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Entries surge as new awards for the new era are unveiled
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has revealed a total of 26,992 entries for 2023, an increase of 6% year-on-year. Combined with an 18% uplift in the number of campaigns entered directly by consumer product brand companies, the figures reinforce the value creativity plays in driving business performance.
Commenting on the range and diversity of this year’s cohort,
Lions CEO Simon Cook said: “The shifts in the work that has been entered provide us with a powerful insight into
HERITAGE AND HOPE AT THE LIONS’ HEART
Simon Cook, CEO, LIONS
IT’S incredible to think that since 1954 the festival has been helping to shape careers, foster connections and platform the power of creativity on a global scale. This year, we’re delighted to host the global community at the 70th edition of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. To mark this milestone, we want to spotlight everyone ‘in the making’. We know that getting to world-class creative work is hard and takes so much to deliver. The Festival has always celebrated the makers and the creatives who walk through walls to realise their vision. But we also want to recognise that people learn
the industry landscape and emerging trends. The strong engagement across a breadth of Lions — including emerging areas like B2B, Gaming, Commerce and Business Transformation — shows us that there is a growing confidence and investment in non-traditional channels. Over the next week, our juries will set the global benchmark that will propel us into the year ahead, supporting those using creativity to drive progress.”
As part of its commitment to staying ahead of the industry curve, this year saw festival organisers introduce
the Entertainment Lions for Gaming. An instant hit, the inaugural awards received 609 submissions, demonstrating increased collaboration between brands and the powerful gaming industry.
Lions chairman Philip Thomas said: “The number of submissions received in its first year shows a really strong engagement with the Gaming Lions and is testament to the relevance and opportunity that gaming now holds within the creative marketing community. We’re excited to see the body of work that emerges from these
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Lions, and I’d like to thank the jury in advance for setting the very first benchmark in creativity in gaming and showing what is possible.”
The first ever Jury President of the Entertainment Lions for Gaming is Francine Li, global head of marketing at Riot Games. Commenting on the new category, she said: “These new Lions are being introduced at a time when the gaming industry is truly reaching new heights. I believe gaming is the future of entertainment, bringing together passionate global communities in shared immersive and interactive experiences.”
The Entertainment Lions for Gaming, originally a part of the Entertainment Lions, have been introduced as part of a long-term plan that started when Cannes Lions separated out the Entertainment Lions for Music in 2016 and then later the Entertainment Lions for Sport in 2019. Offering some insights into what Li’s jury might be looking out for, she said: “The creative work in gaming is community-driven, deeply rooted in insight and adds value to the player experience, a true definition of modern marketing.”
Several fast-growing categories in 2023 reinforce the fact that creativity is regarded as a key commercial differentiator. The Creative Strategy Lions, for example, increased by 35%, underlining the application of creative solutions that allow brands to unlock sustainable growth and measure impact effectively. Now in their third year, the Creative Business Transformation Lions recorded a 59% increase, demonstrating how creativity is a driving force behind successful businesses going through change.
The Creative Commerce Lions, meanwhile, increased 25% year-on-year, demonstrating an area of high innovation in creative customer journeys and paths to purchase.
There was also growth in the Brand Experience & Activation Lions, which have seen an increase of 16%, compared to 2022, reflecting brands’ renewed focus on enhancing customer experience and brand-building. Outdoor Lions have seen an increase of 7% in submissions, partly driven by the FMCG sector where entries grew by 30% year-on-year and also from the travel sector which saw an 84% increase. The Entertainment Lions — which sit at the intersection of branded content and culture — have increased 18% year-on-year and saw a 78% jump in submissions from the consumer services sector.
The positive stories didn’t end there. There were 30% increases for Glass: The Lion for Change and the Innovation Lions. Both were shortlisted early, with remaining shortlists released across the week.
In addition to the new Gaming category, there have been several refreshes to existing popular categories.
The Media Lions, with 1,853 entries, now includes a section exclusively for media agencies, to celebrate the craftsmanship of harnessing media to deliver a brand message, change behaviour or engage consumers at scale. The Mobile Lions, with 348 entries, has also seen its remit broadened. With mobile evolving, the category now includes all applications of portable devices and mobile tech and celebrates work that focuses on how the device was central to the user experience.
