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Aug 12 2015

SapientNitro wins Cannes Chimera Challenge with ‘We Are Close’


SapientNitro, part of Publicis.Sapient, has won the Cannes Chimera Award, an annual global competition run by the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The competition harnesses the creativity of communications professionals around the world to help solve global problems.


This year, the fifth and final year of the Cannes Chimera initiative, the brief called for the development of a one-off activation that would create a surge in public awareness of and sign-up to Global Citizen, a new mobilizing platform aimed at engaging a massive public audience in global health and development issues.


SapientNitro’s team from London won for the idea ‘We Are Close’, a Facebook Genealogy quiz, designed to create a surge in public awareness towards global health, and development issues by demonstrating that we in the west are closer to those living in poverty than we would expect.


One of just three Chimera winners in 2015 – alongside DDB Singapore and OgilvyOne Worldwide Vietnam – SapientNitro will now receive $160,000 from Cannes Chimera to bring to life the ‘We Are Close’ concept.


‘We Are Close’ demonstrates that the forces that unite us are far greater than those that divide us. The Facebook test works by asking a set of questions before predicting the most probable migration path of our ancestors. The test, hosted on the Global Citizens site, will consist of ten questions devised alongside experts from National Geographic’s Genographic Project and the Natural Science Museum that will predict people’s probable origins based on personal characteristics like foot shape, eye, skin tone, face shape, hand shape and teeth.

Nigel Vaz, Global Chief Strategy Officer and SVP, Managing Director Europe at SapientNitro, said: “Winning the Cannes Chimera is an absolute honour. We are delighted to be able to use our creative power to do good on a global scale and look forward to bringing our winning idea ‘We Are Close’ to life with the $160,000 funding.”


Philip Thomas, Cannes Lions Festivals CEO, said: “It’s been a privilege to help harness the creative power of our community for a project with the ambition of turning 30 million people into Global Citizens, willing to take micro actions to help people in the world’s poorest countries. Our loyal panel of Cannes Chimera have dutifully gone through all submissions to pick out the ideas that aren’t only the most innovative, but also most scalable.”

Since Cannes Chimera launched in 2011, just 34 ideas from a total of 4,000 submissions have received pilot funding. To find out more about this and past years’ winning entries, and discover more about the brief, visit




About SapientNitro

SapientNitro®, part of Publicis.Sapient, is a new breed of agency redefining storytelling for an always-on world. We’re changing the way our clients engage today’s connected consumers by uniquely creating integrated, immersive stories across brand communications, digital engagement, and omni-channel commerce. We call it our Storyscaping® approach, where art and imagination meet the power and scale of systems thinking. SapientNitro’s unique combination of creative, brand and technology expertise results in one global team collaborating across disciplines, perspectives and continents to create game-changing success for our Global 1000 clients, such as Chrysler, Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Lufthansa, Target and Vodafone, in 31 cities across The Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit


SapientNitro and Storyscaping are registered service marks of Sapient Corporation.


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