Brands and media boost revamped Lions awards

Clockwise from top left:  Bozoma Saint John, David Oyelowo. David Droga, Jamie Robinson. Paloma Faith, Jessie Ware, Jennifer Sey, Jeff Goodby

Clockwise from top left: Bozoma Saint John, David Oyelowo. David Droga, Jamie Robinson. Paloma Faith, Jessie Ware, Jennifer Sey, Jeff Goodby


The Cannes Lions International Festival Of Creativity has confirmed that 32,372 entries have been received for this year’s awards. Entries have come from 90 countries and have been made into 26 Lions categories. The figure is down on 2017 following an overhaul of the categories and the decision by Publicis to take a one-year break from entering the festival. However there are encouraging trends which show that the new format is proving popular with a broad range of creative industry stake-holders.

For example, the number of brands entering work increased by 84% over last year. And another notable change is the increase in media owners entering work, up 59% on 2017. Jose Papa, managing director, Cannes Lions, said this is “confirmation of marketing leaders’ increased understanding of the value that creativity has on business and ROI”. To reflect the modern creative marketing challenges that face the industry, two new Lions — Creative eCommerce and The Sustainable Development Goals — have been added for 2018 and have generated 1,166 entries. Additionally, three reimagined Lions — Social & Influencer, Industry Craft and Brand Experience & Activation have generated a further 6,082 entries. Papa said: “In its launch year, we’ve seen an incredible uptake of the Sustainable Development Goals Lions with 898 entries, while Glass: The Lion For Change, now in its fourth year is also up at 218. It’s indicative of an industry that is focusing on using creativity as a driving force for good.”

Other trends showing in the entry numbers include an industry-wide, sustained investment in creative effectiveness with entries into The Creative Effectiveness Lion — the only global award that recognises the compelling link between award-winning creativity and business-driving results — remaining strong in 2018. Craft also continues to be crucial for the industry with entries into the Film Craft Lion up year-on-year to 2,519 and a strong first year for the Industry Craft Lion with 1,720 entries. Alongside the re-energised Awards programme, Cannes Lions has launched a new-look festival schedule that equips audiences with the knowledge and foresight they need in a constantly evolving communication industry. Built around a refreshed Tracks format, the system is designed to unite the learning programme and awards structure. “This year’s festival features more brands than ever before, and there are many thought- provoking topics,” Papa said. “This is a year where the roles, responsibilities, and even the identity of the creative industry is changing. Legends like David Droga and Jeff Goodby will be joined by first-time speakers from Apple, Uber and Amazon in a programme packed with new formats that will really bring the big issues to life.” New formats this year include the Creative Debates which will tackle major topics, including I’m Not Sure I’m Right, But Who Is? Participants in this debate include Nick Law, chief creative officer, Publicis Groupe; Anatoly Roytman, managing director Europe, Africa and Latin America, Accenture Inter- active; Emma Sharkey, creative director, Rothco and Jaime Robinson, founder and chief creative officer, Joan Creative. Power Hours join the Forum programme, and see three speakers deliver 20-minute talks all linked by a common theme. The Forum programme will also feature game show- style formats, including a session led by Mark Earls (the ‘Herdmeister’), author and thought-leader in behavioural and cognitive science in advertising. The programme will also feature sessions on the rooftop Terrace Stage, including one with musicians Jessie Ware and Paloma Faith which looks at creativity and motherhood. Philip Thomas, CEO, Ascential Events and chairman-elect, Cannes Lions said: “The global creative community were very clear about what they wanted from this year’s programme: more insight from brands and more sessions that addressed the challenges facing the industry. We’ve dialled up on both these key areas. There are still lots of the festival favourites, like the New Directors’ Show- case and talks from inspiring creatives, but this year’s visitors can enjoy more interactive sessions and specialist programmes that will equip them with critical knowledge and insight.” The festival opens with a key- note session from Droga5 creative chairman and founder, David Droga, with a highly anticipated talk entitled, Why The Hard Is Easy And The Easy Is Hard’. Other creative leaders on stage include: Piyush Pandey and Prasoon Pandey, joint recipients of the 2018 Lion Of St. Mark; Jeff Goodby, co- chairman and partner, Goodby Silverstein & Partners; Chuck Porter, founder and chairman, Crispin Porter + Bogusky; and Susan Credle, global chief creative officer, FCB. World-leading chief marketing officers participating in a programme featuring more than 70 brands include Bozoma Saint John, Uber; Syl Saller, Diageo; Claudia Willvonseder, IKEA; Atilla Cansun, Merck; Elizabeth Rutledge, American Express; and Jennifer Sey, Levi Strauss & Co. Fernando Machado, chief marketing officer, Burger King, returns after a triumphant 2017 in which the restaurant brand took home the Creative Marketer Of The Year award. Famous names from the worlds of entertainment, music and sport appearing at the festival this year include actors David Oyelowo, Samira Wiley and Thandie Newton, world- famous guitarist Johnny Marr, Olympic Medalist Adam Rippon, mixed martial arts world champion Angela Lee Sun Ju and the president and chief operating officer of Beats Electronics, Luke Wood. Representing creativity across different formats, James Marsh (Man On Wire, The Theory Of Everything) will share his views on modern storytelling and lm craft and Jonathan Entwistle, creator, director and executive producer of Channel 4 and Netflix Original Series The End Of The F***ing World brings his eye for art direction and cinematography to the stage.

As part of the festival restructure, Lions Innovation has been expanded to a five-day event open to all Cannes Lions festival pass holders. This year’s programme includes speakers
 from L’Oreal, Deloitte Digital, Walmart and Volvo. With a focus on brand transformation, this year’s Lions Innovation programme tackles how to drive a culture of innovation within brands.
Other highlights in 2018 include Google being named Creative Marketer Of The Year and Spotify being named Cannes Lions Media Brand Of The Year 2018. Daniel Ek, Spotify co-founder and CEO, will accept the latter honour on behalf of Spotify’s more than 3,000 employees. Commenting on the award, Ek said: “While I can appreciate that this award normally recognises a single individual, I didn’t embark on this journey alone. We are where we are today thanks to our employees, past and present, who have been the most integral part of our history. I am energised daily by the creativity, bravery and passion our team brings to work. On behalf of the entire company, we thank the Cannes Lions Festival Of Creativity for this award.”

Harriet Palmer