The health sector is a key component of the awards programme and has also seen important changes this year. The Pharma Lions has been refreshed to clearly distinguish the difference between Pharma work, which is subject to heavy regulation, and Health & Wellness work, which does not have the same stringent restrictions. The changes coincide with an increase
in entries to both of these prestigious categories. Another key component of the festival is the Sustainable Development Goals Lions, which ask entrants to demonstrate how they have contributed to or advanced the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development across people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships. This year’s entries were up an impressive 11% to 691. This is great news for SDG agenda, because all entry proceeds generated by the Award will be donated to SDG projects in consultation with the UN. Beyond the SDGs, the Cannes Lions event organisers are also seeking to establish robust benchmarks for all entries regarding sustainability and DEI. On the first point, all entrants have been encouraged to provide information that outlines their CO2 emissions as part of the production process, using AdNet Zero’s fivepoint Action Plan as a guide. As for DEI, entrants were encouraged to provide information about the composition of the teams involved ‘behind the camera’ and any relevant information about their DEI agenda. While this information doesn’t contribute towards judging, the findings will be collated into an annual report. While most changes to the Lions are forward-facing, some speak to the roots of the event and its powerful connection with the creative industry. An example is the renaming of the prestigious Titanium Lions to The Dan Wieden Titanium Lions, as a tribute to the advertising industry icon who sadly passed in October 2022.
Wieden’s input led to the creation of the Titanium Lion, and its purpose 20 years on remains the same: to celebrate provocative, boundary-busting, envy-inspiring work. Simon Cook said: “We continue to brief our Titanium Juries using (Dan’s) original, timeless 20-year-old
Heritage and hope at the Lions’ heart, cont. from the hurdles, the struggles, the blunders and the breakthroughs — creativity comes through challenge, and overcoming adversity — that’s where greatness resides. As we celebrate the festival’s 70-year heritage, we want to look ahead to the next 70 years, and nurture the next generation of talent, by providing industry access, and opportunities to experience worldclass creativity. And we know that as a global platform, it’s our responsibility to level the playing field. We’ve invited over 200 individuals and underrepresented members of our community to the Festival to experience all it has to offer this year. We’ve also launched the LIONS Scholarship, offering a group of young people from around the world a fully-funded place on the Cannes Lions Brand Marketers and Creative Academies. And in the Cannes Lions School, rising talent across all career levels will be gaining the knowledge, skills and confidence to make a step-change in their careers. The Young Lions competitions are the heartbeat of the Cannes Lions School, embodying a true celebration of creativity across the world where young professionals can showcase their talent. Good luck to all of you. We look forward to bringing everyone together to honour what has come before, tackle some of our most pressing issues, and learn from a content agenda focused on the conditions needed for creative success. And of course exploring the winning work and celebrating everyone in the making. TURN TO PAGE 4
definition. It’s because of Dan that we ask the Jury to award work that ‘causes the industry to stop in its tracks and reconsider the way forward’ year-on-year.
The Dan Wieden Titanium Lions will forever honour his legacy.”
Karl Lieberman, global chief creative officer, Wieden+Kennedy, added, “Dan believed creativity thrived in chaos. One of the ways he consistently fed that chaos was by always questioning the way things had been and pushing us to search for new and different and better ways forward. That meant pushing the limits of the work, our clients, the industry’s stance on diversity and what a creative workplace should look like. When Dan created the Titanium Lion, it was about
recognising that it wasn’t about doing the same things over and over and just getting iteratively better in the process, it was about shaking the whole thing up and doing something so completely unprecedented and unexpected that it would startle people and help this business to rethink everything.”
In terms of geographic trends, there were entries from 86 countries, with the US, UK, Brazil, Canada, France and Germany contributing the most by volume. Canadian entries showed significant growth — with a 50% increase to 1,264. Australia, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain and South Korea all showed notable leaps in the number of entries.
Recognising the broad ge-
ographic spread of entries, the Cannes Lions Regional Network of the Year award programme has expanded from four regions to seven. In 2023, EMEA will now be awarded across three regions (Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and MENA) and APAC will be awarded with both Asia and Pacific as distinct regions. North America and Latin America remain as in previous years. All of the above categories are scrutinised by carefully curated juries from around the world — led by presidents with outstanding career track records. Cook said the presidents “play an essential role in upholding the integrity of the Lions as well as setting the creative benchmark for the industry. They represent the rich spread of talent from across the full spectrum of the creative industry.
Print & Publishing Lions
Jury President Ali Rez, chief creative officer, Impact BBDO, MENAP, will serve as Cannes Lions’ first Jury President from the MENA region. He said: “The UAE is a place where creativity thrives, and where we believe nothing is impossible. It is a special honour to represent that very spirit of this inspiring country, and the rich heritage of the Middle East, as Jury President. I hope this announcement will pave the way for more people from the region to lead juries.”
Alongside the work categories, Cannes Lions is notable for some of its prestigious people-based awards. One of the most high-profile is the Lion of St. Mark, awarded for a lifetime of service to creativity. This year’s worthy recipient is Susan Hoffman, chief creative officer, Wieden+Kennedy — who has spent the last 40 years defining W+K’s culture and
setting the bar for creative excellence and groundbreaking work. Hoffman has held creative leadership and management roles in every corner of the independent network, and she’s injected her unique perspective into some of the
1997 and still say it today.”
most memorable ads W+K has produced, including Levi’s ‘Go Forth’, Chrysler’s ‘Born of Fire’, Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’, Nike’s ‘Revolution’, and more.
