$ 1 million for a communication idea to change the world

Creativity, CSR

Cannes Lions and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through the program The Grand Challenge for Communications, are launching, in 2012, a project that can change the world. The project brings together the most “illuminated” creative minds in the world – all the Grand Prix winners at Cannes last year – in an unprecedented mentorship project, Cannes Chimera.

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 initiative was announced by Cannes Lions organizers in March and discussed, on Tuesday, by the Romanian representative in competition’s jury, Adrian Botan, Creative Partner McCann Erickson Bucharest & Regional Creative Director McCann Erickson Central and Eastern Europe, and Teo Migdalovici, Cannes Lions Festival ambassador in Romania.

The discussions around Cannes Chimera and what it means took place during a meeting with Romanian press and agencies representatives.



According to the 2 speakers, this year’s initiative offers a chance for social campaigns during Cannes Festival, as the competition rules do not allow awarding them a Grand Prix.

The purpose of the project is to make people trust campaigns that raise funds for humanitarian causes by making them more transparent in what concerns the ways gathered funds are spent and to make people feel that any amount of money donated to these causes matter. Basically, Chimera is a competition of ideas that aim to change society’s and public mind set.

Both Adrian Botan and Teo Migdalovici expressed their desire to have as many and as good as possible Romanian entries for this competition, from ad men, agencies, teams, students, journalists and bloggers. According to Chimera’s rules, the proposals must be formulated in such a way that it will fill an A4 page on both sides.

Until now, as Teo Migdalovici said, most of proposals for this project are coming from US. Considering the evolution Romanian advertising had since it started “breath” Cannes Lion’s air, she expressed the hope that Romanian communication specialists will answer accordingly to Cannes Lions and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s challenge.

The desire of seeing as many Romanian applications for Chimera as possible was expressed also by Adrian Botan. He also mentioned that couple members of Chimera’s jury are from Cyber, which might mean that ideas integrating new media will be well appreciated.

As humanitary campaigns gather loads of money, people always are always questioning where the donated money reached and how were they spent.

This project is, basically, a project to solve skepticism, the main barrier that stays in front of humanitarian campaigns

Adrian Botan

Tuesday’s discussion meeting was organized by McCann Erickson Romania and Bitter Almonds and was also attended by Romanian marcom professionals that also served as jurors for different international festivals, such as Ioana Manoiu, GMP PR, and Razvan Capanescu, Publicis Bucharest.

Bitter Almonds represents Cannes Lions in Romania and, through its efforts in the last 7 years, it managed to determine Romanian agencies to open to international festival. As a result, only in what concerns Cannes Lions, the number of entries increased from 0 to more than 100, while the number of delegates went up from 2 to 120. Also, during the 7 mentioned years, Romania grew to be appreciated in Cannes, winning an increasing number of prizes, highest registered in 2011, due to McCann Erickson Romania’s performance.