Cannes Lions adds new category, shakes up others

The festival has created an award specifically for B2B work, while evolving the approach for Media and Commerce.

Ahead of entries opening in the new year, Cannes Lions has announced the creation of a new Lion category and changed two others to reflect the innovation it has seen in the marketplace.

The new Creative B2B Lion is meant to recognize creativity and effectiveness in, as the name suggests, work promoting B2B products and services. It’s an award Philip Thomas, chairman of Cannes Lions, said had been “several years in the making,” and was first discussed in 2013.

“But we always try to get the timing right, so that our awards are reflective of the industry and in line with its needs,” he added. “Having seen a rise in B2B work winning across the Lions, and with many in the industry believing that a specialist Lion in this area will raise the creative bar and elevate the discipline, we think that now is B2B’s moment to have its own spotlight on the global creative stage.”

Jann Martin Schwarz is global head of the B2B Institute at LinkedIn, which provided input to Lion’s development, and will serve as its first jury president.

“Businesses that deliver products and services to professionals are among the fastest growing industries globally,” he says. “There is a new generation of high-growth B2B players who are rewriting the rules on B2B brand-building because they understand that effectiveness is all about the work.”

In addition, Cannes Lions has updated the Creative Ecommerce Lions to become, quite simply, the Creative Commerce Lions. The change is a recognition to the innovation and creative approach seen in both online and offline commerce, as well as payment solutions and moving people through the customer journey.

Simon Cook, managing director of Cannes Lions, said there was also an 18% increase in entries related to commerce to the awards this year, and changing the category was a way to keep the awards relevant to the industry. Beth Ann Kaminkow, global CEO of VLMY&R Commerce, will serve as this year’s jury president.

Finally, the description of the Media Lions has been updated to make it more clear that creative media ideas are being awarded, with similar updates made throughout the categories. That effort is backed up by the weighting structure, the majority of which now sits across media craft areas.

“Media today presents a vast creative canvas with which to grab the attention of fleeting audiences. By updating the category to emphasize the role media plays in creativity, the Media Lions are recognizing how the scope and impact of media has broadened,” said Daryl Lee, global CEO for IPG Mediabrands and president of the 2022 Media Lions Jury.

The 2022 Cannes Lions, which have committed to a hybrid festival after being forced to go fully virtual last year, opens for entries on Jan. 20.