idea that will help solve a global problem. 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 brief calls for new and innovative ways of telling the real story behind global aid.

“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 Philip Thomas, Cannes Lions CEO. “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.”

Up to ten participants will be awarded $100,000 for the development of their idea – and the chance to be mentored by the Grand Prix Winners from Cannes Lions 2011, who have come together to form the “Cannes Chimera”, possibly the greatest collection of creative talent ever assembled. Successful projects will then have the chance to seek additional funding up to $1 million to bring their idea to fruition.

Tom Scott, Director, Global Brand & 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.”

The idea has to be submitted on two sides of A4 paper until May 15th. All the ideas will be judged anonymously, solely on their merit, stripping everything back to the purity and creativity of the idea itself. The jury will be made up of the Cannes Chimera, as well as members of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s review board and a small group of panel experts with up to ten of the most brilliant ideas may be selected as finalists to each receive $100,000 to further develop the idea.

In the autumn, Cannes Lions will fly the finalists and the Cannes Chimera to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campus in Seattle, USA. Cannes Chimera will draw there upon their different skills and expertise to help hone the winning ideas and mentor their creators.

Cannes Lions has created a group, The Cannes Chimera, made up of one senior creative from the award-winning agencies of each of the 2011 Cannes Lions Grand Prix winning pieces of work. The Chimera will advise the programme, review the submissions, and mentor the finalists as they develop their projects.

The first Cannes Chimera will be made up of the following talented communicators:

  • Mark Bashore, Head of Creative Digital Kitchen Chicago, USA
  • Mark Bernath, Executive Creative Director Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Adrian Botan, Creative Partner McCann Erickson Bucharest & Regional Creative Director McCann Erickson Central and Eastern Europe
  • Paul Brazier, Executive Creative Director Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO London, UK
  • Amanda Clelland, Associate Creative Director Droga 5, New York, USA
  • Neil Heymann, Creative Director Droga 5, New York, USA
  • Ant Keogh, Executive Creative Director Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
  • Thomas Kim, Executive Creative Director Cheil Worldwide, Seoul, Korea
  • Aaron Koblin, Artist, Google Creative Labs, New York, USA
  • Nick Law, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer R/GA New York, USA
  • Rob McLennan, Executive Creative Director Net#work BBDO Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Iain Tait, Global Executive Interactive Creative Director Wieden+Kennedy Portland, USA
  • Jason Williams, Executive Creative Director Leo Burnett Melbourne, Australia
  • Yang Yeo, Chief Creative Officer JWT Shanghai, China

A new challenge will be set each year to harness the power of creativity for the greater global good. Each year, a new Cannes Chimera will be formed with the respective Grand Prix winners. Previous years members will remain part of the Cannes Chimera consultancy board, which will grow year on year.

59th Cannes Lions takes place on June 17-23 in Cannes, France.



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