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Unravelling the Key Themes of Cannes Lions 2023

The Cannes International Festival of Creativity celebrated its 70th year, marking advertising and marketing's biggest event. This year witnessed historic moments, such as the introduction of a new Entertainment Lions for Gaming category. Exciting news also emerged for countries like Nigeria and Armenia, while Saudi Arabia secured its first-ever Grand Prix. The UK remained one of the leading nations, bagging five Grand Prix wins (including one for the7stars!) and a total of 107 awards, second only to the US.

The Comeback of Creativity

The number of entries in 2023 increased by 6% YoY. While not yet reaching pre-pandemic levels, this surge in entries demonstrates the industry's resilience and adaptability. It also underscores the continued significance of Cannes Lions as a global platform for showcasing exceptional work and celebrating innovation.

Noteworthy Themes of the Grand Prix Winners

For yet another year, purpose-driven marketing and campaigns with a focus on social impact took centre stage, highlighting brands' commitment to making a positive difference. The celebration of diversity, inclusion, and authentic storytelling reflected the power of representation. Additionally, sustainability and environmental consciousness emerged as significant themes. The festival also celebrated the intersection of technology and creativity, showcasing innovative campaigns that leveraged AI, VR, and immersive experiences to push the boundaries of innovation. Empathy, authenticity, and transparency resonated through heartfelt campaigns, fostering genuine human connections. Mental health, social justice, and equality were passionately addressed, while creativity for good and data-driven insights showcased the transformative power of creativity in shaping a better world. However, an undercurrent of anti-purpose and pro-good old-fashioned selling also garnered attention, and rightfully so.

Empowering Transformational Shifts through Creativity

The "Lions State of Creativity Study 2023" delves into the evolving landscape of creativity and its impact on businesses. The study reveals that 97% of professionals believe creativity drives business growth and competitive advantage. It underscores the increasing importance of creativity in driving innovation, business success, and societal progress. The report emphasises the role of creativity in fostering resilience and adaptability, especially during uncertain times that affect budgets. Marketers and creatives are prompted to prove the value of creativity more than ever.

The report stresses the significance of establishing a clear connection between creativity and commercial outcomes. It explores the impact of technology on creative industries and highlights the need for a balance between automation and human ingenuity. The study also examines key trends, including AI-human collaboration, striking a balance between short and long-term brand-building, fostering collaborations with creators, and implementing best practices across marketing organizations to cultivate exceptional creativity.


The 70th anniversary of the Cannes International Festival of Creativity showcased exceptional talent and highlighted themes of purpose-driven marketing, diversity, sustainability, and technology. Looking ahead, these trends will continue to shape the future, driving innovation and emphasizing the importance of creativity in fostering business growth and shaping a prosperous future.