Hoffman said: “It’s hard to believe I was the first female creative at Wieden+Kennedy. People ask me why I’m still here. My answer—Dan (Wieden) and David (Kennedy). They cared about the people and the power of creativity, and not themselves. Giving people a voice was their mantra. These diverse voices are our secret sauce and what makes great work.” This year also sees Cannes Lions unveil the first ever honorary Creative Maker of the Year award. The inaugural award will be presented at the Festival to legendary filmmaker, screenwriter, actor and producer, Spike Lee. Lee said: “I’m honoured to accept the inaugural Cannes Lions Creative Maker of the Year award for my contributions to the advertising industry, but a reminder: ‘We keep having these obstacles, these hurdles, we have to face and we have to keep knocking them down’. I said this in
Peter Ukhurebor, founder of Black At Cannes, added: “Spike Lee is a creative role model who has paved the way for so many black creatives. The Creative Maker of the Year award inspires us to continue spearheading the creation of pathways for diverse voices and promoting inclusion and equity across the global creative industry.” Lee’s film credits are well known — but he has also received acclaim in the advertising industry for his legendary Jordan Brand TV commercials and marketing campaigns with Michael Jordan. Shannon Watkins, chief marketing officer at Jordan Brand, said: “Spike’s focus on telling stories, combined with his ability to capture the pulse of black culture sets him apart from others in the industry. Spike created iconic memories, and helped to build the soul of what Jordan Brand represents.”
Another high-profile award sees comic entertainer and entrepreneur Kevin Hart, founder of Hartbeat, named as 2023 Entertainment Person of the Year. Presented in recognition of the vital role that entertainment plays in the marketing and communications landscape, the award celebrates the creativity that inspires others to produce truly compelling, meaningful and entertaining content.
Hart said: “I am so honoured to receive this award and be recognised for my work in the entertainment and advertising space. It’s been incredible to work with Hartbeat’s branded entertainment studio and marketing consultancy, along with my brand partners, to take comedy in advertising to the next level. My team and I are just getting started and we will continue to make an impact in advertising.”
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My team and I are just getting started and we will continue to make an impact
Creative world comes together: See It Be It and transform it
ACROSS the week, Cannes Lions is bursting with initiatives and collaborations that amplify its core conference, awards and learning programmes.
One enduring platform is See It Be It, launched as a response to the gender imbalance in the creative industry. With just 25% of agency creatives women, and only 11% expected to reach director level, the initiative aims to change the ratio of women leaders in creative departments.
Since its launch in 2014, See It Be It has helped more than 100 alumni to progress their creative careers. The 2023 theme is Know Your Power and is supported by
official partner Verizon. The agenda is guided by See It Be It ambassador Madonna Badger, founder and CCO of the Badger Agency, alongside alumni tutor Steph Cajucom, creative director of Translation.
Another high-impact initiative is CC:DC’s Inkwell Beach, powered by Group Black. In 2023, the organisation celebrates five years of providing young people of colour and underrepresented communities with access to attend and participate in major events such as Cannes Lions. The theme this year is Expect the Unexpected: Moving DE&I From WOE Is Me to WOW Is Me. Sessions
include Day of Disruption, featuring author, speaker and entrepreneur Luvvie Ajayi Jones, which will explore ways to implement revolutionary change in the creative industry.
Another key strand is The Global CMO Growth Council and the Councils for Progress. In 2018, CMOs from top brands came together in Cannes to create a leadership community: the Global CMO Growth Council. That original group has now spawned a community of more than a thousand CMOs with the objective of becoming a collective force for growth and good.
Last year, an expansion of the CMO Growth Council,
the Global Growth Councils for Progress, tackled global issues identified by the industry as being the most important to them, their business and the planet. This year teams will review progress and accelerate the growth-building priorities for the year ahead.
Brand partners in 2023 include Amazon, which will give delegates insights into how to navigate change and build meaningful customer connections. Working out of the Amazon Port, the tech giant will showcase Amazon-owned platforms and capabilities, including Twitch, Freevee, Live Sports and Wondery. Another partner, LinkedIn, will take over the Carlton Cannes rooftop from June 19-23, offering opportunities for networking as well as thought-provoking content sessions.
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Activists call time on brands that use ‘creativity for bad’
OVER the years, climate activists, from Extinction Rebellion (XR) to Greenpeace, have famously disrupted events at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. But in 2023, activists are set to highlight the climate emergency from inside the event.
Today, Ad Net Zero, an association dedicated to making the ad industry carbon neutral, is hosting a session on measuring and monitoring advertising’s carbon footprint. Let’s Take Responsibility for Advertising’s Role in a Net-zero Economy explores a new paper from Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, which sets out how and where advertising’s emissions occur, while looking at the power of aligning sustainable and commercial success.
