Gideon Spanier
Jun 17, 2024

Cannes Lions entries drop slightly as new humour category attracts 798 submissions

Entries were “broadly flat”, down less than 1% on a year earlier.

Simon Cook, CEO Cannes Lions (source: Cannes Lions)
Simon Cook, CEO Cannes Lions (source: Cannes Lions)

Cannes Lions received 26,753 entries for its 2024 awards, which was marginally down versus a year earlier.

Entry numbers declined less than 1% compared to 26,992 in 2023 and were about 5% ahead of the 25,464 received in 2022, the first in-person festival after the pandemic.

Simon Cook, chief executive of Lions, described the number of entries as “broadly flat”, adding that more delegates are attending “than ever before”, including more brands and chief marketing officers.

Agencies are the biggest entrants to the awards but entries from brands increased by 6% and from media owners by 31%.

Entries from Latin America grew as submissions from Costa Rica tripled and there was also “significant growth” from Ecuador, Argentina and Mexico, plus Brazil was up again, Cook said in an interview with Campaign’s Cannes daily, global podcast.

Entries from Singapore were up 93% and New Zealand jumped 47%, Cook added.

Submissions from the US and UK were “broadly flat”.

The annual festival of creativity, which runs from 17 to 21 June, is is the biggest annual gathering in global advertising and is seen as a barometer of the ad industry.

The organisers have introduced a new humour sub-category across 13 of the 30 Lions awards and it attracted 798 entries or 5% of all submissions that were eligible.

Cook said: “As a barometer for the global industry, this is when we see interesting shifts across the global landscape – we’ve seen continued growth in the Creative Effectiveness Lions, which has received the highest number of submissions since its launch in 2011, demonstrating that there’s a strong commitment to creativity as a growth driver.

“The shift in the make-up of companies is also interesting, with the number of brand submissions rising 6% and media owners are up a significant 31%, demonstrating the breadth of investment in creativity across the full spectrum of branded communications.

“Our juries are already curating a body of Lion-worthy work and we look forward to seeing the work that will set the benchmark for another year and show us the way forward.”

Some established sectors have seen growth in entry numbers. Outdoor Lions were up 6% and Audio & Radio Lions were also up 6%.

Some newer sectors have also been growing as Innovation Lions jumped 52%, Social & Influencer Lions rose 21% and Creative Commerce was up 18%.

Marian Brannelly, global director of awards for Lions, said: “This year we expanded the categories within the Social & Influencer Lions to better recognise and celebrate the pivotal role that content creators play in shaping and amplifying brand messages.

“The dynamic influence these individuals have on audiences across social and digital platforms reflects the evolving nature of communication and branding in the modern era.

Brannelly added: “Work into the new Use of Humour category, which sits across 13 Lions, makes up 5% of all entries within those Lions, demonstrating a shift in tone and the rise of effective commercial work designed to entertain.”

Expected highlights of the 2024 festival are a parade for the Olympic torch on Tuesday and an interview with Elon Musk, boss of Tesla and owner of X.

Campaign UK

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