Cannes Lions is launching a Luxury & Lifestyle Lions award category at the 2024 festival to recognise ”the most impactful creative work, experiences and creative business solutions” in the sector.
The festival organisers will drop another category, the Mobile Lions, which have run since 2012, as part of a review of the awards, which take place in June and are widely considered the most important in the global advertising calendar.
Cannes Lions said: “The Luxury & Lifestyle Lions will recognise branded communications and solutions that drive business performance and brand loyalty. The Lion will also recognise creativity and innovation that is rooted in craftsmanship; work that aims to set a new benchmark for the luxury sector, including the creative evolution of business models and broader transformation.”
Simon Cook, the chief executive of Lions, said the festival has introduced the new category after “our global committee of experts have advised us that this highly disrupted sector needs its own benchmark”. The festival also consulted brands and agencies in the luxury space.
Cook said there will be a number of sub-categories within Luxury & Lifestyle and the festival will recruit a multi-disciplinary jury from around the world, partly because the concept of luxury varies in different markets.
Charles Georges-Picot, global chief executive of Marcel and global client lead of Publicis Luxe, said: “At a time where the luxury sector must constantly reinvent, transform and honour brand heritage with a keen eye on the future, the introduction of a Luxury & Lifestyle Lions will help set a new creative benchmark for this highly disrupted and exciting sector.”
In recent years, Lions has introduced other new categories such as the Entertainment Lions for Gaming and dropped others such as Cyber, Integrated and Product Design over time.
Cook said: “We introduce them [new categories] when there’s a need. The Lions reflect the industry and, to an extent, we hope to lead it.”
It made sense to drop Mobile because it is now “embedded” in work across every discipline and category, according to Cannes Lions.
Press & Publishing Lions is another category which had a decline in entries in 2023, as print has become a smaller part of the media mix.
Asked whether the category could be dropped in future, Cook said: “It’s a possibility. We are seeing there are [still] people around the world that want the benchmark of what great print and publishing excellence looks like.” But he added “it’s something we’re continually assessing”.
Ascential, the owner of Cannes Lions, previously reported at its half-year results that revenues from Lions increased 30% year on year and 40% versus 2019.
Awards entries increased 6% and awards revenue rose 11%. Delegate revenue was up 17%, and sponsorship up 66%. Advisory work doubled.
Ascential also recently bought Contagious Communications, the creative insights business, to help customers identify industry trends.
Ascential and Haymarket, the owner of Campaign, jointly own Spikes in Asia.