Cannes Lions Festival Creates a Stand-Alone Category for Digital Craft in 2016

Shifting focus to data, technology and content

The Cannes Lions festival announced today that it's making a few adjustments to its award categories for 2016 in an attempt to keep up with changing times and technologies. 

The festival has created the Digital Craft Lions, a category that will complement the Cyber and Mobile Lions, but will focus on the execution of a digital campaign and the overall user experience rather than the creative idea itself. Campaigns in this category will be awarded for everything from outstanding typography and user interface design to the use of augmented reality or virtual reality to enhance user experience. 

Within the Digital Craft Lions, there are five subcategories including Form: Image, Sound, Aesthetic; Function: Design, Construction, Experience; Content; Data (including Curation of Data and Data Visualization); and Technology.

"The Cyber and Mobile Lions juries have told us that with more UX- and Craft-focused entries, it is necessary to have experts in this field sitting on the jury," Terry Savage, chairman, Lions Festivals, noted in a press release. "We've chosen to split it out so that this specialist area can have its own dedicated jury, which will also make the hugely labor-intensive Cyber Lions judging much more manageable going forward." 

In 2015, the festival awarded a Grand Prix in the Cyber category to Under Armour and Droga5 for the "I Will What I Want" campaign starring Gisele Bundchen.

Here's how the festival's website describes the new category:

The popularity of digital technologies and their ability to gather vast amounts of consumer data has meant a change in attitude towards the role of digital design and user experience. From desktop to mobile, to virtual reality and beyond; digital design is now more than ever driven by user need and point of access. How a digital product performs and functions is just as important now as how it looks and feels. Digital Craft Lions is a new award for 2016 which will recognise and celebrate the skill and artistry required in omni-channel digital creativity.

Another big change coming in 2016: The Press Lions, founded in 1992, will now be called the Print & Publishing Lions. The name change is meant to mirror the evolving publishing and print industries. "… We are evolving the category to recognize other forms of publishing, along with best uses of press and interactive press," Simon Cook, director of awards for Lions Festivals, said in a statement. 

Additionally, the Titanium & Integrated Lions will be separated into two categories. This year will also mark the first time the Entertainment Lions for Music will be awarded. 

This year's festival will be held June 18-25. Entries open Jan. 21.