Five Good Examples of Brand Innovation from Cannes Lions

Cannes Lions, the Oscars of advertising, will kick off later this week with innovation at the heart of their approach. Increasingly, the deployment of technology has been a strong element of the awards. In 2012, Nike’s Fuel Band won the Grand Prix Prize and last year, it went to Nivea’s beacon-based Bracelet . This year’s nominees contain a strong smattering of connected objects. Here are some of the stronger contenders:

Nike RISE LED Court

This is the kind of experiential campaign that you would expect from the sports giant. Big, flashy and well-executed:

Clever Buoy

Arguably this isn’t brand advertising but simply a good concept from Australia. Sharks emit a unique sonar signature and buoys strategically located near the coastline can be used to alert lifeguards of the proximity of sharks:

Hammerhead

From sharks to cycles, R/GA (the company that developed Nike’s Fuel) is a T shaped device that clips to a bike’s handlebars. It connects to a smartphone and uses lights to guide the cyclist around their route – thus mitigating the need to become distracted by their phone.

Samsung Safety Truck

This is a simple and effective concepts that the tech manufacturer developed in Argentina. The country suffers particularly high road fatalities, not helped by the large number of single-lane roads. Their truck simply used a wireless camera at the front and projected the road ahead onto a screen behind so that drivers could easily see if the road ahead was clear. Maybe all trucks will have something like this one day?

The Dancing Traffic Light

This campaign superbly solves the problem of over-eager pedestrians in an engaging way. Instead of a static red person, they dance! Simple enough, but the dancing pedestrian is actually a member of the public in a nearby booth. Their movements are translated into a simple red LEDs that keeps pedestrians entertained instead of trying to cross in front of the traffic:

Global Mobile Smartphone Sales: Samsung Lead the Stats

The latest data on smartphone sales, reported by Tomi Ahonen, shows that Samsung sold nearly twice the number of phones as Apple, in Q2 2012. In part, this is due to the fact that Samsung have a range of handsets across almost all budgets, whereas Apple is only in the high-end smartphone market (at that point, the S3 was not yet launched). Whilst  Samsung have taken sales from the likes of Nokia and RIM in the past (and that trend continues), it seems that the lion’s share in the first part of 2012 came from Apple. Their share dropped from 24% to 17%, whereas Samsung increased from just over 30% to nearly 40%. Apple’s drop is not through lack of sales, but rather, from the increase in the global smartphone market. However, the impending iPhone 5 may also have caused some Apple users to wait and see what they company would do.

The most interesting aspect of all this is that Samsung is also involved in making TVs, tablets and PCs (and for that matter washing machines). The company is working on the integration across all devices and by next year they expect to be responsible for 3 billion screens in the world.

With 6 billion phones globally, it is equivalent to 86% of the population owning one (of course some people have two or more phones, so it’s not that big). 30% of those phones are now in China and India, and smartphones are by far the biggest selling category (we now have 1 billion globally).

Data Source: Tomi Ahonen, http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/

In terms of operating systems, Android was nearly 67% of the smartphone sales in Q2 2012, and taking into account the installed user base, that it is currently 41% of all smartphones. As someone pointed out, Android phones are selling faster then babies are born.  iOS at 17% of sales and 19% of the installed base. Samsung’s share of OS was: Android  91%, Bada 8% and Windows Phone 1%.

Samsung bada operating system: do we really need another one?

Eariler this week, Samsung anounced that they were creating their own mobile operating system called bada. The company made a commitment to Android earlier this year and already has phone running Symbian and Windows Mobile.

Samsung’s reasoning behind creating yet another mobile os was that it ofered ‘an easy-to-integrate platform…so that mobile operators can provide unique and differentiated services to their customers’. But in terms of developers, surely they have a problem? First Apple rolled out the app store, followed by Android Market, Blackberry and most others. So in business terms it would seem sensible to open up your OS to allow developers to create their own apps.

Unfortunately, it is only a sensible if you assume an unlimited supply of developers willing to create across every platform. And when it comes to branded apps, will companies and agencies be willing to spend on development for an additional platform? I very much doubt it.

From Samsung’s perspective, they have plenty of low-cost developers for many different platforms (LCD TVs to fridges). In their key markets in Asia, they almost rival Nokia and they have had a tradition of developing for most mobile OSs.

Whilst competition can be good, fragmentation in the mobile market is generally not very good.