Nivea’s Protection ad wins Mobile Grand Prix at Cannes

Nivea’s kid-tracking app and bracelet top a diverse category of utility-driven mobile projects.

There’s nothing quite as horrifying as thinking you’ve lost your child. For a parent who’s been through this experience, fear, guilt, terror and protective instinct all kick in at once. Thankfully, for most, the feeling melts away after a few seconds as eyes are once again on child, usually frolicking away obliviously just slightly out of sight.


To help prevent that panic-filled moment, Nivea Sun Kids created a mobile app and technology-laden magazine insert that allows parents to keep track of their kids in busy spaces such as the beach. With “The Protection Ad” FCB Brasil in Sao Paulo created a bracelet that was inserted in Brazilian magazines and works in conjunction with a mobile app that lets parents follow their children’s every move. The campaign provided parents with a valuable utility and lived up to Nivea’s brand promise of protection. It also won the Grand Prix in the Mobile category at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Jury president Jaime Robinson, executive creative director at Pereira & O’Dell, said the idea quickly resonated with the jury. “We loved that it was the perfect marriage between the right media, delivering the right utility, delivering the right brand message, at just the right time and place for the audience.” The jury was also impressed with how the campaign blended old media with one of the newest. As juror Stephanie Sarofian noted, the campaign represented how “mobile is transcending channel status and becoming omnipresent.”

Of the field of winners, juror Alasdair Scott, partner at C3, UK says the jury was presented with a phenomenal range of entries, showing that as mobile has matured, the ways in which marketers are using it have diversified. Robinson says that led to a very animated judging process, as the jury found themselves interacting with the entries in all manner of amusing ways. “If you’d walked the jury room you would have seen us running, jumping, dancing really poorly, playing games, chewing gum, playing tennis… At one point we were simulating wayward toddlers. It gave us a real feel for the work and helped us experience the work in the way that people out in the world would.”

Robinson says in approaching the work the jury left their interpretations of mobile open. “We purposely didn’t define what we were looking for because we felt that if we but boundaries on it we might miss out on something. So instead we said ‘Let’s see what we come up with and what excites us, and then let that work teach us what’s best about mobile.’”

That openness led to Gold-winning work that includes Google’s multi-phone “Racer” game; Unilever India’s Kun Khajura Station, which provides people with entertainment over their mobile phone; QOL’s “Alvio” app that helps asthma sufferers and their doctors track their condition; SAT-JF14, a satellite that beamed down John Frusciante’s latest albums based on geolocation; and Guy Cotton’s “Trip Out to Sea”, a harrowing app that illustrates the sensation of drowning with uncanny precision.

Of this last piece, juror Anglea Steele, chief executive officer at Ansible, said it demonstrated the potential of mobile to move beyond simply utility, “ ‘Trip Out to Sea’ shows mobile’s ability to evoke emotion. It’s more moving than anything I’ve seen on TV or the big screen.”


If there was a common thread among the work, Mark Tomlinson, executive creative director, Hellocomputer, South Africa, says it was the evolution of the mobile user experience. “We’ve seen the trend of a frictionless user experience. We know that can be why some of these haven’t been adopted and I’m surprised at how good and how simple some of these things have become.”

About the author

Rae Ann Fera is a writer with Co.Create whose specialty is covering the media, marketing, creative advertising, digital technology and design fields. She was formerly the editor of ad industry publication Boards and has written for Huffington Post and Marketing Magazine.