On Thursday, Kantar and XR will challenge the world’s marketers to stop tinkering around the edges of the climate emergency in SM2030: Are You the Problem or the Solution?. The panel, which consists of Will Skeaping, a founding XR climate activist,
Jonathan Hall, practice lead of Kantar’s Sustainable Transformation Practice, and Preeti Srivastav, group sustainability director at Asahi Europe & International, will attempt to answer the question: what more do you need to know before you act?
Outside the conference halls, Amsterdam-based NGO Creatives for Climate is in Cannes to launch a new tool — the Greenwash Swash booklet — to name and shame brands who are guilty of the latest greenwashing techniques, including greencrowding, greenrinsing and greenshifting, or the practice of implying that the consumer is at fault and shifing the blame on to them.
‘Secret agents’ armed with the Swatch will identity shades of greenwashing by brands along the Croisette and upload the evidence on social media.
“Creativity for good means nothing if we do not rise as an industry to tackle creativity for bad,” said Creatives for Climate initiator and chair Lucy von Sturmer. “Standing against greenwashing is standing against tactics
of delay and increasingly illegal brand behaviour.”
Tomorrow, Creatives for Climate teams with another climate-focused group, Clean Creatives, to host Tackling The Climate Crisis is Tackling the Talent Crisis. The aim is to share lessons on reskilling employees to attune brands to climate goals, and to show how upskilling for climate might build better agencies and brands. A booming sus -
tainability market means there is also a business opportunity to empower employees to become “change agents”. The event is part of the Next Level Climate Summit, organised by Creatives for Climate in partnership with the Embassy of Dutch Creativity, which aims to assemble a forward-thinking climate agenda for the creative industry. Lending further climate perspectives is Scope3, an
organisation dedicated to decarbonising media and advertising by measuring its emissions.
“Our goal is to help provide a package of ambitious climate ideas for brands and agencies to go a bit beyond the personal footprint, and think about cultural impact and shifting economies of scale,” said Duncan Meisel, co-founder and executive director of Clean Creatives. “We have a wonderful team of young creatives and creators, who are here looking for ways to talk about climate change and elevate the conversation about how to address working with fossil-fuel polluters.”
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70 up! Seven decades on creativity’s cutting edge
THIS YEAR marks the 70th anniversary of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. To celebrate this landmark, there will be a dedicated session on Friday in the Debussy Theatre, entitled In the Making – 70 Years of Groundbreaking Creativity.
Those new to the Lions community may not be familiar with the event’s history. Inspired by the International Film Festival, which began in the 1940s, a group of worldwide cinema screen advertising contractors (SAWA) felt the makers of advertising films should receive similar recognition to feature filmmakers.
Launched as the International Advertising Film Festival, the first SAWA-inspired event took place in Venice in September 1954 with 187 film entries from 14 countries competing. The Lion of Venice, an ancient bronze statue in the city’s Piazza San Marcos, was the inspiration for the Lion trophy. The second Festival was held in Monte Carlo and then in Cannes in 1956. After that, it alternated between Venice and Cannes until 1984, when the southern French city became the permanent home.
Roger Hatchuel, the French businessman and former member of SAWA, was to take over the management of the Festival in 1987. His involvement is still recognised today in the form of the Roger
Hatchuel Student Academy. Three years later the Festival added a seminar programme of high-profile speakers. This heralded a period of significant growth. Renamed The International Advertising Festival, the event was broadened to reflect the multimedia approach of ad campaigns. In 1992, Press and Outdoor Lions were added and a Young Creatives registration package was also introduced. The event as it appears today really began to take shape through the 1990s. A Young Creatives Competition was included in the Festival programme, and the Media and Cyber Lions were added in 1998/99.
EMAP (now Ascential) acquired the event in 2004 and lost no time adding Radio and Promo Lions and new awards for agencies. As the awards programme grew so did the conference offering — attracting thought-leaders across disciplines. Highlights included Al Gore taking to the stage in 2008 to discuss climate crisis.
Speakers such as Rupert Murdoch, Steve Ballmer and Tony Bennett established a quality threshold still evident today.
Categories have continued to evolve with some notable additions including Film Craft, Creative Effectiveness, Branded Content, Entertainment, Mobile and the Grand Prix for Good — designed
to recognise charities or public services.
A decisive pivot towards creativity came in 2011, when the Festival changed its strapline to the International Festival of Creativity. The same year saw John Hegarty, creative director and founder of BBH, awarded the first Lion of St. Mark, introduced to recognise an individual’s contribution to creativity in communications. The profile of the event also began to evolve, with a significant increase in clients. Memorable initiatives were launched each year. One of the most fondly re -
membered was a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create a competition to solve a communications challenge that the world is facing. The past decade has seen landmarks including The Young Lions Creative Academy with Bob Isherwood, The Innovation Lions, Lions Live, a dedicated China Day, a visit from Lou Reed, and a Cannes LionHeart Award for U2’s Bono. Efforts to improve DEI brought the launch of the The Glass Lion: The Lion for Change, See It Be It and CC:DC’S Inkwell Beach, from Group Black.
