Playful Lego tech springs to life at Cannes Future Lions
In 2006, agency AKQA introduced the Future Lions at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to celebrate innovative tech-driven ideas from young creative from ages 18 to 25. For the 15th anniversary of the competition, AKQA joined with official partners Lego and Wired, giving up-and-coming talents a compelling brief centered on the popular toy brand.
This year’s contest asked creatives to incorporate Lego in a campaign idea that showcases how technology and imagination are essential skills to “Rebuild the World” (which also happens to be the tagline of the Danish toy company’s global brand platform).
This year, AKQA saw a record number of entries, with submissions from more than 87 countries, 525 schools and 2,300 young talents.
The agency awarded four Future Lions, with one of those earning the Grand Prix. For the first time in the competition, the Grand Prix winner will work with Lego Group and AKQA to try to make their idea a reality over the next year. That honor went to the team of Faith Low and Lydon Ong, students at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Singapore Management University.
The pair conceived the idea “Invented by Kids,” which consists of unconventional Lego sets that don’t feature specific builds (such as a dragon or a skyscraper) on their packaging. Rather, their boxes have words describing open-ended concepts that challenge kids to use the bricks within—and their imaginations—to come up with solutions. Among them: “The futuristic computer set,” “How can we protect wildlife” and “How will cars look in 2050.” Once their creations are built, the kids are invited to scan their ideas and submit them to TikTok, where a jury will vote on ideas not only to go into production as real Lego sets, but as real-life products.
Another Future Lion went to Daniel Rosero, a student from Brother Barcelona, for “Let’s Go,” which encourages kids to experience the world outside with the help of solar-powered Lego pieces.
Hannah Hargreaves, a student at Leeds Art University, conceived another Future Lion winner, “Digital Assistance,” which brings accessibility to Lego play. It consists of computer-aided design software that users can control through eye-tracking technology, so they can build creations without the use of fine motor skills or hand strength.
A fourth and final Future Lion went to a team from Berghs School of Communication: Zackarias Lindskog, Hedda Hyland, Henric Gustavsson, Lovisa Zeiloth and Henrik Billing. Their “ToDo” app allows kids to reimagine their daily routines as Lego building instructions, an idea meant to help empower children with ADHD or who have executive function issues.
In keeping with the theme, this year’s Future Lions trophy is built out of Lego bricks.
“The next generation will be in charge of the way we ‘Rebuild Our World,’ so unleashing their creativity through the Future Lions competition has never been so important,” Julia Goldin, chief product and marketing officer at the Lego Group, said in a statement. “We were left in awe of the talent and creativity that emanated through the entries we received this year. It was a true joy to see the pipeline of great thinkers we have coming through and the amazing concepts they are already coming up with today. We can’t wait to work with these creative minds in the future.”
“This year we are honoring ideas all worthy to be put into practice and we couldn’t be more excited to see [the] winning idea take its next steps,” added AKQA Chief Creative Officer Peter Lund.
This Future Lions event is one of the free sessions at the Cannes Lions virtual festival this week and can be viewed today at 11 a.m. BST and 6 a.m. ET on the Lions Live site.