Cannes Festival Adds 17th Category: Product Design Lions

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Agencies, start setting aside more money for Cannes entries this year. The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has announced a new category for 2014: Product Design.

That brings the number of categories at Cannes to a whopping 17 -- which also means more entries, and more money, for the Festival. Last year, Cannes saw a record 35,765 entries, a 4% jump that may partly be attributed to the fact that it tends to add new award categories annually.

Last year, it added the "Innovation Lions," which recognized pioneering technology that enables commercial creative excellence.

According to a press release from Cannes, the Product Design Lions will "recognize the applied use of physical products in aiding the communication of a brand ethos," as well as the product's ability to improve people's lives.

The category itself will be split into four sections: consumer goods; well-being and environmental impact; solution provided through design; and interface, which will focus on the product's ease of navigation and ability to convey information.

In a statement, the chairman of the Lions Festivals, Terry Savage, said, "Brand communication has become such a part of product design that it's important as a global festival celebrating creative communications that we now recognize this." He also said that adding the category not only acknowledges this fast-growing industry, but "helps to set a global benchmark and precedent for creativity within it."

Among other changes at Cannes this year is a refurbishing of the Cyber Lions category with added sub-categories including social, branded technology and branded games, and the addition of Lions Health, a separate event within the Festival aimed at the healthcare industry.

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