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Cannes Lions launches 2020 Festival and announces changes

The Festival reveals the 2020 Content Agenda focusing on eight industry-driven themes, introduces the new Creative Business Transformation Lions, and refreshes the PR Lions.


Cannes Lions launches the 2020 Festival by announcing the Content Agenda themes, alongside the launch of the Creative Business Transformation Lions. New elements of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, taking place from Monday 22 June - Friday 26 June 2020, were devised through industry-wide consultation and in-depth research with the global branded communications community.

Cannes Lions gathered feedback from over 1500 customers and executed 100 in-depth interviews with industry-leading Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Creative Officers, brand leaders, strategists and CEOs to inform the 2020 Content Agenda’s eight themes. Each theme is shaped around the most business-critical areas of branded marketing and communications and the Festival now invites the industry to apply to speak on stage and enter their content submissions.

Simon Cook, Managing Director, Cannes Lions, said: “In response to industry need, the 2020 Cannes Lions content themes will set the global agenda for the industry and help us all navigate the year ahead. We look forward to seeing a hugely diverse set of expert speakers from across the breadth of creative and cultural disciplines. Our community attends the Festival to learn from best practice, make valuable connections, and take away tools and techniques that will accelerate business and personal performance and unlock creative potential.”

The 2020 content themes are:
  • Creativity is the Business Growth Engine – explores the role of marketers to define how creativity can support both short-term activities and long-term brand equity to have a better level of influence in the boardroom.
  • Creative Disruption in Commerce – trailblazers from brands and retailers will introduce pioneering forms of commerce (cashless, omnichannel, immersive) to promote better buying experiences.
  • Post-Purpose: Brand Accountability and Activism - the world’s biggest brands and agencies will discuss how they’re tackling critical global issues, from climate change to inequality.
  • Your Brand is my Experience – brand and experience are now interlinked. Brands will discuss how they experiment with customer experience and improve the entire customer journey through seamless interactions.
  • Looking to 2030: Making your Business Future-fit – in an era where we constantly learn, experiment and create the future, explore the new skill sets required and how to acquire and retain the world’s best creative and tech talent.
  • Applied Creativity: When Data, Tech and Ideas Collide – experts will share examples of how to apply data and tech to enthral audiences, and brands will demonstrate how they harness tech to create lasting emotional connections.
  • Storytelling at Scale – speakers will explore new creative dimensions in storytelling, across a range of platforms and formats, to gain attention and engage in the issues that matter, putting cultural relevancy at the forefront.
  • Let’s Get Back to Brand – delves into how creativity can help to curb the current obsession with clicks and impressions and focus instead on brand-building and long-term brand health.
  • Charlotte Williams, VP - Content, Cannes Lions, said: “We spoke to more than a hundred of the most brilliant minds in the industry to uncover the real business challenges they face. The eight themes explore the key concerns and opportunities for branded marketing and communications, and we look forward to welcoming world-class industry leaders to share their perspectives on the Festival stages next June.”

    New for 2020, the Creative Business Transformation Lions are launched in response to the digital disruption that is affecting the way brands and businesses operate. As businesses invest in new ways of working in order to future-proof their business, this Lion celebrates the creativity that drives businesses forward, and the creative thinking that changes how businesses organise themselves, how people work internally and how customers engage. The Creative Business Transformation Lions honour this new breed of work.

    Work that wins at the Festival will demonstrate how creative change has been achieved across core business functions, delivering business impact and creating better customer outcomes. This Award covers the breadth of new creative approaches that are used to create value and drive competitive advantage, alongside traditional brand communications. This includes the creation of new products and services, the use of technology and business design, and the reinvention of operations and customer experiences, in order to drive transformative change.

    Susie Walker, Head of Awards, Cannes Lions, said: “We’re expecting entries to come from across in-house and agency teams that provide creative services, consultancy, experience or service design, new product development, innovation and digital transformation, in order to drive transformational change. We continually evolve the Awards, in line with the industry and the new Creative Business Transformation Lions celebrate creativity that can drive tangible business change.”

    The Festival has also refreshed the PR Lions for 2020 to ensure the Award accurately represents the current PR industry. Cannes Lions undertook research with PR specialists globally to better understand their unique challenges and perspectives to ensure the PR Lions focus on the areas of creative work that the industry wants to be recognised for today.

    All updates to Award categories will be available on the Cannes Lions website in November 2019. Entries to the Lions Awards open on the 16th of January 2020.

    Content submissions to speak on the Cannes Lions stages are now open and will close on 10th January 2020. For further details, explore our content themes.

    Delegate passes are now available to buy.

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