Cannes Mobile Lion: I'd Like To Teach The World To Do, Not Say

There may not be tons of money coming to mobile marketing yet, but according to our Editor in Chief Joe Mandese, the mobile platform is all the rage at Cannes this year. And so despite the EMMY-like litany of awards the annual mutual appreciation fest piles on this year, the new Mobile Lions nods have floated to the top to get noticed. The Grand Prix for mobile campaigns went to one of the Google Re:Brief projects that re-imagined classic commercials for the digital/mobile age. In this case, the Coke reboot of the hilltop “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” song comes to fruition using the mobile tool chest.

Outlined in the video above, the campaign was the product of Grow Interactive and Johannes Leonardo New York. And without a doubt, the execution was an exceptional extension of the original branding message into genuine one-to-one communications. Leveraging media, and mobile connectivity to a world of connected devices, they found a way to actually give anyone the power to “buy the world a Coke.”

This win made me recall a keynote that Coke’s own Tom Daly gave a couple of years ago at the Mobile Insider Summit. In fact, Tom -- one of the most experienced champions of mobile -- used this classic ad and the Mean Joe Green towel toss ad to illustrate what he was in search of on mobile and digital platforms generally. Paraphrasing off of distant memory, I recall Tom challenging the Summit audience of agencies, brands and mobile solutions providers to use these technologies to tell brand stories with this kind of feeling and depth.

I would argue that this campaign is a good indication of how mobile media can make good on that promise in some ways at an even higher level than the haloed heart-tugging TV spots. This campaign doesn’t just say -- it does. By involving people in the activity of buying the world a Coke, the campaign engages the user in the brand story. By bringing digital interaction out into the everyday world, mobile media turns mere storytelling into action-taking. In this case, the goal was not to get the user just to “interact with the brand,” but to act upon the world on behalf of the brand with the help of the brand.

If done well, maybe mobile media will help us enter a time when we stop talking about “brand interactions” and start talking about taking a “branded action.” 

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