The measurable impact of creativity

The pandemic proved that creativity can help pull a business through a crisis. But despite the effects of lockdowns coming to an end in many parts of the world, the rising cost of living in is now bringing new challenges. Creativity - which has proved its value so recently - will become more important than ever in the next two to three years. Entries into the Creative Effectiveness Lions this year skyrocketed by 80%.

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Scale up to stand out

At this year’s festival the line between Gold and Grand Prix often came down to scale. “We were looking at real world impact,” says Kimberlee Wells, CEO of TBWA\Melbourne and Adelaide and Jury President of the Sustainable Development Goals Lions. “We set out to determine that the entry was not a moment to have a conversation, but to inspire long-term change.”

Patricia Corsi, Chief Marketing, Digital & Information Officer at Bayer and Health and Wellness Lions Jury President, explained that the Grand Prix, ‘The Killer Pack' by VMLY&R Mumbai for Maxx Flash, was chosen because the idea was so simple that it could be implemented by any sector and across the globe.

THE KILLER PACK | MAXX FLASH

VMLY&R MUMBAI | 2022

In the Creative Effectiveness Lions, the Grand Prix winner, ‘Contract for Change' by FCB Chicago for Michelob Ultra, was selected because of the horizontal impact it had across the food and beverage industry. “It made a change that could impact the marketplace, others in their category, the farmers, and also the AB InBev business,” says Karna Crawford, Head of U.S. Marketing at Ford and Creative Effectiveness Juror. “When you bring all those things together, you're talking about creative effectiveness at a much more epic scale.”

CONTRACT FOR CHANGE | MICHELOB ULTRA

FCB CHICAGO | 2022

Let’s get topical

Join the conversation

Bruno Bertelli, Global Chief Creative Officer at Publicis Worldwide, addresses the importance of applying topicality and speed across marketing communications in his talk '​​Heineken®- 150 Years Young.'

News cycles are unrelenting, so rather than battling for attention elsewhere, smart brands will position themselves in today’s big debates. That can mean reacting to something topical that's affected your brand, as Leo Burnett Chicago did for Wingstop during the chicken wing shortage with Creative Commerce Lions Grand Prix-winning 'ThighStop'. Or putting yourself in the heart of a wider issue, where it's appropriate for your brand to do so. For instance, Publicis Italy Milan for Heineken’s Gold Lion-winning ‘The Night is Young’ promoted Covid vaccine take-up to persuade young people to get back to enjoying nightlife. Meanwhile, 'The Unfiltered History Tour' by Dentsu Creative Bengaluru for Vice focused on connecting with younger generations of Britain on issues beyond news headlines, shining a light on the truth behind where many artefacts stored in the British Museum came from. It scooped up the most number of Lions this year with 12 Lions, including three Grands Prix.

THIGHSTOP | WINGSTOP

LEO BURNETT CHICAGO | 2022

WINNER OF THE GRAND PRIX IN CREATIVE COMMERCE

UNFILTERED HISTORY TOUR | VICE

DENTSU CREATIVE, BENGALURU | 2022

THE NIGHT IS YOUNG | HEINEKEN

PUBLICIS ITALY | 2022

BLESS YOUR F*ING COOCH | EOS

MISCHIEF @ NO FIXED ADDRESS BROOKLYN | 2022

Topicality doesn’t have to mean responding to grand world events. Think about what’s happening on your own channels, and journey through social media communities to find where your brand is being spoken about. Use the advantage you have to do live market research using the conversations consumers are having elsewhere. 'Bless Your F*ing Cooch' by Mischief @ No Fixed Address Brooklyn for shaving brand EOS, took this route and netted three Lions including a Silver in Social & Influencer for taking #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt to a new level.

“Real-time marketing, a thing that we’ve been talking about for decades but not really executing well, is here and the brands that can really lean into that are winning. I cannot emphasise enough how much we have to start changing our processes internally to exist in culture.”