The 2020 Cannes Lions were cancelled due to the global pandemic. However the event and the community rose to the challenge, with the launch of Cannes Lions Live and Lions Membership. The physical event resumed in 2022, with a return to pre-pandemic levels this year. With new categories, a packed conference programme and a range of ground-breaking initiatives and partnerships, the 2023 edition promises to capture the spirit that has made it such a powerful creative platform over the last seven decades.
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Product placement is old: ‘conversation placement’ is the future
PRODUCT placement has been finding its way strategically into our entertainment. We all know it. We’ve all seen it. Product placement had a breakout moment when ET followed the Reese’s Pieces to his new home in 1982. But even then, none of us could have called it becoming a multibillion-dollar industry across film and TV alone. Who would have thought we’d then see Wakandans driving Lexus?
We spend countless hours consuming entertainment, not only for the sake of amusement or enjoyment, but also to become more human. We consume stories of others, by others, to better understand ourselves, to be taken away from our lives so we have more space, to help us relate to those around us and ourselves, and to help us better understand all of this messy humanness that’s going on.
When it comes to strategic product placement, it’s no surprise that brands are willing to spend large parts of their marketing dollars on infiltrating our entertainment with the products they want us to buy. Sometimes it’s tiresome and sometimes it manifests itself naturally but, when
it’s done correctly, it can have a huge impact.
Hershey (Reese’s parent company), Lexus and others have made millions — even billions —through this tactic, selling out products and contributing to cultural conversations at the time. Placement is powerful.
So, how about we use the same concept to address important social issues?
Not by only placing products but also placing conversations? We call this ‘conversation placement’.
And this concept might be the vehicle we need to start to chip away at larger societal and systemic issues — precedent has proven that.
Let’s have a look at health and wellness to start.
It’s no news that we have a health problem. Globally. Locally. Systemically. And individually. Research shows that health inequity is one of the greatest threats to humanity in our generation. For context, the infant mortality rate is 2.3x higher for African Americans than for non-Hispanic whites*. African Americans are also 40% more likely to have asthma** and 11.7% more prone to diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.*** Could bringing ‘health’ into our entertainment be the answer to making a dent in
finding a solution? What better vehicle to drive awareness, facilitate education and encourage understanding around topics that are real and very much not going away than the same places we go to learn about being more human?
A brand that wants to take on health equity can approach conversation placement in the same way it
would with product placement — and arguably make even more of an impact. Instead of placing an adidas Samba in our next favourite movie, we place a teenager with asthma in Euphoria or a migraine sufferer in True Detective. We have seen disparate examples of conversation placement over the years. Like when Law & Order led to an increase in law-school applications or when Monk brought the idea of neurodivergence to television — or even when Dallas Buyers Club took us all into Ron Woodroof’s life. There’s an opportunity to do more. Because there’s a divergence between business purpose and brand purpose, we have been looking at how we respond clearly to those needs — such as making purpose personal and ensuring we bring joy, we delight and we move from fear and distrust to a point of view where we entertain to drive change. Through conversation placement in entertainment, we can talk about real topics with real peo -
ple to drive real action. We can diminish the inequities with an approach that will reach more communities through culture, content and inclusion. Conversation placement allows us to move away from the traditional tropes of trying to imitate consumer advertising within regulatory boxes. To put conversation placement into practice, we at Havas are launching Welltainment™, where we bring together wellness with entertainment to close the health-equity gap, even a little. To get the ball rolling, we will work with our clients to take a crack at six health areas with the most inequity: hypertension, diabetes, obesity, mental health, HIV and paediatric asthma.
I’m not sure where this all leads, but conversation placement feels like the right place to start. And it’s possibly a powerful tool in our arsenal for the future. Coming to a piece of your entertainment soon.
