CANNES, France—Snapchat, already one of the most visible brands at this year’s Cannes Lions thanks to its towering Ferris wheel at the festival’s entrance, is also catching the eye of jurors for the design of its Snap Spectacles.
The wearable today won three gold Lions, with two in Product Design and one in Design. It also won Design bronze, along with a silver and bronze from the Mobile jury earlier in the week.
While design and product innovation Lions often go to efforts that advance social causes or confront serious problems—such as the Product Design Grand Prix, which went to a Colombian effort to convert pay phones into banking stations for low-income residents (see case study below)—Spectacles won primarily on their aesthetic, user experience and youthful relevance.
“Even if the glasses might not be a problem solver, they will have a lot of influence. The product itself is functional, it’s beautiful,” said Ruth Berktold, Product Design jury president and owner of Germany’s Yes Architecture.
“We like the fact that it’s a product that’s out there already. We like the way it’s working. It’s a very simple interface, a camera in your glasses. We like the fact it really influences our younger generations. It’s certainly something that will have a major impact.”
In Product Design, the Spectacles won a gold Lion in the Innovation category, along with a gold in Electronics, Entertainment & Consumer Technology.
In Design, the glasses’ iconic “Snapbot” vending machine sales approach won a gold in the category of Temporary & Pop-Up Environment and Experience Design. The wearable also won a Design bronze in UX Interface and User Journey.
Design jury president Sandra Planeta, founder and creative director of Planeta Design in Sweden, said that Spectacles show how a brand can thrive when it truly incorporates design philosophy throughout its operation.
“For businesses in the future, when they’re using design effectively to build their business, they’re really doing it all the way through. And that’s where their strength is here,” she said. “They were communicating it through every touch point, big or small, and that was impactful.”
Interestingly, the mobile device didn’t fare quite as well with the Mobile jury, which gave it a silver Lion in Connected Devices and a bronze in Wearable Technology.
While Spectacles had one of the strongest showings in the Product Design category, they fell short of winning the category’s Grand Prix, which went to a Colombian project called Payphone Bank. Created by telecom brand TigoUne with agency Grey Colombia and production company La Octava Bogota, the project aims to convert unused payphones into banking and microlending stations for those who can’t afford traditional banking.
Watch the case study below:
At the Cannes Lions news conference announcing the Grand Prix winner, some journalists raised questions about whether the case study is fully accurate, given that several of the features described in the video aren’t yet active on the Payphone Banks. But the Product Design jury said they had asked researchers to look into the campaign’s legitimacy and were content with the accuracy of what they found.
Beyond Snap Spectacles, the only gold Lion won by a U.S. brand in Product Design was Amnesty International’s Refugee Nation campaign from Ogilvy New York. The campaign created a lifejacket-inspired flag to represent refugees who no longer had a nation.