Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity
The French city of Cannes is probably best known as the host city of the annual Cannes Film Festival, which is considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals. However, in the advertising industry, Cannes is first and foremost associated with hosting the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which has been held here each June since 1984.

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, formerly known as the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and commonly referred to as Cannes Lions, is considered to be the largest and most important event in the advertising industry, creative communications and related fields.

The Cannes Lions Festival was created by a group of cinema screen advertising contractors who felt that the makers of advertising films should be recognized just like filmmakers who are honored at major film festivals. Although the founders were mostly inspired by the Cannes Film Festival, the first edition of Cannes Lions took place in Venice; the lions in the name are a reference to the marble lions from Venice’s Piazza San Marco.

The inaugural International Advertising Film Festival was held in September 1954, showcasing 187 advertising films from 14 countries. The second festival took place in Monte Carlo, and the third one in Cannes. Between 1956 and 1983, the festival alternated between Cannes and Venice before setting in the former and receiving its current name in 1984.

The world’s largest and most important festival dedicated to advertising and creative communications offers five days of lectures, workshops, seminars, educational programs, and other activities for people specializing in branding, marketing, design, technology, media, and entertainment. Its program features over 100 workshops conducted by leading advertising and communications professionals from around the world.

The central event of Cannes Lions is the award ceremony. The Cannes Lions Awards are the most established and coveted awards for the creative and marketing communications industry. A jury made up of art directors and advertising executives presents trophies to the most creative and professional works in a range of categories. The number of categories has considerably grown over the years because the advertising industry is constantly developing alongside new technologies.

The jury of Cannes Lions consists of about 400 professionals from over 50 countries. The high caliber of the judges is matched by the high standards they are held to and the rigorous processes they undertake. Judging at Cannes Lions consists of three rounds that involve viewing, voting, discussion and awarding of trophies.

Here’s some numbers to help you imagine the scope of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity: the event draws over 16,000 attendees and 4,700 companies, and the jury members have to view about 40,000 entries submitted to the competition.

Cannes Lions

Photo: Christian Alminana




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