*CDC 2020 / **CDC 2021 / ***Healthline
Product placement is so 1982. It’s time to shift the old rules and start placing conversations about products as a way to open a dialogue around wellness within entertainment, writes Andre Gray, chief creative officer of Havas Creative Network’s Annex88
ANDRE GRAY: “HEALTH INEQUITY IS ONE OF THE GREATEST THREATS TO HUMANITY”
Winners announced 10:00am Tuesday 20 June The WPP Beach, Miramar Plage
Go bold gold
Asia’s marketing community has a reputation for shunning controversy. But the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is all about bold, boundarybreaking work — which is why Asia’s best prospects this year are coming from those agency/client partnerships that know that being different pays. Here, Angel Guerrero, founder, president and editor-in-chief of adobo magazine, shares some of her top picks for this year’s competition
OGILVY BANGKOK’S ‘THE INNOCENT EYES’ CAMPAIGN
FOCUS ON ASIA 17
AS FURPHY/Thinkerbell’s ‘What
The Truck’ demonstrates, Asia Pacific client/agency partnerships aren’t afraid of standing out from the crowd and showing how smart, solid ideas can cut through wherever they are seen. It’s good to see a return to humour in many of these ideas and how many large consumer-goods advertisers are taking advantage of it. For client and agency teams who want to do well at this year’s Cannes Lions — and next year, for those who don’t make it in 2023 — the lessons seem clear: be bold, be distinctive and don’t be afraid to have some fun. These contenders are showing the way with their exceptional creative talent and ambition. The industry is showing all the signs of a new direction and a revival of optimism after the difficult years of the pandemic. If work like this is showing the way, then the creative future of Asia is a promising one…
Furphy’s ‘What The Truck?’ by Thinkerbell Australia
This classic example of outrageous Outdoor created consternation on the street and then set the internet on fire. Furphy beer took a truck and turned it on its side between two buildings in downtown Sydney, causing everyone who passed it to wonder how on earth it had got there (it was lifted into place in the middle of the night, of course) and then to share it on social media for likes and shares. When one commenter said, “Is it Banksy?” the agency said: “We knew we must be doing something right...”
Mondelez India’s Oreo
by Leo Burnett India
Based on nothing more substantial than the coincidence that the cricket World Cup was won by India in the same year that Oreo launched in the country, ‘#BringBack2011’ takes this slender thread and weaves comedy gold. It cleverly taps into the superstition of hardcore cricket fans that the omens are right for India to stage a repeat victory — thanks to Oreo. When asked about Asia’s conservative performance on the awards-show circuit, Rajdeepak ‘Raj’ Das, CEO and chief creative officer of Leo Burnett
South Asia, the agency behind ‘#BringBack2011’, told adobo magazine: “I don’t know about Asia but India is performing amazingly. It’s because [of the country’s]
growing economy and healthy creative culture. The entire creative industry is inspiring each other in a good way and turning the country into a new creative powerhouse.”
When one commenter said, ‘Is it Banksy?’ the agency said: “We knew we must be doing something right...”
FOCUS ON ASIA 18
Suntory Tennensui’s ‘Endless Dawn’ by Dentsu Tokyo
Faced with Japan’s saturated mineral-water market, flooded with low-quality products, Suntory decided to introduce a pure, highquality water. In order to tell a distinct story and highlight Suntory Tennensui’s quality commitment to web influencers and those who believe ‘all water is the same’, Dentsu used advanced web design and a 3D model to create an immersive, navigable space, tracing the path of the water through Japan’s beautiful Northern Alps. By merging formats (MP4 and WebGL), the agency developed a seamless experience around the unending flow of a ‘water’ character. This content was also repurposed for cinema advertising.
Monde Nissin/Voiz’s ‘The Innocent Eyes’ by Ogilvy Group Thailand
Bangkok with Factory01 Bangkok
Thailand is rightly famous for its humorous video productions and ‘The Innocent Eyes’ campaign from Ogilvy Bangkok for Voiz Waffle Choco continues the tradition with what the agency describes as a “quirky and hilarious” campaign. It features a young couple who only have eyes for... the product. The eyes themselves become characters in the drama, morphing into naughty kids who betray the secret desires of their owner. ‘The Innocent Eyes’ comes to Cannes on the back of a triumphant run at several other global shows.
McDonald’s ‘Unbranded Menu’ by Leo Burnett Philippines
The ‘Unbranded Menu’ saw Leo Burnett Manila hijack the gaming multiverse with an open challenge to gamers to go hunt for McDonald’s ‘food-alikes’ — and then swap their inedible discoveries for actual McDonald’s items. It all started with the Philippines’ most popular gaming personality, Alodia Gosiengfiao, finding a Big Mac lookalike inside Grand Theft Auto V and posting a screenshot of it. She then challenged her eight million followers to join the mission. To fuel the hunt, McDonald’s food, gaming credits, consoles and other gaming merchandise were given away in exchange for screenshots of food-alikes.
20 FOCUS ON ASIA
INTERESTED IN ADVERTISING? LIONS DAILY NEWS Contact our Sales Director Lisa Ray at the Lions Daily News office on level 4 of the Palais des Festivals Office: +33 (0)4 92 99 83 06 Mobile: +44 7798 662 955 Have a story to tell? Contact Julian Newby, Editor, Lions Daily News on level 4 of the Palais des Festivals +33 (0)4 92 99 83 02 CANNES LIONS 70
big disruption 5G: the next
With 5G being rolled out at pace across India, the country’s creative community is already mining the technology’s potential to create innovative strategies for brands.
