The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has announced that a total of 30,953 entries from 89 countries will compete to become the global benchmark for excellence in creativity and effectiveness for the year ahead.
To ensure that marketers and agencies are able to benchmark all aspects of the industry landscape, two new Lions were launched in 2019. The Creative Strategy Lions recognise strategists and planners within their own defined specialism for the first time, receiving 848 entries. The Entertainment Lions for Sport also reported a strong start in the category’s inaugural year, receiving 702 entries. The Entertainment Track – which also includes the Entertainment Lions and Entertainment Lions for Music – saw 11% growth year-on-year in entries across the three categories. The Festival also reports a year-on-year increase in engagement from two key markets: entry numbers from China increased 5%, and India 8%. Awards entries from brands have increased substantially year-on-year.
Philip Thomas, Chairman of Cannes Lions, commented, “The changes we made to the Awards structure in 2018 resulted in a refocus of the Lions. The industry is concentrating on the absolute quality of their entries, allowing everyone in the marketing and advertising community, and particularly brands, to benchmark their output against the world’s very best. In 2019 we’re excited to see the entries into the Lion Awards reflect the absolute highest quality of creative work across the 27 distinctive disciplines."
The Creative Effectiveness Lions, the only global benchmark of the measurable impact of creativity, continues to see entries increase - up 34% in 2019 - highlighting the creative bravery of today’s brands and creative teams. Simon Cook, Managing Director of Cannes Lions, commented, “The continued rise of entries in the Creative Effectiveness Lions indicates the importance of benchmarking the value of creativity in the boardroom, for clients and agencies. Creative Effectiveness isn’t only focused on business growth, but how Lions-winning work can positively impact culture and define brand purpose in the long-term.”
Cannes Lions continues to evolve its awards architecture to accurately respond to evolutions in creative and effective excellence, across today’s industry. Analysis shows that traditional categories remain fundamental to game-changing creativity. The Film Lions, now in its 66th year recognising brilliant brand storytelling intended for the screen, reports a 29% entry increase year-on-year. A strong rise in entry numbers in the Creative eCommerce Lions (up 12%), Brand Experience & Activation Lions (up 8%) and Digital Craft Lions (up 9%) reflects the continuing significance of creativity across end-to-end customer experience and digital outputs for brands.
Simon Cook, Managing Director, Cannes Lions, added, “The definition of creativity is evolving alongside the industry. The reframing of the awards in 2018 resulted in distinct, discipline-specific pieces of work winning Lions in their respective tracks. We saw the highest standard of creative work emerging across the full spectrum of creative disciplines from a diverse mix of approaches, people, and perspectives. As the industry continues to shift, we look forward to seeing how these emerging creative disciplines and specialisms create new impact for clients.”
Cannes Lions is expecting to welcome a more diverse international community to the 2019 Festival than ever before. Delegates from over 100 countries will come together from across the industry landscape: global and independent agencies, innovative brands and technology companies, consultancies, and entertainment platforms, and over 100 global brands will speak on the Festival stages, the highest on record.
Jury members from across the world have now convened in Cannes to judge and award world-class creativity. The winners of the Lions will be announced at evening Award Shows taking place throughout the Festival, from 17-21 June 2019.