"A piece of work I was very excited about, but didn’t affect my jury in the same way, was 'SmartBowl' by the German dog food brand Fressnapf. The patented SmartBowl consists of an intelligent feeding bowl with an integrated scale and LED display, an interactive SmartCollar with motion sensor and the SmartBowl app.
"The integrated scale in the feeding bowl tracks the dog's feeding habits. The SmartCollar, with its integrated motion sensor, tracks the dog's activity. Both send the data to the SmartBowl app on the owner's smartphone. The app processes the data and translates it into the dog's needs, and then also anticipates when more dog food needs to be ordered and delivered, and does that too – all from the owner’s app."
What was so special about it?
"This, for me, is the innovation swimming pool where, as an industry, we can paddle with enthusiasm. Yes, at this stage, most of the work we see here are prototypes – but who cares? It is this understanding of the role brands can play in people’s lives and the sense of experimentation and ‘always in beta’ which gives me a feeling of excitement and anticipation for what is coming our way in the next few years."
Why did it miss out?
"The creativity is in the UX, rather than the concept. So, it is the act of using the branded app that builds the emotional connection to the brand, rather than through exposure to advertising.
"But that doesn’t bother me (particularly in Promo and Activation). How a brand behaves is as important, if not more important, than what it says. It can, however, be the reason work like this misses out on metal in award shows. Shame – it is definitely, for me, ‘one that got away’."
SmartBowl was shortlisted at eurobest 2016 in Promo & Activation. It was also shortlisted in Creative Data and Innovation Lions at Cannes Lions 2016. See more shortlisted and winning entries on the Cannes Lions Archive.