Simran Sabherwal, associate editor at exchange4media, explains why 5G is set to disrupt India’s creative landscape
FOCUS ON INDIA 23
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IF DIGITAL humans coming to life, augmented reality transporting people into alternative dimensions and Holobox blurring virtual and physical realms sound like things straight out of a sci-fi movie, the fifth-generation technology standard for cellular networks (5G) coming into the communication space seems set to make all of this happen in the real world. India has witnessed one of the fastest rollouts of 5G globally, opening up myriad possibilities for denizens of the creative industry to chart disruptive propositions for brands. 5G was launched in India on October 1, 2022 and has grown exponentially. The Internet In India Report 2022 by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Kantar revealed that 52% of Indians — that’s 759 million — are ‘active’ internet users. Of this number, 399 million are from rural areas and 360 million from urban India. By 2025, this number is expected to grow to
in this diverse country, where more than 18,500 languages and dialects are spoken, where cultural diversity opens up opportunities for innovative content creation and where brands’ creative strategies need to be adapted to each of its 28 states. A big shift driven by 5G will be the accessibility of videos to Indians living in rural hinterlands.
According to Lloyd Mathias, business strategist and angel investor: “A lot more people will have access to channels like YouTube and short video apps, resulting in video creatives going down the population strata. This could lead to the growth of OTTs, particularly at local micro level catering to a particular state or language.” This also ensures specific targeting and the ability of brands to reach a distinct consumer segment in a very small geographical pocket. “The hyper-localisation of content and context has emerged as a winning strategy for brands, helping them to picture themselves in more situations and aiding creative professionals in optimally using their cultural and local backgrounds,” says PG Aditiya, co-founder and chief creative officer of Talented.
“The sheer depth and quality [of data] available to marketers allow targeting even a particular floor in a particular building! The regionality and localisation of comms also mean an opportunity to double down on what ‘positive brand perception’ could mean at a local level.” This trend could result in the rise of hyper-local influencers creating short-format video content to serve a small audience in their geographical area. Currently, creative tools are available to a handful of people but, with the advent of 5G, a shift is foreseen where creativity will be ‘massified’. Mathias says:
900 million and it is estimated that 56% of all new internet users will be from rural India. In addition, another recent study by UK-based price comparison website Cable.co.uk showed that India has one of the cheapest mobile-data rates in the world at $0.17 (14.00 Indian rupees)/ average cost for 1GB of mobile data. Against this background, 5G looks set to disrupt creativity
“Creativity is not going to be restricted to a handful of executives in top-notch agencies. Now, any creative person will have access to the same set of tools, such as AI, VR and generative AI.”
Rahul Mathew, chief creative officer at DDB Mudra Group, says that 5G will give creative access to more consumers, along with more tools to engage them with.
“It will push us to vie harder for
“The hyperlocalisation of content and context has emerged as a winning strategy for brands, helping them to picture themselves in more situations”
FOCUS ON INDIA 25
ANUPAMA RAMASWAMY NIRAJ RUPAREL PG ADITIYA RAHUL MATHEW AND RAJDEEPAK DAS
the consumer’s attention, which would mean mediocrity will have little or no impact. Access to 5G could also evolve the sensibilities of our consumers. That could help us further extend the boundaries of our creativity,” Mathew adds. The low latency offered by 5G is crucial for gaming. However, as the gaming population in India is primarily mobile-first, the use cases for 5G are different. “5G opens up the average smartphone to many more mediums, starting with AR and 3D and going all the way up to VR and live lobbies, like the promised metaverses,” Aditiya says. “The promise of IoT [internet of things] is also closer to realisation, with AI on the rise. 5G enables a far more seamless experience. It also opens up the deployment of 3D and immersive experiences because devices can now support it. For a country where creativity has been limited to the X and Y axis, the Z axis is about to be explored.”
Rajdeepak Das, CEO and chief creative officer at Leo Burnett (South Asia, India) and chairman of Publicis Groupe South Asia, believes that 5G will bring about a big change in the live-game streaming industry. “The impact on gaming will lead to more platforms coming to India, which means more options for advertising,” he says. “More tournaments will increase avenues for us to discuss new stories and further create opportunities for brands to be involved. Hologram will be one of the most interesting things to watch out for — the moment it is available, more stories will emerge. With new tools and platforms, newer formats of storytelling will emerge.” Mathew adds: “AI is the new buzzword and the industry is already finding ways to introduce it into our ways of working. 5G also enables a more immersive experience. Consumers will be able to go way deeper into their engagements with brands.” Not only will the rollout of 5G ensure quicker internet connections and smoother communication and data transfer, but it will also shift the goalposts in terms of what people can do on the go with mobile connectivity.
Niraj Ruparel, head of mobility and emerging tech at GroupM India and emerging tech lead at WPP India, says: “5G will revolutionise
“Creativity is not going to be restricted to a handful of executives in top-notch agencies. Now, any creative person will have access to the same set of tools”
26 FOCUS ON INDIA
HOW BENTLEY PUT CREATORS IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT
TUESDAY 20 TH JUNE 15:15, PALAIS II STAGE
Hear how two icons of design, Bentley and Dominic Ciambrone, a.k.a. The Surgeon, joined forces to create an exceptional product.
