The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has received 25,464 entries from 87 countries – a drop of about 18% on the last in-person festival in 2019 before the pandemic.
The organisers of Cannes Lions said they were “very pleased” with the 2022 numbers, pointing out that the number of entries compared well with 2021, when there were 29,074 entries covering two years, after the 2020 festival was cancelled.
While the total number of entries is down on 2021, the number from some countries and regions has increased. Entries from Brazil were up 31% year on year and India 32% year on year.
This year, the organisers introduced a new category, the Creative B2B Lions, which has received 415 entries coming from 37 countries.
The Creative Effectiveness Lions category has also recorded an 83% increase year on year, receiving 258 entries from 30 countries.
The festival runs about 20 awards schemes, ranging from pharmaceutical and public relations to media and film, over the course of five days from 20 to 24 June.
The awards are widely regarded as the most prestigious in global advertising.
Cannes Lions accepted 402 entries for free from Ukraine this year, after waiving the entry costs following Russia’s invasion of the country. Russian companies and delegates were barred from attending the festival or entering the awards.
'Very happy with the overall level of engagement by our customers'
Cannes Lions has looked to slim down the festival since before the pandemic, reducing it from eight days to five days in 2018 and increasing the focus on sustainability – partly in response to demands from the brands and agencies that attend the event and enter the awards.
The festival had 30,953 entries in 2019, 32,372 in 2018 and 41,170 2017.
A spokesperson for Cannes Lions said of the 2022 award entries: “We are very pleased with the volume of award entries. The previous awards accounted for two years' worth of entries (29,000), therefore to receive 25,000 entries for this year alone represents a good bounceback, especially given the turbulence caused by the pandemic.
“We are very happy with the overall level of engagement by our customers and we are very excited to welcome them to the festival over the coming days.”
Simon Cook, chief executive of Cannes Lions, added: “This is always such a pivotal moment for us because the work entered provides a compelling insight into the global creative marketing landscape.
“Over the coming days at the Festival, our juries will curate a body of work worthy of Lions and set the global benchmark that will propel us into the year ahead.”
Philip Thomas, chairman of Cannes Lions, welcomed the launch of the Creative B2B Lion category.
“We started discussing a Lion that recognised B2B work way back in 2013 and having seen a recent rise in B2B work winning Lions we felt that now was the right time to put it on the global stage,” he said.
“It’s now the job of our juries to determine the global benchmark and set the creative bar in this sector.”