The New York Times Virtual Reality app and its creators—Tbrand Studio, The Grid (a partnership between Giant Spoon + OMD), Framestore VR Studio, GE, Mini and Google—won the Mobile Grand Prix at Cannes Wednesday night.
The project included a Google VR headset that was delivered to 1.3 million subscribers to the Times’ Sunday edition. Those who downloaded the app—more than 500,000 customers—could immerse themselves in a VR world that showcased GE technology. The app generated 1.5 million content views.
Jury president Malcolm Poynton, Global Chief Creative Officer Cheil Worldwide, told the Cannes ceremony attendees that the app demonstrates how mobile is transforming “how brands connect and have a relationship with people.”
In particular, Poynton added, the app “changes our relationship with a 165 year-old-brand,” the New York Times. And in doing so, he said, “we think it just might help save” the $76 billion dollar publishing industry.
Poynton said the jurors believed the app delivered a “Wright Brothers moment” for mobile where a “really brave client embraced the cutting edge of mobile to commit to catapulting its brand from an analog business into the digital age amidst what must be probably their most challenging time.”
The Grid also won a gold Cyber Lion for GE Podcast Theatre Presents "The Message" for the Corporate Image subcategory. ("The Message" was entered by BBDO, which handled the creative, while The Grid, listed as a c0-agency on the award, handled media.)
Check out all the short-listed entries and winners at Cannes so far here.