Emmet McGonagle
Oct 20, 2020

Cannes Lions launches digital masterbrand

International Festival of Creativity is still set to take place next year.

Cannes Lions has created a digital masterbrand called Lions in a bid to champion creativity as the brand attempts to expand its International Festival of Creativity into a year-long platform.

Launched during the October edition of Lions Live (19-23 October), the platform features four pillars of the brand's product portfolio: community, intelligence, learning and benchmarking.

As part of the launch, five marketing and creative moguls across four continents –  Chaka Sobhani, chief creative officer of Leo Burnett; Josy Paul, chairman and chief creative officer at BBDO India; Tea Uglow, creative director of Google's Creative Lab in Sydney; PJ Pereira, creative chairman and co-founder of Pereira O'Dell; and Yang Yeo, chief creative officer at Hakuhodo International in Singapore – have narrated a series of videos encouraging members to champion creativity.

The two-minute films showcase a series of critically acclaimed campaigns from the past decades, including Guinness' 1998 spot "Surfers" by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, John Lewis' 2018 Christmas campaign "The boy and the piano" by Adam & Eve/DDB, Sport England's "This girl can" by FCB Inferno and Channel 4's "Superhumans" by 4Creative.

The videos will be streamed throughout Lions Live and available to watch on the Lions YouTube channel.

About 80,000 people from 145 countries have registered to be a part of the Lions Live community, which Simon Cook, managing director of Lions, has hailed as "testament to the industry's appetite to learn about creative excellence and be part of a diverse, global community with a shared vision and belief".

"Cannes Lions takes place annually in June, and the Festival of Creativity will always serve as the pinnacle experience that provides us with the awards and the global benchmark in creativity," Cook told Campaign.

"We want to acknowledge that creativity has been established as a very powerful force that accelerates careers, shapes society and drives business performance. For that reason, creativity can no longer be tethered to a single point in the year.

"The creation of Lions is a very natural evolution of our business that brings our portfolio of services onto a single platform – The Home of Creativity.

"Our aim is to provide those in the business of creativity with access to the insight and support they've asked for to enable them to drive progress through creativity, every day."

According to Cook, Cannes Lions has been working to create a year-round solution "for some time" in which industry members can gain training and creative resources throughout the year.

He said: "We know that there are some people who will never get to experience the Festival but now anyone, anywhere can engage with and benefit from world-class experts discussing the work that sets the bar.

"Cannes Lions offers a podium, but Lions Live is about getting under the hood. Both inspiration and application."

As with other events, this year's physical iteration was cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Next year's event is still set to take place in June, and virtual passes will be available to members unable to travel to the event.

Philip Thomas, chairman of Lions, said: "This change brings together the disparate parts of what Lions has been offering for some time, whether that's our consultancy services for brands who want to improve the creativity and effectiveness of their marketing, the benchmarking of the Global Creativity Report, the inspiration and celebration of the festivals we run, our year-round training courses, or the rich digital resource of the work.

"We know how powerful creativity can be, and the Lions platform is designed to equip our community with the support, tools and insights to better understand, and adopt, transformational creativity."

Campaign UK

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