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Cannes Lions Launches Mobile Category

Tom Eslinger to head jury
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The advertising industry’s biggest awards show has created a new category for its 2012 event. The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will now feature a category for mobile work. Saatchi & Saatchi’s digital creative director, Tom Eslinger, will chair the inaugural Mobile Lions jury.

Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions, highlights the growing importance of mobile in advertising. “Mobile has been part of the Lions for some years, within other sections such as cyber and film,” he said in a statement. “A large number of winning campaigns in sections like media, design, direct, and outdoor have made significant use of mobile technology. By carving it out of the other sections, we are simply reflecting the importance of mobile in the media mix.”

The jury for the Mobile Lions will consider creative use of technology, mobile websites, mobile and tablet apps, games, rich media mobile advertising and integrated campaigns led by mobile.

In 2011 the Cyber Lions’ mobile category received 239 entries.

Eslinger says creating a separate category for mobile will “draw attention to the best work being created which lives on or is activated by a mobile device, app or mobile Web.”

“It will blur the lines between where physical ‘advertising’ lives,” Eslinger said. “And hopefully create debate in the jury room and inspire people to explore and innovate as the work evolves."

The first Cannes Lions awards took place, oddly enough, in Venice in 1954. Adweek writer Tim Nudd outlines the history of the advertising festival here.