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Behind the scenes at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity

The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is the standout event in the global marketing, advertising and communications calendar. The world-famous festival features more than 50 events to inspire and invigorate the next 12 months of creativity. Alongside this, the coveted Cannes Lions Grand Prix Awards also take place, recognising the best of the best when it comes to creative marketing.

This year, we were back at Cannes, with colleagues from Marketing Excellence and agency partners. And what a week it was.

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We had a truly inspiring week with our group of marketing colleagues. Immersed in creative excellence and bravery, we worked hard on how our amazing brands can inspire new behaviours. New behaviours that can contribute positively to society and to our business.

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But the work doesn’t stop here. The opportunity for creativity is far-reaching. And it’s our job to harness this opportunity to continue delivering on our purpose and brand fights.

Fabrice Beaulieu Chief Marketing, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Officer

Our award highlights:

  • Dettol picked up the Kantar Brand of the Decade Award for the biggest ever shopper gain
  • Finish scooped a Bronze Lion for its ‘Cap the Tap’ campaign in collaboration with Havas, Turkey
  • The Finish Turkey team also celebrated success in the WARC (World Advertising Research Centre) Awards, after being awarded a Gold Award for Purpose for its ‘Tomorrow’s Water’ campaign

Our key takeaways:

  • Sustainability needs to be at the heart of everything creatives deliver

Fabrice spoke at a Campaign magazine panel that interrogated the idea of ‘sustainability in silo’ and explored how we can all come together to deliver on one common purpose. Consumers expect their brands to contribute to society positively and develop products with sustainable footprints. So, let’s tell that story!

  • Diverse casting is not just a hiring problem

Efrain Ayala, our Global Diversity and Inclusion Director, spoke at an interactive panel that looked at diverse casting in the wider context; asking what more can be done to improve diversity in advertising? While also understanding what it can deliver for our brands.

  • ‘The attention economy’ is a challenge for us all

‘Cutting through the noise’ is a struggle the whole industry is coming up against. Our creativity needs to grab the attention of our consumers amongst a sea of information being consumed 24/7. So, what we’ve learned is that we need to be bigger, bolder and act with real purpose if we’re going to make an impact.

  • Purpose isn’t just good for business and society – it also wins prizes!

McCann looked at 99 ideas that were awarded a Grand Prix over the last six years (2016-2021). Of those, 74% were purpose driven – compared to 2016, when the composition of Grand Prix winning ideas that were purpose driven was 66%. This shows that purpose is only getting more prominent.