Food For Thought, Inflation Too

In what is one of the few major ad industry awards programs that still recognize mobile advertising creativity, the Cannes Lions will select the 2023 Mobile Lion, from a shortlist of 36 unveiled earlier this week.

As I write this “Mobile Insider” column, I can’t say who will actually win, but eyeballing the shortlist, an interesting pattern has become clear to me: creativity in mobile media really comes down to utility.

Or as legendary architect Louis Sullivan famously asserted: “Form follows function.”

That makes sense when you think about what native mobile content actually is: applications.

I mean, yes, our mobile devices are the portal in our hand to the world of connected media, but what makes apps special is that they are designed, built and optimized explicitly to be experienced on those devices.

I haven't experienced every one of the 36 Cannes Lions finalists, but a few of them stand out for tapping into the current cultural zeitgeist. One in particular is the mother of all utilities for this moment in time: Dentsu’s “Inflation Cookbook” app for Canada’s SkipTheDishes food delivery service, in conjunction with Food Banks Canada.

The app, which was launched in April, is basically an interactive digital resource on the phone enabling Canadians to source affordable, nutritious food maximizing their grocery budgets.

The app leverages data and tech to track the pricing trends – both upwards and downwards – of food items in Canada each week, enabling consumers to stretch their weekly budgets.

Importantly, the app also factors the nutrition value of each food item, serving an ancillary health and diet function, as well as being a simple, fun and easy-to-use utility.

While the agency didn’t tout it that way, I think it’s also an interesting and fun experience that incorporates a form of gamification, enabling users to experience a kind of virtual scavenger hunt, but using it to find nutritious and sumptuous foods, while saving money in the process.

I hope it wins, because it’s exactly the kind of app deserving of global Lions recognition.

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