Cannes Lions: The International Festival of Creativity

Cannes Lions: The International Festival of Creativity
3 minutes read. June 19th, 2019.

What’s On

Inspired by the Cannes Film Festival, Cannes Lions aims to ‘explore the value of creativity in branded communications’ by playing host to a series of talks, panels, exhibitions and events, all of which address opportunities and challenges faced by those who work in creative industries.

For the world’s biggest corporations, Cannes Lions offers brand exposure, with hundreds of senior figures attending to share and discuss industry changes. Keynote speakers from the likes of Google, Netflix and Coca-Cola (not to mention a whole host of exciting new start-up organisations) try to reflect on the past year and offer insight into what strategies will succeed in the year ahead.

The festival also represents an opportunity for professional creatives to be seen. Visitors are urged to not just sit back and listen, but network and mix with other attendees. Forming relationships with like-minded visitors, as well as sharing knowledge and strategies, can open doors for a wide range of collaborative projects.

Impactful and memorable examples of creative work epitomise what Cannes Lions is all about – with last year’s festival showcasing more than 30,000 projects from 90 countries, visitors are never short of inspiration.

The Lion Awards

The prestigious Lion Awards are the centrepiece of the Festival, providing a chance for creative teams and individuals to really make their mark. To be awarded a Lion is quite an achievement – judges are on the lookout for work that has completely shook the creative world and changed things for the better, with the results to back it up.

There are nine different award ‘tracks’, each containing a multitude of sub-category awards. The main categories are:

  • Communication
  • Craft
  • Entertainment
  • Experience
  • Good
  • Health
  • Impact
  • Innovation
  • Reach

Under 30s can gain exposure on a global stage by entering the Young Lions awards, which runs in conjunction with the Cannes Lions School. The School offers custom training and mentorship to promising young talent in order to develop future innovative leaders.

Take a look at our previous blog post on the importance of brand storytelling

This Year’s Event

Understanding where the future of creativity lies is one of Cannes Lions’ key goals. The 2019 festival will give specific focus towards harnessing creative strategies as a force for good, revolving around themes such as inclusiveness, equality, diversity and ethics.

Other key points of debate this year will include:

  • Striking the right balance between purpose and profit
  • Implementing creative strategy to drive brand performance & growth
  • Using modern technologies to improve the art of storytelling
  • Driving diversity of thought to deliver more positive work
  • Fixing the issue of trust, ethics and transparency in creative marketing


Those who can’t make the festival in person are invited to stream the event live with a digital pass. Whether you’re involved in creative industries or not, it’s well worth keeping an eye on the 66th annual Cannes Lions Festival, which takes place on 17-21st June 2019.

Interested in working with a full-service creative agency? Get in touch with the Think!Creative team today.

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Cannes Lions: The International Festival of Creativity

Paul Hough

Creative Director

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