Cannes Lions 2017

Lions Innovation programme roars to the edge

Lions Innovation, the two-day specialist event, taking place as part of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 19-20 June 2017, has released its programme of live tech demonstrations, immersive performances and the latest innovations in voice tech, bots, AI, IoT, AR and mixed realities.
Discovery Zone © Cannes Lions website
In addition, talks by innovators, inventors and investors, alongside global names from across the creative industries will complete the programme. Lions Innovation 2017 is supported by Alibaba Group, one of China’s largest e-commerce companies, which is partnering with Cannes Lions for the first time.

Content highlights

Android actor and comedian, Ginger the Robot promotes social robotics to audiences globally and is making his Cannes Lions debut this year; while Olly, the first robot with personality that adapts to each individual, explains how robotics can enhance the communications industry.

Writer, director, producer and actor, Peter Berg together with Innocean USA and VRLive will highlight the technology behind Hyundai’s acclaimed Super Bowl TV spot. Rewind, alongside HoloLens will present Mixed Reality and content creation with live HoloLens demonstrations, while J Walter Thompson London and Mindshare UK are launching new research and presenting their findings on how voice tech will affect brands and creativity in the future.

Sir John Hegarty, co-founder of BBH and Neil Waller, co-founder and CEO of Whalar present the Whalar start-up story and explain how they liberate the creative voice of brands through tech.

Start-up Discovery Zone

Bridging the world of creative communications and early-stage technologies, the Discovery Zone sits at the centre of Lions Innovation, designed as a dedicated space for 100 global start-ups to network, gain advice and forge new relationships with the 15,000 brand owners, media owners and agency experts who attend the Festival each year. The selected start-ups will discover new partners, new revenue streams and new ideas to accelerate their businesses.

The latest start-ups joining the programme to be announced are:
  • Advrtas (US)
  • Apester (Israel)
  • Emoticast (UK)
  • Flank (Turkey)
  • Fluid Ads (UK)
  • Gamee (Czech Republic)
  • Linqia (US)
  • Lisnr (US)
  • Lydi (US)
  • Mintriks (UAE)
  • Pixalate (US)
  • Supaspot (US)
  • Wayveapp (UK)
  • Zeotap (US)
  • Zhimantec (China)


The Innovation Lions and the Creative Data Lions will honour creatively exceptional work at an awards ceremony. A jury led by Susan Lyne, president and managing partner at BBG Ventures will select finalists for the Innovation Lions live; and Eric Salama, chairman and CEO of Kantar will lead the Creative Data Lions jury.

Jose Papa, MD of Cannes Lions, said, “Innovation and tech are embedded throughout the Festival, but our two-day specialist event - Lions Innovation - is the test-bed for new ideas. Through Lions Innovation, we are uniquely placed to facilitate connections between the biggest global brands and emerging start-ups, it is an incubator for the future of the industry.”

Chris Tung, CMO, Alibaba Group, commented, “We are excited to support Lions Innovation 2017 for the first time this year. Innovative technology has always been at the heart of Alibaba’s success and supporting a platform to showcase technological creativity and innovation of this calibre is a natural step for us.”

Terry Savage, Chairman of Cannes Lions, added, “With its reach of over 400m annual active buyers across its e-marketplaces, Alibaba has evolved from an e-commerce platform to a brand building platform powered by big data capability. It is a privilege to announce Alibaba as our headline sponsor, to enhance our cutting-edge speaker programme.”