Cannes Lions 2021: And it's a wrap!

The grand finale of the Lions was abuzz with discussions on ageism in advertising & creative effectiveness

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Jun 26, 2021 9:21 AM
Cannes Lions

There might have been no descending on the south coast of France for adland this year but conversations and discussions on creativity change, innovation and the future still continued; thanks to Lions Live. After some thought-provoking sessions over the course of five days and gleaming wins, the grand finale was abuzz with adland discussing taboos like ageism in advertising and debunking it. It also provided tips on capturing creative effectiveness and achieving innovation like no other!

The day was off to a great start with Juan Senor, President, Innovation Media Consulting announcing the winners from the Titanium Lions, Independent Agency Track Winners, Independent Agency of the Festival, Creative Marketer of the Festival, the Young Lions Digital and Film Awards, Grand Prix for Good, Palme D’Or, Network of the Festival, Holding Company of the Festival, Glass Lions, Sustainable Development Goals Lions, Agency Track Winners and Agency of the Festival.

Goodby Silverstein & Partners in their candid talk ‘Innovate or Die’ spoke of how they achieve the never-been-done-before year after year. No wonder, Frito-Lay and Goodby Silverstein & Partners have endured a decade-plus relationship, a rarity in today’s business environment. Throughout that time they’ve achieved a number of firsts. From being the first to put consumer-generated ads on the Super Bowl to a museum dedicated to Cheetos to this year’s big game ad debuting the first TV ad you could “snap” for free via SnapChat. In this talk, they decoded the secrets behind pulling that off.

The day also packed in live interviews with big winners from The Friday Awards Show.

Next up, The Titanium Lions Debrief had Jury President Susan Credle in New York for a special show to delve into all of the winning works, along with some of the winners. Joined by Trevor Robinson - Quiet Storm, Alison Weissbrot - Campaign, the debrief packed in data analysis, comments from the jury, and the opportunity to unpick some of the winning work in detail.

Nicky Bullard, Chairwoman & Chief Creative Officer MRM took on the rampant ageism discourse. The session looked at how ageism is rife in our industry, not just in the work we produce but with the people hiring the creators of the work. Furthermore, it spoke of celebrating the geniuses who have paved the way, and their work that never fades, breaking one of the last industry taboos.

One of the most interesting sessions of the day featured Alex Collmer, Founder and CEO, VidMob who in his talk called "It's a Revolution, the Era of Intelligent Creative" demystified how the industry adjusts to digital marketing with less audience data, there is a quiet revolution taking place. This Collmer, signalled is a movement away from traditional targeting towards digital advertising’s final frontier – Intelligent Creative. He expounded how armed with a new kind of first-party data, Creative Data, brands can measure creative effectiveness by understanding how every element that is seen and heard in ads resonates with audiences. The question is no longer, “are my ads working?” it is “why are my ads working (or not working)”? MIT professor Sinan Aral and Collmer also revealed the early findings of a ground-breaking study charting the performance of 2M ads, and encapsulated the remarkable impact creative details can have.

The Film Lions Lions Debrief featured Jury President Richard Brim in London for a one-hour special show. Brim was joined by Richard Brim - adam&eveDDB and Eva Santos Bouzas - Delirio & Twain. The group discussed data analysis, interviews with the jury and winners talking through their work.

The day came to an end with Lions Wrap Up that had Susie Walker, Vice President of Awards and Insights, LIONS pulling the 10 most important stories into a neat package for the audience to enjoy and stay up to speed.

And with that, it was a wrap and the virtual curtains to the Lions drew to a close. While there were some compelling conversations that ensued despite the tough times that the world is grappling with currently, what makes Cannes, “Cannes” is the social element, with networking at its core. That said, celebrating creativity and keep it alive has never been more important. Here’s hoping that the dark days of the pandemic are soon behind us. There’s hope that the situations around Covid, world-over ameliorates in the coming months and the in-person festival is back next year in its all-new avatar. Can’t wait to see you at the Riviera in 2022!

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