June 29, 2023

Cannes Concepts: A Glimpse into the 2023 Cannes Lions 

Image of Gold Lion winning work "Inequality You Can't Ignore"

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity just clocked its 70th anniversary, signaling a big milestone for this legendary event — and another one for EVERSANA INTOUCH: A Gold Lion for “Inequality You Can’t Ignore” with The Chrysalis Initiative!

Gold on day one was quite a start to a week of inspiration. But the following days delivered with a gallery of stunning work and insightful sessions. Here are a few themes that are “in” with jurors and thought leaders in 2023:

Authenticity? Always in.  

Pinterest CEO and CMO Bill Ready and Andrea Mallard led a discussion about social media and technology’s impact on emotional wellness — specifically for Gen Z. With them was Dr. Michael Rich, founder of Digital Wellness Lab and Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders at Boston Children’s Hospital. Together, they spoke on the realities of teen use of social media, backed by stats that prove the need for making the internet a healthier, and more authentic place for all.  
Award-winning creative that echoes this sentiment was Grand Prix Media Lion winner #TurnYourBack by Dove that puts artificial beauty filters on notice, calling attention to the harmful effects digital distortion has on young people. Dove continued to grab attention (and Lions) with “The Cost of Beauty,” a campaign that takes on the issue of appearance dissatisfaction driven by social media. The work features real-life survivor Mary, whose 14-year struggle with an eating disorder was distilled into 115 poignant seconds of selfies, videos and posts from her social accounts.  

This commitment to authenticity and well-being is one we strive to infuse into the work we do for our clients and the people we reach each day.   

AI? Also in … with humanity.   

This year saw the highest number of AI entries, but that did not translate into a landslide of AI Lions – though there were standouts. One Pharma juror remarked: “AI is a tool to augment exceptional creative ideas, not replace them.”  (We agree.) To that end, Pharma’s Grand Prix Lion went to “Scrolling Therapy,” the mobile app which matches Parkinson’s facial therapy exercises with facial recognition AI — and converts expressions into scrolling commands for digital news feeds. And we felt all the feels with 3-time Bronze Lion “The Autism Journey.” This AI-generated experience in support of autism not only leveraged AI technology but re-wrote it, creating custom works of art that follow patterns best visualized by people with autism. Beyond visually stunning, this effort brought families together: “I’m finally living my dream of understanding what my autistic child dreams of!” 

Image of AI poster that reads "Can AI make experiences more human?"

Laughter? It’s in … for the healing that comes with it.  

Andrew Robertson, President and CEO of BBDO Worldwide talked about humor’s effectiveness in advertising — arguably needed now more than ever. Health & Wellness jurors agreed, commenting that entries that made them laugh or smile were healthy reminders that it’s okay to feel good, especially now. Grand Prix Health & Wellness Lion “The Last Performance” tackled the ever-uncomfortable life insurance conversation with a surprisingly delightful placement at the end of a popular murder mystery show, resurrecting victims to deliver a message of action to captivated viewers. Silver/Bronze Lion “The Horniculture Society” used cheeky humor and stunning art to educate the 65+ population about their rising risk of STIs. Turns out this audience is sowing more seeds outside the garden than in it — but they’re also willing to stop and listen to a well-delivered message. Lastly, Claritin’s Gold Lion “Diversitree” was deemed a branded breath of fresh air for their insightful and refreshing effort to help reduce pollen levels produced by an overpopulation of male trees: Plant more females!  

In closing to an exciting week, one thing remains constant: The power of imagination continues to shape the dialogue that drives culture forward. Being creative today requires a nimbler approach than ever, but boldly embracing change will be rewarded by all, especially those on the receiving end of the work we create! 

Learn more about our Gold Lion award and the “Inequality You Can’t Ignore” campaign here.