AKQA Future Lions, now in its 14th year, is the official student ideas competition for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and this year saw the Miami Ad School named the Future Lions School of the Year.
The 2019 competition encouraged students to break through perceived limits, connecting brands with audiences in new ways. This year’s contest attracted more than 1,000 entries from a record 444 schools, across 71 nations.
Despite the socially neutral brief, entries from all over the world have consistently revealed a growing emphasis on ideas themed around societal progress, contribution and positive impact.
AKQA founder and chief executive officer Ajaz Ahmed said: “The inspiration and motivations of the entrants demonstrate today’s youth is potentially the most powerful, but underutilised, resource on Earth.”
Winners included the Hongik University in Seoul and the University Centre of Fine Arts in São Paulo, as well as Miami Ad School in Hamburg.
Hongik University won for its ‘McDonald’s - Mcfive’ campaign. It utilized light-based disinfection technology, integrated into McDonald’s touch-screen service points. Customers are prompted to high-five the screen after ordering, which sterilises their hands before eating in a simple and fun way.
The University Centre of Fine Arts won for its ‘Vodafone - UR Voice’ campaign. A necklace device used AI to re-create the voice of a patient that lost their natural voice. It syncs this with the patient’s mouth movements and gestures, to re-create the patient’s full range of vocal expression and emotion.
Miami Ad School won for ‘Apple - Epilepsy Watch Out’. The campaign used an Apple Watch to detect a seizure, and Siri then provided step-by-step instructions to guide bystanders – who may otherwise feel powerless or afraid – to assist the patient, showing the potential for wearable technology to help both the wearer and those around them.
For that campaign, and the fact that Miami Ad School provided the most shortlisted finalists, the school was named Future Lions 2019 School of the Year.
The three winning teams plus Miami Ad School were each awarded a Future Lions 2019 trophy, live on stage in the Debussy Theatre at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes on 18 June.
The creative community VSCO and magazine Wired are the official partners for Future Lions 2019; the award ceremony was hosted by VSCO chief marketing officer Tesa Aragones and AKQA managing partner Sam Kelly.
Aragones said: “At VSCO, our creative community constantly inspires us with their creative courage and optimism. We were honoured to review the entries for this year’s Future Lions competition, where we saw this spirit of positivity displayed through so many innovative and breakthrough ideas. Congrats to the winners, whose creativity is making the world a better place."
Wired’s executive director of partnerships and consulting Piper Goodspeed added: “The students’ collective work and vision is inspiring. They are creating and collaborating, to build a new society that is founded on innovation and possibility. We are seeing young minds expertly harness rapidly evolving technologies, to disrupt commercial traditions with a new, open field of opportunity. How wonderful to imagine the impact that these Future Lions will have on our future world.”
AKQA managing partner Sam Kelly said: “AKQA is seeing that today’s new creative generation is overwhelmingly on a quest for social good. The Future Lions are contributing perspectives from all over the world and are showing that ideas truly have no boundaries. This highlights our responsibility as brands and marketers to nurture this creative talent, and to always strive to improve people’s lives through everything we do.”
During the past decade, 99% of Future Lions winners have moved into employment with respected creative organisations internationally.
See all the winners, past and present, at the Future Lions website.