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Cannes Lions Joins the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Launch a Communications Challenge to Change the World

Cannes Lions 2011 Grand Prix Winners to Mentor Top Ideas from Global Creative Community

London, Apr 17, 2012 - (ACN Newswire) - The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which brings together the global advertising and communications industry, is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest philanthropic 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 willhelp 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, CannesLions 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 innovativeways 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."

How to Take Part

Grand Challenges Explorations: Aid is Working. Tell the World is open to everyone. The idea has to be submitted on two sides of A4 paper between now and 15 May. In the summer, 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. Up to ten of the most brilliant ideas may be selected as finaliststo 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. There, the Cannes Chimera will draw upon their different skills and expertise to help hone the winning ideas and mentor their creators. The ideas can then be re-submitted to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with a chance of winning up to $1,000,000 to put them into practice. There, the originators will be invited back to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in 2013 to show the rest of the global advertising community what they produced and the difference it has made.

The Cannes Chimera

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
Winner of the Design Grand Prix, 'The Cosmopolitan Digital Experience', The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

- Mark Bernath, Executive Creative Director, Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Winner of the Film Grand Prix, 'Write the Future', Nike

- Adrian Botan, Creative Partner, McCann Erickson Bucharest & Regional Creative Director, McCann Erickson Central and Eastern Europe
Winner of the Direct Grand Prix, 'American Rom', Kandia Dulce AND
Winner of the Promo & Activation Grand Prix, 'American Rom', Kandia Dulce

- Paul Brazier, Executive Creative Director, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO London, UK
Winner of the Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix, 'Sandwich', Pepsico

- Amanda Clelland, Associate Creative Director, Droga 5, New York, USA
Winner of the Film Craft Grand Prix, 'After Hours Athlete', Puma

- Neil Heymann, Creative Director, Droga 5, New York, USA
Winner of the Outdoor Grand Prix, 'Decode Jay-Z with Bing', Bing/Jay-Z AND
Winner of the Titanium & Integrated Grand Prix, 'Decode Jay-Z with Bing', Bing/Jay-Z

- Ant Keogh, Executive Creative Director, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, Australia
Winner of the PR Grand Prix, 'Break Up', National Australia Bank

- Thomas Kim, Executive Creative Director, Cheil Worldwide, Seoul, Korea
Winner of the Media Grand Prix, 'Homeplus Subway Virtual Store',Tesco

- Aaron Koblin, Artist, Google Creative Labs, New York, USA
Winner of the Cyber Grand Prix, 'The Wilderness Downtown', Google

- Nick Law, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, R/GA New York, USA
Winner of the Cyber Grand Prix, 'Pay with a Tweet', Innovative Thunder

- Rob McLennan, Executive Creative Director, Net#work BBDO, Johannesburg, South Africa
Winner of the Radio Grand Prix, 'Bud', 'Love', 'Toby', Mercedes-Benz

- Iain Tait, Global Executive Interactive Creative Director, Wieden + Kennedy Portland, USA
Winner of the Cyber Grand Prix, 'Response' Campaign, Proctor & Gamble, Old Spice Body Wash

- Jason Williams, Executive Creative Director, Leo Burnett Melbourne, Australia
Winner of the GrandPrix for Good, 'See the Person', Scope

- Yang Yeo, Chief Creative Officer, JWT Shanghai, China
Winner of the Press Grand Prix, 'Heaven and Hell', Samsonite

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.

Please visit for more information about Grand Challenges Explorations: Aid is Working. Tell the World. For more information about the Cannes Chimera, please visit

About Grand Challenges Explorations

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) supports hundreds of early-stage projects - including many ideas that have never before been tested - and experts from a wide range of disciplines and regions. The Explorations initiative funds innovative ideas thatcould lead to new vaccines, diagnostics, drugs, and other tools and technologies targeting our greatest challenges in health and development.

GCE is an extension of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's commitment to the Grand Challenges in Global Health, which was launched in 2003 to accelerate the discovery of new technologies to improve global health. To date, the foundation has committed over $500 million to support hundreds of projects on topics such as making childhood vaccines easierto use in poor countries, and creating new ways to control insects that spread disease.

Key features of the Grand Challenges Explorations initiative are:

- A short application. Two-page applications are accepted online at
- Rapid turnaround time. We will select grants in approximately 5 months from the proposal submission deadline.
- We review for novel ideas that show great promise. Our review process is based on reviewers with a track record in identifying innovative ideas selecting the proposals they find most pioneering - no consensus or peer review is needed.
- Phase I grants of $100,000 USD are awarded initially; projects have one opportunity to apply for afollow-on Phase II grant of up to $1,000,000 USD.

For more information about Grand Challenges Explorations, visit:

Definition of Chimera

The Chimera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of multiple animals: upon the body of a lioness with a tail that ended in a snake's head, the head of a goat arose on her back at the center of herspine.
The term Cannes Chimera is with thanks to Crispin Porter + Bogusky

About Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

The 59th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will be held 17-23 June 2012 in Cannes, France. Also known as Cannes Lions, it is the world's leading celebration of creativity in communications. Founded in 1954, the Festival takes place every June in Cannes, France.

As the most prestigious international annual advertising and communications awards, over 28,800 entries from all over the world are showcased and judged at the Festival. Winning companies receive the highly coveted Lion trophy honouring the most creative Film, Print, Outdoor, Interactive, Radio, Design, Promo & Activation, Film Craft, Mobile, Branded Content & Entertainment and Integrated advertising, as well as the best Media, Direct, PR, Titanium and Creative Effectiveness ideas.

The Festival is also the only truly global meeting place for advertisers, advertising and communication professionals. Close to 9,500 delegates from 95 countries attend seven days of exhibitions, screenings, as well as 57 high-profile seminars, 20 workshops and master classes presented by renowned worldwide industry leaders. As the networking and learning opportunity of the year, Cannes Lions is the must-attend event for anyone involved in brand communication. For further information, please visit

Source: Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity
Amanda Benfell, 
PR & Press Manager , Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity
Tel: +44-20-7728 4040
Find Cannes Lions on Twitter Facebook YouTube LinkedIn Google+

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Media Enquiries: 
Tel: +1-206-709 3400

Copyright 2012 ACN Newswire. All rights reserved.

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