Discourses on second reawakening of digital, eco-innovations mark Day 4 of Cannes Lions

Day 4 of the Lions packed in the insights into the big wins at the festival of creativity

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Published: Jun 25, 2021 8:28 AM  | 4 min read
Cannes Lions

After reams of conversations on whether the Cannes Lions should be an in-person event or an online-only one, the bestowing of the Lions finally resumed with the return of the festival, albeit in virtual form, this year too.

While azure seas of the French Riviera, the rose, the live networking sessions and yacht parties were missed, day 3 of the Lions definitely managed to dish out some thought-provoking discussions.

The day overall was marked by adland delving into interesting discourses like creative pioneering in digital’s second reawakening, storytelling and driving solution-centered eco-innovation.

The day was off to a great start with Juan Senor, President, Innovation Media Consulting announcing the winners from the Cannes the Innovation Lions, Radio & Audio Lions, Mobile Lions, Creative Effectiveness Lions, Brand Experience & Activation Lions, Creative eCommerce Lions and the new Creative Business Transformation Lions, and the Young Lions Marketers Award.

This was followed by an insightful session by Cyrill Gutsch, Founder and CEO, Parley for the Oceans on shaping the future through creativity, collaboration and eco-innovation. Gutsh’s session looked at how every second breath we take is generated by the oceans and how the living sea makes our lives possible, but our way of life drives its destruction. He delved into how we can sync the economic system of humankind with the ecosystem of nature and end the threats of plastic pollution, climate change and overfishing. Parley for the Oceans is a new form of environmental organization — a global network that sees the key to solutions in creativity, collaboration and eco-innovation. With its Parley AIR Strategy (Avoid, Intercept, Redesign), award-winning Ocean Plastic materials and collaborations connecting artists, activists, industry, and governments, the highlighted how Parley is calling for change deeper than sustainability promises and recycling alone can deliver: a Material Revolution the creative class can own.

Next up, the Innovation Lions Debrief had Jury President Claudia Cristovao in Tokyo for a one-hour special show to delve into all of the winning work, along with some of the winners. Cristovao of Google was joined by Joakim Borgstrom, BBH & Misaki Tsuchiyama, Designit. 

The debrief packed in data analysis, comments from the jury and the opportunity to unpick some of the winning work in detail.

Daniël Sytsma - dentsu & Isobar, Láolú Senbanjo - Freelance, Kate Wills - Malaria No More UK took to the virtual screen for a talk called "History in the Making: End Malaria Now." The session encapsulated how the creative industry needs to create complex solutions that move beyond creating temporary fame - to permanently changing human behaviour. It looked at how you can create a global campaign that makes even governments or heads of state pay attention and take action and how the trickiest briefs require systemic cultural change to have any real impact, and that means the creation of a movement. It interestingly showed how art and culture were used as new tools against malaria and learned how to make more compelling, impactful and lasting change.

One of the most interesting sessions of the featured Wesley Ter Haar, Founder & Executive Director, MediaMonks put the spotlight on creative pioneering in digital’s second reawakening. The session looked at how from work to play and everything in between, digital technology has profoundly transformed the ways people connect - yet creative digital experiences continue to follow traditional storytelling methods like linear film. As we stand on the cusp of digital's second reawakening, Haar expounded on how the time is ripe for the creative community to leverage the unique advantages of digital technology - delivering more contextual, relevant experiences that stand out in a sea of sameness. The session presented a great opportunity to explore how the industry can better connect with digital user behavior to truly drive culture and impact, and how data insights and digital craft combine to help them show up more intelligently and effectively.

Amazon’s session on how storytelling shapes society and marketing was another standout from the day. It had Neil Lindsay, Vice President Marketing and Prime, Amazon and Yuval Noah Harari of Sapiens discuss the transformative power of storytelling to evolve societies and brands.

The Creative Effectiveness Lions Debrief featured Creative Effectiveness Lions Jury President Ann Mukherjee in New York for a one-hour special show who was joined by Adam Kakembo - Aesop and Cathy Taylor - WARC looked at 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.

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