The Big Creative Themes for 2022

The Creative Comeback

There is a collective pressure to do more in the creative industry - at pace. This is the overall sentiment from this year’s State of Creativity study, LIONS’ annual survey of the creative community that we use to inform our creative themes for the year. Under the duress of the pandemic, businesses turned to creativity as the ultimate problem solver. And it delivered. Despite lockdowns and economic pressures, creativity helped businesses reconnect with loyal fans; deliver adventure through virtual experiences; support hard-hit independent communities; and encourage empathy for health workers. Now there is an urgency to apply this new kind of creativity throughout business and society to drive further progress. Big ‘C’ creativity that is applied to the heart of business. We sense a strong creative comeback across the whole industry fuelled by innovation, purpose and creative resilience. Challenges still exist of course. To produce the kind of creativity that solves business problems and creates sustainable solutions, the industry has got to tackle unresolved issues: its talent drain, evidence of effectiveness and the DE&I agenda. This year, with the return of the Cannes Lions Festival, we look forward to bringing the global creative community back together to explore how we make progress. This report covers all of the themes and industry insights you need to be aware of before joining us at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2022. If you haven’t bought your ticket yet, you still can at

The Festival Themes


‘It Pays to Be Green’

How can brands deliver on sustainability in a more authentic and impactful way?


‘Represent the Under Represented’

Improving the translation of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in creative work.


‘A Renewed Focus on Talent’

Changing the industry’s approach to serve the talent of tomorrow.


‘Ready Player Two?’

How can we begin to balance big data, tech and creativity?


Reframing Creative Effectiveness: Ideas as Investments

Learning to measure the value of creativity in a more efficient way.


‘Re-imagine, Reinvent and Re-build: It’s Time for a Factory Reset’

How can creativity support large-scale business transformation?

Industry truths from the LIONS State of Creativity Study

  • 79% of agencies cited working styles and environment as either critical to their future knowledge or something they wanted to learn more about. And 70% said that personal development is a very or extremely important area in which they need to upskill the workforce in 2022
  • 85% of respondents said that creativity centred around sustainability is either critical or very important to business today
  • Only 10% of brands are extremely confident in applying commercially successful creativity today
  • 86% of creative partners believe it's most important to upskill talent in strategic creative thinking
  • 56% of brands and 55% of creative partners say securing talent is the most difficult aspect of transformational creativity to deliver today.