These 12 Amazing Projects Are the Pinnacle of U.S. Brand Innovation Today

See the U.S. entries on the Lions Innovation shortlist at Cannes

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The Cannes Lions festival announced the Lions Innovation shortlist Wednesday, recognizing branded projects around the world that use data and technology in creative ways to bring game-changing products to life.

There are 35 entries shortlisted. The U.S. leads the way with 13, followed by the U.K. with four, Australia with three, and Singapore, Spain and Sweden with two each. (Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Japan, Norway, Poland, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates all have one entry on the shortlist.)

Below, we look at 12 of the 13 U.S. entries. (We are awaiting more information on the 13th, which is a project called “Fall In Love VR” by Tool Los Angeles for Oculus.) UPDATE: The Oculus project has been added below as well.


Companies – ShotTracker, Keemotion
Project – The Autonomous Broadcast Network

Agency – R/GA, New York
Could every basketball game at every level, from high school to the pros, be broadcast at the same professional level? These two startups are trying to make it happen by completely automating the camerawork and other technical processes.


Company – Intel
Project – Super Bowl Drones Halftime Show

Agency – In-house
Some 300 Intel drones danced behind Lady Gaga during the Super Bowl halftime show this year—a fleet moving perfectly in unison. Here’s how they made it happen.


Company – Intel
Project – Intel X The Royal Shakespeare Company X The Imaginarium: The Tempest

Agency – In-house
For the first time, performance capture technology was used to render an animated character, Ariel the sprite, live on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage, thanks to more impressive tech from Intel.


Company – Google
Project – Tilt Brush

Agency – In-house
Tilt Brush, by all accounts an astonishing app, lets the user paint in 3-D space with virtual reality.


Company – Google
Project – Earth VR

Agency – In-house
Google Earth comes to virtual reality with Earth VR, which lets the user traverse the globe and see real cities and landscapes in stunning VR.


Company – Samsung
Project – The Billion Color Film

Agency – R/GA, New York
Samsung’s new QLED TV has the ability to display 1 billion unique colors. So R/GA decided that the commercial for it should, too.


Company – Whirlpool Corporation
Project – Zera

Agency – DigitasLBi, Chicago
Whirlpool’s revolutionary kitchen appliance, unveiled at CES, transforms food waste into sustainable homemade fertilizer within 24 hours.


Company – Apple
Project – Liam

Agency – In-house
This remarkable Apple robot takes apart iPhones so their components can be recycled. One iPhone can be taken apart into eight different pieces in 11 seconds. Apple says Liam can take apart 1.2 million iPhone 6 units in a year, and has rolled out two of the bots already.


Company – Google
Project – AutoDraw: An A.I. Experiment

Agency – In-house
AutoDraw pairs machine learning with drawings from artists to help anything create anything visual, fast.


Company – Cyrcadia Health
Project – iTBra: The Wearable That Detects Cancer

Agency – Area 23, an FCB Health Company, New York
The iTBra, a discreet intelligent insert under any brassiere, empowers women to enhance their monthly breast self-examination in the privacy of their home.


Company – U.S. Postal Service
Project – Your Voice Is Your Stamp

Agency – MRM//McCann, New York
The Postal Service is pioneering technology that will let you pay for postage with your voice instead of a stamp.


Company: Oculus
Project: Fall in Love VR

Production Company: Tool of North America
A 1997 study by Arthur Aron suggested two strangers could accelerate intimacy, and even fall in love, by asking each other a specific series of 36 personal questions. This project, directed by Kevin Cornish, brings that idea to virtual reality—giving VR users the experience of falling in love one intimate revelation at a time.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.