This session will unveil practical strategies for maximising the potential of the creator economy, as well as preview findings from Cheil Connec+’s soon-to-be launched report, The Outperformers Outlook.
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how we interact with data services by enabling ultra-fast real-time connectivity. This, in turn, will enable the high-speed transmission of augmented and virtual reality content, in turn allowing unfettered access to virtual worlds.”
He adds: “Virtual avatars are becoming more efficient by the day and it won’t be long before virtual worlds become an essential
but better access will give creators the opportunity to experiment. For a creatively hungry country like India, we are well-positioned to capitalise on any new technology.”
To accelerate innovations, people need access to cost-effective data, which is where 5G will come in.
“Innovations have the potential to empower creative workers, expedite creative processes and open up new prospects for inventive and personalised content creation,” Ramaswamy adds.
“While ads that allow viewers to interact with content once seemed impossible [because of] buffer time and other technological limitations, 5G could make this strategy more accessible to marketers. Faster speeds will fundamentally alter our ways of content consumption, which will accelerate digital ad opportunities. There’ll be a significant change in how we experience and behave across media, be it OTT, e-commerce, mobile or voice assistants. Live broadcasting via remote production will be possible without lags.”
Ruparel adds: “We are venturing into an extraordinary 5G era, where digital humans come to life, gaming reaches unparalleled heights and augmented reality transports us to alternative dimensions. Voice AI becomes our omnipresent assistant, while drones revolutionise industries. Holobox blurs virtual and physical realms and immersive video calls bridge distances.
part of the brand and consumer conversation. By unlocking the potential of digital avatars, marketers can further individualise and streamline the way they interact with their audiences.”
Anupama Ramaswamy, chief creative officer of Havas Worldwide India, predicts that, with the arrival of 5G, access to real-time generative tools will improve. “Faster and stronger access to data will enable experimentation,” she says. “Live experiences, be it live commerce or live events, will be more engaging. Real-time feedback will be regular. Virtual tours of experiences, places, etc will become a norm. This will manifest in smoother workflows and rapid concepts through AI-generative tools. Currently, we don’t know how the technology will progress from here,
These new technologies will transform the way we do business and the way brands interact with audiences, and empower individuals, by giving them even more digital access. Advertising will move beyond billboards and fixed screens to take over more space than ever before.”
Das, who takes a contrarian view to the negative perceptions around technology, concludes: “I believe 5G will make experiences more humane as the innovations will help reduce distances and create new connections. For example, if you touch something, it may soon become possible that your family in another location could feel the same touch, based on the pixels present on the interface. Possible? It’s innovation, but with a human element at the centre of it.”
“We are venturing into an extraordinary 5G era, where digital humans come to life, gaming reaches unparalleled heights and augmented reality transports us to alternative dimensions”
FOCUS ON INDIA 29
The Work & Awards Hub
Screening Room 1
Screening Schedule Classic Track - Film Lions
Monday 19 June 09:00-19:00 F05. Cultural Insight
Tuesday 20 June 09:00-19:00 Film Lions Shortlist
Wednesday 21 June 09:00-19:00 Film Lions Shortlist
Thursday 22 June 09:00-19:00 Film Lions Shortlist
Friday 23 June 09:00-19:00 Film Lions Shortlist
The Work & Awards Hub
Screening Room 2
Screening Schedule Craft Track - Film Craft Lions
Monday 19 June 09:00-19:00
Tuesday 20 June
Craft Lions Shortlist
Wednesday 21 June 09:00-19:00
Thursday 22 June
Friday 23 June 09:00-19:00
To find out when your work is screening come and talk to us at the Awards Hub desk.
Craft Lions Shortlist
Craft Lions Winners
Craft Lions Winners
Craft Lions Winners
CANNES LIONS 70
The Work & Awards Hub
Screening Room 3
Monday 19 June 09:00 -14:30
Lions for Sport Shortlist 14:30-19:00
Lions for Gaming Shortlist
Tuesday 20 June 09:00-14:30
Lions for Music Shortlist
Wednesday 21 June 09:00-14:30 Entertainment Lions for Sport Winners 14:30-19:00 Entertainment Lions for Gaming Winners
Thursday 22 June 09:00-14:30
Lions for Sport Winners 14:30-19:00
Lions for Gaming Winners
Friday 23 June 09:00-19:00
To find out when your work is screening come and talk to us at the Awards Hub desk.
CANNES LIONS 70
How artiﬁcial intelligence is revolutionising the way we live, work and create
CA NN E S L I ON S 2 0 2 3
L U M I È R E T H E A T R E , P A L A I S I
CEO, WPP Founder and CEO, NVIDIA