The number of entries to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2023 has seen an increase of 6% compared to the previous year.
This year the annual festival celebrating global creativity and effectiveness announced a total of 26,992 entries.
There were 2,201 entries for the UK and 7,303 for the US, with categories including Brand Experience & Activation, Direct and Outdoor receiving some of the highest entries.
The Entertainment Lions for Gaming received 609 submissions in its inaugural year, with Philip Thomas, chairman of Lions, commenting that it showed “strong engagement” with the category.
“[It] is testament to the relevance and opportunity that gaming now holds within the creative marketing community,” Thomas said.
“We’re excited to see the body of work that emerges from this Lion, and I’d like to thank the Jury in advance for setting the very first benchmark in creativity in gaming and showing what is possible in this hugely exciting area.”
Some of the Lions with increased engagement include the Brand Experience & Activation Lions – with an increase of 16% – and the Creative Strategy Lions, which saw an increase of 35%.
The Creative Business Transformation Lions has seen a 59% increase in its third year and the Creative Commerce Lions increased 25% year on year.
Outdoor Lions saw an increase of 7% – partly due to the FMCG sector, where entries grew by 30% year on year, and the travel sector, which saw an 84% increase.
The Entertainment Lions have increased 18% year on year and saw a 78% jump in submissions from the consumer services sector.
Additional growth includes Glass: The Lion for Change and Innovation Lions, both receiving a 30% increase.
Simon Cook, chief executive of Lions, added: “The shifts in the work that’s been entered provides us with a powerful insight into the industry landscape and the emerging trends. A high increase in submissions made directly from consumer product brand companies demonstrates the value being placed on creativity that drives business.
“The strong engagement across a breadth of Lions including emerging areas like B2B, gaming, commerce and business transformation – shows us that there is a growing confidence and investment in non-traditional channels.”
Cook added: “Over the next week, our Juries will curate a body of Lion-worthy work and set the global benchmark that will propel us into the year ahead, supporting those using creativity to drive progress.”
The winners of the Lions will be announced at the award shows taking place each evening throughout the festival, from 19-23 June 2023.
Cannes Lions had 25,464 entries in 2022, the first in-person festival in three years.
There were 29,074 entries in 2021, which was run virtually and covered two years because the 2020 festival was cancelled, and there were 30,953 entries in 2019.
Despite the drop in entries in 2022, revenues still increased 8% compared to pre-pandemic levels.