Mobile Lion Trophy

There is no doubt that Asia Pacific is one of the most exciting mobile markets and if there was one more indicator needed, it has come in the form of the Mobile Lions category at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. APAC companies have brought back 19 of the 60 Mobile Lions awarded at the event this year. The icing on the cake is the Grand Prix won by DDB DM9JaymeSyfu Makati City for Smart Communications, entry titled ‘Txtbks’. This also marks Philippines first ever Grand Prix at Cannes Lions.

Apart from the Grand Prix, APAC agencies have won three Gold Lions, eight Silver Lions and seven Bronze Lions. In 2012, APAC agencies had won a total of five Mobile Lions.

The Grand Prix

For the jury members, it was the simplicity of the idea that tilted the Grand Prix vote in DDB DM9JaymeSyfu’s favour. The initiative was undertaken to ease off the backpack load on students by converting material in bulky textbooks into text formats and loading this on SIM cards. The creative was done for telecom company Smart Communications. Jury Chairperson, Rei Inamoto, Chief Creative at AKQA said, “The Grand Prix is reflective of the power of mobile in a very clear and simple way – you don’t have to use flashy technology to execute a great idea.” The jury also said that the Grand Prix winner especially stood out, because when examples of mobile marketing are sited, it is usually about big numbers but ‘Txtbks’ stood out truly for the creative idea behind the initiative.

Country Wise break up
Japan leads the tally with seven Lions in all, followed by China (four Mobile Lions) and New Zealand (three Mobile Lions). Singapore has won two Mobile Lions and Hong Kong and Thailand have one a Lion each. Philippines took home the Grand Prix.

A good year for APAC
The three Mobile Gold Lions from the region were taken by Ogilvy & Mather Singapore for SingTel’s Old Phones Give New Life, JWT Beijing for ‘Missing Children’ for – ‘Baby Back Home’ Volunteers Association and by Party Tokyo for Worldwide Maze for Google.

Of the eight Silver Mobile Lions, Party Tokyo took two more for Google’s ‘Worldwide Maze’ as did JWT Beijing for ‘Missing Children’. The remaining four included Hakuhodo Tokyo’s ‘Penguin Navi’ for Sunshine City Corporation, DDB Singapore’s ‘Third Eye’ for Starhub Mobile, DDB New Zealand for ‘Secret Fishing Spots’ for HutchWilco and BBDO Proximity Thailand’s entry titled ‘Drive Awake’ for PTT.

The Seven Bronze Lions included Cheil Hong Kong’s ‘NFC Charity Stickers’ for UNICEF HK, AKQA Shanghai’s ‘#winagainsttheelements#’ for Nike China; Projector Tokyo for ‘Uniqlo Wake Up’, DDB New Zealand for ‘Secret Fishing Spots’, Y&R NZ Wellington for ‘Weather to Wake’ for Metservice, Dentsu Tokyo’s ‘Necomimi’ and Hakuhodo Tokyo’s ‘Penguin Navi’.

What is not on the list is as important…
Speaking on the overall body of work, Inamoto said, “There was diverse participation and agencies from Asia have done well. For us, a great mobile ad would be one that was not pushing the technology side. For some, the definition of mobile is tech driven and for some, it is behaviour driven. Mobile has to be portable, connected and pervasive and that is what we were looking at. It’s a very new category with new behaviour that people are adopting quickly. The format is so different and it is not always the thing you see on the screen.”

One of the concerns that jurors raised on the work seen in category was the lack of paid media, which they believed was intrinsic to the monetisation challenges that mobile was facing as a medium. The one thing that all jury members agreed on was that winners of the category would have to behave like the North Star for the sector and summed it aptly by saying: “What is not on the list is as important as what is on the list.”