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Cannes 2013

Inside Cannes: More Categories Lead to 4% Rise in Entries

The Cannes International Festival of Creativity Saw a Record 35,765 Entries

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The Cannes International Festival of Creativity netted a record 35,765 entries this year. That's a 4% jump from 2012.

It means judges at the ad fest in the South of France will be busier than ever. But they probably anticipated it, since Cannes tends to see more entries every year -- a trend that can be largely attributed to the Festival's focus on adding new award categories annually.

This year, it introduced the "Innovation Lions," which honor pioneering technology that has enabled creative excellence in the commercial world. That category saw 270 entries this year, with the U.S. taking up 73 of them and Brazil a distant second, with 17.

Overall, the United States has entered the most submissions for Cannes Lions, with Brazil coming in second and Germany third.

Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions
Philip Thomas, CEO of Cannes Lions

Philip Thomas, the CEO of the Cannes Lions, told AdAge that there is definitely "a link" between the number of entries and the number of Lions won, historically. Having some momentum and experience going into the show helps too, said Mr. Thomas. Countries will rarely win Lions the first year they enter. Instead, they'll find they make it to a shortlist the second or third year after they enter, and maybe start winning Lions a few years after that.

The Creative Effectiveness category saw the most increase in number of entries, rising from 92 in 2012 to 120 this year. Ogilvy's Shelly Lazarus is the jury president, her first time ever holding the position. The category was introduced two years ago; last year, the Grand Prix went to Axe's "Excite" campaign out of BBH, London.

Three categories saw a decrease in entries: Press, which had 5,711 entries, down from just over 6,000 last year; Radio, with 1,552 entries compared to 1,784 last year and Titanium and Integrated, with only 437 entries, compared to 517 last year. But before the conclusion is drawn that print ads are a dying medium, it's important to note that despite the decrease, the Press category still has the most number of entries overall.

In terms of predictions of which regions will perform well this year, Mr. Thomas said he personally is keeping a close eye on Latin America. Brazil and Argentina have, predictably, always been big winners -- last year they brought home 79 and 32 Lions respectively -- but he said he expects Colombia (which won big last year for its "Rivers of Light" campaign), Guatemala and Costa Rica also to do well.

Peru, also, has been picking up awards, winning an increasing number in the past five years. "There's a big shift going on in that region," he said.

Kosovo, which has never won a Gold, Gold equivalent, or a Grand Prix, is back this year with just one entry, as are Bahrain and Jordan, also with a single entry each -- all in the Design category.

"As the industry continues to evolve, Cannes Lions entries evolve with it, with work coming from more countries than ever, and the newer categories like Creative Effectiveness, PR and Branded Entertainment showing significant growth," Mr Thomas added.

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