Sofia Hernandez Global Head of Business Marketing | TikTok Speaking at TikTok's Cannes Lions 2022 talk 'Community and Discovery Builds Connection on TikTok

The untapped potential of B2B

Creativity is just as effective in B2B

An emerging wave of creativity has come from the B2B sector in recent years. In fact, two big Creative Effectiveness Lions winners this year – the Grand Prix, AB InBev’s ‘Contract for Change’ by FCB Chicago for Michelob Ultra, and Silver Lion-winning work ‘The Island' by Boys + Girls Dublin for Three – were effective B2B cases.

SPEAKING IN COLOR | SHERWIN-WILLIAMS COIL COATINGS

WUNDERMAN THOMPSON MINNEAPOLIS | 2022

WINNER OF THREE LIONS INCLUDING THE GRAND PRIX IN CREATIVE B2B

This was the first year of the Creative B2B Lions. Winning entries included hyper-creative, hyper-targeting from FCB New York for Spotify with ‘A Song for Every CMO', which took home a Gold Lion. And the Grand Prix went to ‘Speaking in Color’ from paint and coating manufacturer Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings by Wunderman Thompson Minneapolis.

Stand-out B2B work is expected to grow over the next year because as LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky pointed out on the Lumiere stage, that’s where the money is.

“Even in our current financial markets, the uncertainty we have today, these B2B businesses have a market cap that is greater than Nike, Coca-Cola, Adidas and GM combined. For the advertising industry these new B2B categories - and the businesses like them - that’s where the growth is going to come from.”

Ryan Roslansky CEO | LinkedIn Speaking at LinkedIn's Cannes Lions 2022 talk 'Back to the Creative Future - the Fight for Great Talent'

A SONG FOR EVERY CMO | SPOTIFY

FCB NEW YORK | 2022

SPEAKING IN COLOR | SHERWIN-WILLIAMS COIL COATINGS

WUNDERMAN THOMPSON MINNEAPOLIS | 2022

Drive curiosity through intriguing ideas

All eyes on you

Stories and ideas that fascinate, intrigue or pique the curiosity of consumers do well. But to build intrigue you need to take risks. You could be the brand that subverts its Super Bowl ad: Accenture Song New York for Coinbase won the Grand Prix in the Direct Lions for ‘Less Talk, More Bitcoin'. Or you could stand out from the crowd by building a product demo on steroids in the form of a nine-minute, laugh-out-loud, film as Apple Sunnyvale did for Apple with 'Escape from the Office', an extension of its Apple at Work initiative, which won two Lions including the Grand Prix in Film.

Being different is essential, but often the comfort of the familiar gets the better of marketers (or budget-holders). However, speaking as part of the Saatchi & Saatchi 'New Creators Showcase' talk, Channel 4 commissioning editor Rita Daniels explained: "We need to be taking more risks. We look to the past and think 'could we make a version of that?' rather than being more disruptive and asking 'what can you guys do that we're not doing?'" Searching for new talent with fresh perspective is a clear place to start.

“The more you use a tactic at scale the less effective it’s going to be. We all know this in our bones, we know that tactics of yesterday have diminishing returns and yet we continue to spend on the things we knew used to work.”

Emily Ross Director | Twitter Next, EMEA Speaking at the Cannes Lions 2022 talk 'Future Gazers - Ownership, Social Shopping and Purpose-led Brands'

SUPER HUMAN | PARALYMPICS / C4

SOMESUCH LONDON | 2022

GOLD FILM CRAFT LIONS WINNER

Intrigue can also be built through visuals. The second Film Grand Prix, Channel 4’s ‘Super. Human.' by 4Creative London, used a mishmash of well-choreographed clips to tell a story with clear personality. Don’t copy them, find your own arresting way to craft, partner with a creator who has never made an ad before, and surprise everyone.

LESS TALK MORE BITCOIN | COINBASE

ACCENTURE SONG, NEW YORK | 2022

ESCAPE FROM THE OFFICE | APPLE

APPLE SUNNYVALE | 2022

The rudiments of the most effective creative work have not changed - topicality, building intrigue, and consistency and commitment to a universally appealing brand platform, are proven qualities of the most impactful work. But the techniques to create ideas with these features have evolved. As platforms like TikTok foster new and niche communities considered social listening will help uncover how your brand is being spoken about. Avoid the comfort of the familiar - intrigue is built by revealing something that's never been seen before.