At this year's Cannes Lions Live, we celebrated a body of Lion-winning work that illustrated our collective experience and journey through one of the most turbulent times in our history. A time of uncertainty, it propelled brands into uncharted waters, transforming and adapting to provide new solutions to some of the world's greatest challenges.
This year's Lion winners also show how brands are using creativity to provide lasting solutions that will extend beyond the pandemic, while at the same time reinforcing the shifting role of creativity and purpose-driven work as the golden thread that ties all of these ideas together.
As a result of the great work we’ve seen this year we've created Lions Decoded a one-day experience taking place Sept. 17. It will delve into the trends and insights that have dominated the industry in recent times, from “problem solving with purpose” to collaboration and partnerships, while unpacking what it takes to win a Lion.
A shift toward purpose-led work
Here’s what we’re seeing: More and more brands are engaging in purpose, and work focused on sustainability, diversity and inclusion. We also witnessed smart hacks for platforms not previously considered for commerce, like LinkedIn and WhatsApp that engaged local communities and reached previously untapped audiences. And there were campaigns that brought brands directly into the lives of consumers through the integration of experiences.
But more than that, we saw the shift in purpose-led work—away from clumsy alignments and toward social causes, initiatives and ideas where purpose was authentically baked into the brand and aligned to strategy.
Yes, these ideas often generated profit, but they generated positive change in the world as well.
For example, almost half of the nine Lions awarded in the new Creative Business Transformation Lions, came from work in the Brand Purpose & Impact category. To me this indicates that successful business transformation can begin by leaning into a brand's core mission for being.
Can purpose and profit be linked? Look no further than the creative business transformation Grand Prix winner, Carrefour’s “Act for Food” program, detailing the French supermarket's concrete initiatives for getting people to eat better. “Act for Food” boosted Carrefour's stock value by 9%, while worldwide sales rose by 3.1% and worldwide online sales boomed by 30%.
Unpacking great creative
This is why we are launching Lions Decoded. We'll meet the works' creators behind work like “Naming the Invisible by Digital Birth Registration” by Telenor Pakistan, offering an easy way to have birth certificates created, and "The 2030 Calculator” for Doconomy by Farm Stockholm, a tool allowing companies to determine the carbon footprint of the products they make.
We’ll share first-hand accounts of the blood, sweat and tears that go into making some of the world's most creative ideas.
We're also releasing the LIONS Creativity Report with announcements of the official global rankings taking place throughout the day. The report also delves further into the trends and insights with in-depth interviews and thought pieces.
Awarding the Lions provides a chance to not only reflect on the collective successes of the industry, but also to look forward. Across the board, we've seen brands rise to the unprecedented challenges of recent times and continue to innovate. Now it's time to draw on the learnings of the past, to influence the future with creativity always front and center, driving the charge.