A Smartphone App That Counts Your Sperm Takes the Mobile Grand Prix at Cannes

Tech hack meets social good in Dentsu Y&R campaign

CANNES, France—The Mobile jury at Cannes handed its Grand Prix to a very unusual app, one that counts your sperm, at the award ceremony at the Palais here tonight.

Jury president Andy Hood, head of emerging technologies at AKQA U.K., said the choice to honor the Seem app—created by Dentsu Y&R Japan for Recruit Lifestyle Co.—embodied several trends happening in mobile these days.

These include the hacking of technologies for uses beyond what they were originally designed for, and also the continuing efforts to use creativity to address social problems in the world.

See the case study here:

Creative people are looking at platforms and technologies finding ways to go deeper with them, Hood said. “They can find ways to even subvert the technology and use it to do something completely unexpected and unanticipated that the technology may not have even been designed for, or imagined for, in the first instance,” he said. “This is an aspiration that we celebrate, and we want to see more and more of.”

He was also inspired by the social causes embraced by many of the campaigns. “When you combine the aspiration and the ingenuity behind making the technology work for us, and you see that being used to address some of the world’s major issues, we all win,” he said.

The Grand Prix exemplifies this combination, he added.

“We’re very proud of our Grand Prix and the message it sends, in terms of the use of technology and the improvement this will make in the lives that it will touch,” he said.

Eight gold Lions were awarded in Mobile, with the U.S. picking up two of them. B-Reel in London won gold for its Gorillaz app, and David Miami won gold for its “Google Home of the Whopper” voice activation stunt (which also won the Grand Prix in Direct tonight).