Robert Sawatzky
Jun 23, 2023

Campaign at Cannes 2023: How the creative business transformation jury chose its winners

"Work that defines change and transformation doesn't have to tear everything apart... It's about looking inward, looking at what you already have, and then doing something with it that's hugely powerful," says jury president Justin Peyton in an interview with Campaign at Cannes.

Justin Peyton, Cannes Lions jury president
Justin Peyton, Cannes Lions jury president

The Creative Business Transformation Lions were awarded Thursday evening. The Grand Prix was awarded to McCann New York's 'Adlam - An Alphabet to Preserve a Culture' for Microsoft.   

Asia took home four of 10 awards in total, including a Gold Lion for Dentsu Inc. Tokyo's 'Well-Being Index' for Nikkei Inc. Leo Burnett Mumbai added a Silver Lion in the category to its collection for Lay's Smart Farm, as did Draftline Shanghai for teaming up with David agency in Bogota and New York on Corona Extra Lime. 

Finally, TBWA\Hakuhodo won yet another Lion, a bronze, for Shellmet, which also took home a gold lion for Innovation on Thursday. 

In Cannes, Campaign caught up with jury president Justin Peyton from Wunderman Thompson, who has been the agency's APAC's chief transformation and strategy officer until relocating to the US this summer, to discuss what went into the award deliberations.

Define what creative business transformation is. 

The one thing transformation means at its core to me and to the jury, is that it imparts lasting change. This isn’t something that’s a moment in time doing something different. There are innovation Lions and others for that.  

In particular, it’s about the power of ideas to impact businesses, communities, stakeholders or cultures. And to those within the room, you really had to show how that change was going to manifest—how it had manifested already, but also how it had staying power and what it meant to the audience and business going forward. That was what we look for at its core.  

What stood out in the work? 

Tell us about the Grand Prix and what really stood out.  

Asian work outperformed in this category. How would you assess the regional performance? 

What lessons do you have for those looking to succeed in this category in future? 

When talking with brands and marketers about what it takes to win, I keep coming back to what I think the definition is. Be honest with yourself. Is the work transformative? Is it just about doing something different or creating lasting change?

Is the idea that drove it creative and can that creativity be seen all the way through? 

Most importantly, show me the evidence. Don't ever use the same submission that you put together for other categories at Cannes, because this category demands a different level of information. It demands a real view into what the results are.

What is the future potential? Transformation is not a moment in time. We want to know what that commitment is going forward and see how that impacts things.  

Campaign Asia

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