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10 Cases from Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity: Games and Immersive Experiences

10 Cases from Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity: Games and Immersive Experiences

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is a prestigious event that showcases the best in advertising and communications. Each year, innovative ideas and groundbreaking campaigns are celebrated, highlighting the power of creativity in various forms. Over the past few years, we have seen excellent examples of creative cases involving games and immersive experiences. They demonstrate how these mediums can drive engagement, awareness, and social impact. Here are some of the most compelling examples from Cannes Lions 2024, 2023, and 2022, each illustrating the unique potential of gamification and interactive storytelling.

1. Xbox – The Everyday Tactician

Short Description: A groundbreaking campaign where a Football Manager player lands a real managerial position at Bromley FC.
Objective: Showcase the merging of real and virtual worlds through a unique talent acquisition approach.
Strategy: Recruit a new management team member for Bromley FC through the popular Football Manager game, highlighting the untapped potential of gamers.
Idea: Hire Nathan Owolabi, a Wembley Tour Guide and Football Manager expert, as Bromley’s new tactician after he achieves the Champions milestone in FM24.
Execution: The campaign features a three-part documentary series aired on TNT Sports, following Nathan’s journey from gamer to professional football tactician.

2. Heineken – Pub Museums

Short Description: Transforming historic Irish pubs into virtual museums to secure financial support and preserve cultural heritage.
Objective: Ensure the survival of historic Irish pubs by making them eligible for financial benefits typically granted to cultural institutions.
Strategy: Leverage AR technology to highlight the cultural significance of pubs and support their bid for official museum status.
Idea: Utilize augmented reality to narrate the rich histories of iconic pubs like Toners Pub in Dublin, Mother Macs Public House in Limerick, and Sean’s Bar in Athlone.
Execution: Visitors scan a QR code on plaques outside the pubs, activating AR overlays that narrate local legends and display digital 3D models of historical artifacts inside the pubs.

3. VMLY&R – Greenpeace’s Los Santos +3°C

Short Description: A climate change simulator within GTA Online shows the devastating effects of global warming.
Objective: Raise awareness about climate change using an interactive platform familiar to millions.
Strategy: Transform the GTA Los Santos map to simulate the effects of a 3°C temperature rise.
Idea: Create new missions and environmental challenges within the game to illustrate the impact of climate change.
Execution: Available on the Kings Roleplay server, with an accompanying website for further engagement.

4. Samsung & Cheil Worldwide – Quest for Dyslexia

Short Description: Using a popular adventure game to detect potential dyslexia in Chinese children through gameplay.
Objective: Identify undiagnosed cases of dyslexia among children in China.
Strategy: Modify the game ‘Young Warrior’ to track actions indicative of dyslexia.
Idea: Use machine learning to flag potential dyslexia cases and notify parents for further diagnosis.
Execution: Conducted over one million tests in the first month, identifying nearly 25,000 potential cases.

5. Supercell – Clash of Clans: Clash from the Past

Short Description: Celebrating Clash of Clans’ anniversary by imagining its historical evolution over 40 years.
Objective: Elevate Clash of Clans to iconic status similar to legacy gaming franchises.
Strategy: Create a fictitious 40-year history for the game, crafting a comprehensive lore and era-specific games.
Idea: Produce a documentary and era-specific games that immerse fans in an alternate reality where Clash of Clans has existed since 1982.
Execution: Released a detailed 20-minute documentary and three era-specific games (arcade, racer, RPG).

6. Dove & Epic Games – Real Virtual Beauty

Short Description: Promoting diverse and realistic representation of women in video games.
Objective: Challenge and change unrealistic beauty standards in video games.
Strategy: Partner with Epic Games and Unreal Engine to create diverse avatars and offer a training program for developers.
Idea: Launch the Real Virtual Beauty initiative, providing resources and education to foster diversity in gaming.
Execution: Developed a character art collection and an online training program, supported by the Dove Self-Esteem Project.

7. Vice Media & British Museum – The Unfiltered History Tour

Short Description: A secret tour using augmented reality to reveal the true histories of stolen artifacts in the British Museum.
Objective: Raise awareness about colonialism and the true origins of museum artifacts.
Strategy: Use AR technology to provide an alternative narrative of the artifacts’ histories.
Idea: Create an AR experience that overlays true historical contexts over the British Museum’s exhibits.
Execution: Visitors use their smartphones to scan artifacts, triggering AR filters that tell the story from the perspective of the artifacts’ countries of origin.

8. Women in Games – #GenderSwap

Short Description: Highlighting gender stereotypes in video games by swapping animations between male and female characters.
Objective: Raise awareness about the oversexualization and stereotyping of female characters in video games.
Strategy: Modify popular video games to swap the animations of male and female characters, showing exaggerated sexualization typically reserved for female characters.
Idea: Use existing game mods and create new ones to illustrate the disparity in character representation.
Execution: Streamers showcased the mods on Twitch, sparking discussions and increasing awareness.

9. Williams Racing & Michelob ULTRA – Lap of Legends

Short Description: An innovative television special where Logan Sargeant races against virtual avatars of legendary Williams Racing drivers using cutting-edge technology.
Objective: Celebrate Williams Racing’s rich history by merging real and virtual worlds, bringing fans closer to the action.
Strategy: Use advanced technology, AI, and AR to create virtual avatars of legendary drivers, allowing a contemporary driver to race against them in a simulated environment.
Idea: Logan Sargeant competes against avatars of past Williams Racing legends, showcasing different eras of Formula 1 racing and the legacy of Williams Racing.
Execution: Aired as a three-part series on TNT Sports, the race used augmented reality helmets and AI to create realistic virtual racers from over 720 races’ data, filmed with 28 cameras, including drones and in-car setups, across multiple UK locations.

10. Mastercard – Room for Everyone / Where To Start

Short Description: A digital tool designed to help Polish and Ukrainian entrepreneurs find optimal locations to open new businesses by leveraging anonymized Mastercard spending trends and additional data.
Objective: Support entrepreneurial growth in Poland by providing small and medium-sized businesses with data-driven insights to identify the best locations for their operations.
Strategy: Build on the success of the ‘Where to Settle’ platform, utilizing a complementary business data model to aid new businesses in their decision-making process.
Idea: Offer a user-friendly, free digital tool that helps entrepreneurs evaluate business potential in various locations based on spending trends, street traffic, noise levels, and access to commercial property listings.
Execution: The tool is accessible without registration on both mobile and desktop devices, сovers 37 major Polish cities, provides detailed insights into surroundings and complementary businesses, partnership with the Morizon-Gratka Group to include commercial property listings, ensures user privacy through Mastercard’s secure data processing rules.

These cases from Cannes Lions illustrate the transformative potential of games and immersive experiences in driving engagement and social impact. Room 8 Group, with its extensive expertise in game development, is uniquely positioned to partner in creating such innovative projects. By leveraging our creative and technical capabilities, we can bring similarly impactful experiences to life, fostering deeper connections and meaningful change.

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