3 Awesome Innovations That Won Awards At This Year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity

Each year the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity honors the best of the best in creative marketing. The 2015 Cannes Lions Grand Prix winners were a particularly strong field.

From Volvo’s Epic Split featuring Jean Claude Van Damme to the incredibly powerful Always #LikeAGirl video, many of the marketing efforts we’ve been raving about on our podcast took home Cannes Lions trophies. So that was definitely cool to see.

But what stuck out the most from the list of 2015 Cannes Lions Grand Prix winners were the creative innovations that aimed to serve the greater good. This was a theme present in a number of winners across categories. Here are a few of them…

3 Inspiring Ideas That Won Cannes Lions Grand Prix Awards

Check out these three award-winning innovations designed not only for marketing purposes but to help make a positive difference in the world:

1. Volvo LifePaint

Along with winning in the “Creative Effectiveness” category for the Epic Split video mentioned above, Volvo also took home some hardware in the “Design” category for its LifePaint innovation. This unique reflective spray is designed to prevent crashes between cars and bikes at night.

Cyclists spray it on their bikes and bodies. While you can see it on them, it makes them glow in the glare of headlights. This is a really cool innovation with a lot of positive potential applications.

2. Vodafone Red Light App

Before it won a Cannes Lions award, we had never heard of this app before—but it really blew us away. The app (which cannot be identified by name for good reason) was created by Vodafone to help women in Turkey where domestic violence is a huge problem. Disguised as a flashlight app, this innovation enables women to secretly send a signal for help when they are in danger.

Almost as ingenious as the app itself is the marketing behind it, which used covert, female-focused techniques to spread the word about the app. The video reports that an astonishing 254,000 women in Turkey have downloaded the app (that’s 24% of all women in that country). This is a fantastic example of how technology can be used for good.

3. Google Cardboard

Virtual reality (VR) is supposed to be the next big thing. But how is that possible if the VR headsets currently in development will cost people hundreds of dollars? Leave it to search giant Google to devise a way to make VR affordable and accessible to the everyman.

With Google Cardboard, you can make your own VR headset (or you can purchase a cardboard kit) and insert your smartphone. From there, you can enter a world of virtual reality using an app. Making the complex simpler and more convenient—isn’t this what innovation is all about?