Movers & Shakers that Raised Creative Bar to New Heights, Redefining Creativity and Sweeping Cannes Lions 2023

The 70th edition of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has seen its share of groundbreaking moments, including Saudi Arabia winning its first Grand Prix in Creative Commerce. Germany, Mexico, Japan, and China in the Creative Business Transformation Lions swept away the Lions for the first time.

Simon Cook, CEO, Lions, said it’s inspiring to see new countries enter and win Lions to raise the creative bar on the global stage. “Congratulations to all of our Lion winners, and those shortlisted, who are driving progress for people, businesses, and society across the world.”

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Brand Experience & Activation

The Brand Experience & Activation Lions category honored creative, comprehensive brand building through experience design, activation, immersive, retail, and 360° customer engagement. The category received 2226 entries and 69 Lions were awarded. Grand Prix was awarded to “FIFA 23 X TED LASSO” for EA Sports & Apple, by Apple, Cupertino/EA Sports, Redwood City.

Ari Weiss, Global Chief Creative Officer, DDB Worldwide and Brand Experience & Activation Lions Jury President, highlighted that by providing enough value, consumers will go out of their way to spend time with the brand. “This idea transcended advertising and became intellectual property. Never mind 6 seconds, fans went out of their way to play with this idea 90 minutes at a time. It also touched on the power of collaboration. Two brands, both genius at doing what they do, came together to create an experience better than either of them could have created alone.”

Innovation Lions

The Innovation Lions, celebrating ground-breaking innovation, technology, and problem-solving, received 152 entries, wherein 6 Lions were awarded. The Grand Prix went to “Mouth Pad”, for Augmental by Wunderman Thompson, Lima/Augmental, San Francisco. This innovative tongue-controlled device opens up a new way for people with disabilities to interact with the world.

Grace Francis, Innovation Lions Jury President and Global Chief Creative, and Design Officer at WONGDOOCY, Global, said they spoke about the concept of “not going back” – innovations so significant that the world is changed enough that future generations will find it hard to imagine returning to the time before. “Assistive technology is often reduced to essentials. Mouth Pad goes far beyond that, enabling a paralyzed person to operate a wheelchair, play a video game, send a text privately (rather than using voice activation), perform a computer-based job, operate a sex toy, and hundreds of other things able-bodied people take for granted.”

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The Mobile Lions category received 348 entries and gave away 12 Lions for device-driven creativity. “World Cup Delivery” for PedidosYa, by GUT, Buenos Aires, won the Grand Prix, Its work used real-time data to track the flight that brought the World Cup Trophy 2022 back to Argentina, and became the #1 trending topic.

The Creative Effectiveness Lions recorded 289 entries and 16 Lions awarded. The Grand Prix went to “Shah Rukh Khan-My-Ad”, for Mondelez, by Ogilvy, Mumbai, India. The work gave a hand to small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic with a data-driven campaign using machine learning to create advertisements for thousands of local businesses, and its product – Cadbury Celebrations, boosting sales.

774 entries were received in the Creative Strategy Lions category which had 25 awards handed out. “Renault – Plug-Inn”, for Renault, by Publicis Conseil, Paris swept away the Grand Prix. It’s a peer-to-peer app that connects electric car drivers to home charger owners; basically, it solves the problem of driving long distances through remote places with zero charging stations.

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Amrita Randhawa, Creative Strategy Lions Jury President and CEO of Publicis Groupe, Singapore & Southeast Asia, believes there is a creative strategy that results in the movement of consumer culture, and business results. “And then there is a creative strategy that redefines the product category, opens entirely new revenue models for brands, delivers real value for consumers, solves infrastructural problems, and is globally scalable – that is our Grand Prix winner. An obvious contender from the get-go, it became our North Star for the very definition of the future of creative strategy and its ability to deliver transformational brand building.”

Creative Business Transformation

Honoring creativity that drives businesses forward, the Creative Business Transformation category saw 251 entries and handed out 10 awards. The second Grand Prix of the week went to “ADLaM” – an Alphabet to Preserve a Culture for Microsoft, by McCann, New York.

Justin Peyton, the Chief Transformation Officer at Wunderman Thomson, APAC, who was the Jury President of the category, said it is challenging to think about the impact not just on the brand’s business, but on all of the stakeholders and communities with who they engage. “The work created new opportunities for an otherwise marginalized people and provided access to a whole new audience, while also creating a blueprint that could be replicated to reach other similar groups.”

The Creative Commerce Lions, which celebrated the innovative and creative approach to online and offline commerce, payment solutions, and transactional journeys, had 467 entries, wherein 17 Lions were awarded. “The Subconscious Order”, for Hunger Station, by Wunderman Thompson, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, won the Grand Prix.

Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, Chief Creative Officer at FCB Canada, who was the jury president of this category, highlighted that some work brilliantly showed them what is possible today in creative commerce. “But this idea showed us what is possible tomorrow. It sets new standards for commerce and shows the way forward in how brands can remove pain points in a moment of purchase while adding meaningful value to it. We hope that this work shows what can happen when brands get the value exchange right for their customers and use fresh creativity to drive engagement.”

Cannes Lions 2023 brought the creative industry and influential figures under one roof, celebrating works that have made a difference and brought about change.

Also Read: Power of Creativity: Cannes Lions Celebrates and Explores Creativity in All Forms

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