The Business Case for Creativity

“We've seen that award-winning creative has a significantly higher ROI - in our case 54% higher ROI than non-winning work.”
Matt Biespiel Formerly McDonald’s Senior Director of Global Brand Development

LIONS has over 65 years of evidence that investment in creativity drives business performance for creative companies. The business value of award-winning creativity has been proven through multiple rigorous studies. Here are just a few of our studies to get you started:

The Creative Effectiveness Ladder

Most recently, James Hurman and Peter Field completed the largest creative effectiveness study to date with LIONS and WARC, based on almost 5000 effectiveness award entrants and winners, including Creative Effectiveness Lions winners from 2011-2019. They found clear proof that high-quality creative work leads to long-term sales growth and brand building. From this research James and Peter developed a new framework: The Creative Effectiveness Ladder, a tool which gives businesses a universal language and way to identify the six main types of effects produced by creative marketing. Find out more about the Creative Effectiveness Ladder here.

Awards Creativity Score Index

LIONS also partnered with McKinsey to create a study – the Awards Creativity Score Index – which demonstrated a clear link between winning a Lion for best-in-class creative work and positive financial results. They gave a score to a brand based on the quality of their creativity, and when McKinsey looked at the financial results of companies whose ACS scores were in the top quartile, they found that these companies outperformed their peers in organic revenue growth and shareholder returns.

Hear Jay Morgan, Andrea Stiac, Trevor Robison and other industry leaders explain their view of the ROI of entering and attending Cannes Lions.


Our Awards Expects can share our research into the effectiveness of creatively awarded work,

as well as explaining how to develop an award-winning culture that raises your creative bar and

what winning a Lion can do for your business