A one-of-a-kind digital tool designed to help Ukrainians capture historical artifacts and cultural monuments in 3D imagery has received the Digital Craft Lions Grand Prize at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
On the second day of Cannes Lions, the Digital Craft Lions Grand Prix – which highlights the best technological craftsmanship in the industry – was awarded to Virtue Worldwide New York for a project designed to protect and preserve Ukrainian cultural artifacts in the middle of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. It was selected from 661 entries to win the top prize in the category.
The campaign, “Backup Ukraine”, was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Blue Shield Denmark. It was run by Virtue Worldwide, a creative agency owned by Vice Media.
The project centers on a digital and mobile platform that allows Ukrainians to digitally capture and preserve 3D images of historical artifacts, monuments and other culturally relevant structures and objects at risk of being damaged or destroyed by light of the ongoing war with Russia. The tool uses technology developed by 3D imaging startup Polycam to create realistic digital replicas and store the digital blueprints of the artifacts they capture in the cloud.
“The ‘Backup Ukraine’ project enables all Ukrainian citizens to preserve their greatest wealth as a nation: their culture,” said Luciana Haguiara, Executive Creative Director at Media.Monks Brazil and President of the Digital Craft Lions Jury. . “Using a real-time smartphone camera and GPS,” she explained, “anyone can capture any place or monument in minutes and save the data as maps in the cloud for keep them forever – and all with their own phones. [It’s] a project that transforms every Ukrainian citizen into a guardian of their national heritage… culture is people’s identity and it cannot be destroyed.
The price was something of a surprise; many believed that “McEnroe vs. McEnroe”, a Michelob Ultra branded campaign created by FCB New York that used advanced technologies to portray tennis icon John McEnroe playing against various versions of his past would win the title. He took the Golden Lion.
However, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has been at the center of the Cannes festival’s concerns this year. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a video appearance at the event, urging attendees to make the conflict in Ukraine a central theme. “We are defending ourselves against a nuclear state that has unlimited access to money and has ignored all limits on violence,” he said. “I’ll be honest with you – the end of this war and its circumstances depend on the attention of the world. And that’s why I need allies. We need people like you.”
He called on creatives in the industry to use their talents to raise awareness on behalf of Ukraine. “I am sure you will do much more to promote Ukrainian bravery… you can bring peace to Europe simply by applying your professional qualities. I believe that the power of human creativity is greater than the power of a nuclear state which is stuck in the past,” he said.
That was not all; On Monday in Cannes, PR heavyweight Richard Edelman, alongside Russian chess grandmaster and exile Garry Kasparov, unveiled a new program to help mobilize Western leaders to end the war in Ukraine.
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