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Cannes Lions reveals total number of entries and key insights that show massive growth in creativity investment

CANNES, FRANCE — Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has announced that 26,753 submissions have been received for the 2024 Awards. All pieces of work will now compete to set the global benchmark for excellence in creativity and effectiveness for the year ahead.

Simon Cook, CEO of LIONS, said, “As a barometer for the global industry, this is when we see interesting shifts across the global landscape — we’ve seen continued growth in the Creative Effectiveness Lions, which has received the highest number of submissions since its launch in 2011, demonstrating that there’s a strong commitment to creativity as a growth driver. The shift in the makeup of companies is also interesting, with the number of brand submissions rising 6% and media owners are up a significant 31%, demonstrating the breadth of investment in creativity across the full spectrum of branded communications. Our Juries are already curating a body of Lion-worthy work, and we look forward to seeing the work that will set the benchmark for another year and show us the way forward.”

Some of the Lions outside the traditional disciplines that have seen growth include Creative Business Transformation (+8%), Creative Commerce (+18%), and Creative Strategy (+5%). Work in these Lions showcases the broad spectrum of creative marketing used to solve business problems.

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Elsewhere, the Social & Influencer Lions have grown by 21%, seeing the highest number of entries since the Lion launched in 2018. About the growth, Marian Brannelly, Global Director of Awards at LIONS, said, “This year, we expanded the categories within the Social & Influencer Lions to better recognize and celebrate the pivotal role that content creators play in shaping and amplifying brand messages. The dynamic influence these individuals have on audiences across social and digital platforms reflects the evolving nature of communication and branding in the modern era. Research from WARC also showed that global social spend is set to total $247.3 billion in 2024, up 14.3% year on year, ahead of paid search. The growth of this Lion coincides with the timely launch of the new LIONS Creators Pass, providing further evidence of a sector evolving at a rapid pace.”

Discussing the new Use of Humour category, Brannelly added: “Work into the new Use of Humor category, which sits across 13 Lions, makes up 5% of all entries within those Lions, demonstrating a shift in tone and the rise of effective commercial work designed to entertain. As BBDO’s Andrew Robertson said on stage last year, “humor works.”

In its first year, just under a quarter of submissions have come directly from brands in the inaugural Luxury & Lifestyle Lions — launched to provide a global benchmark in the luxury space.

Reflecting what’s happening in the market, as outlined in Dentsu’s latest Global Ad Spend forecast, other areas of growth include the Outdoor Lions, which are up 6% YOY, reflective of a medium that is evolving at pace, with the adoption of data engagement and emerging technologies to help brands think beyond traditional billboards. The Audio & Radio Lions are up 6%, while the Innovation Lions – are up by a huge 52%.

The shortlists for the Innovation Lions, Glass: The Lion for Change, and the Dan Wieden Titanium Lions are available now. The remaining shortlists will be released until June 19.

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 the Award Shows each evening throughout the Festival from June 17 to 21.

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