The Cannes Festival of Creativity is resshaping its Lions awards program for 2018 onwards "changing the structure and breath of the awards more significantly than ever." It has decided to eliminate more than 100 subcategories, awards that made little sense, were too expensive and were generally too complicated to enter.
Gone altogether are the Cyber Lions, Integrated Lions and the Promo and Activation Lions. The Brand Experience, Creative E-commerce and Social & Influencer Lions are being relaunched as a separate set of awards, as are the Charity and NGO Lions.
A new entry cap means that each piece of work can only be entered into a maximum of six separate contests.
The Lions festival will also be shorter; instead of running for eight days, the festival agenda will be limited to five.
There will be more financial assistance to attendees. The price of a complete delegate pass will be vastly reduced in order to keep costs down and encourage attendance. A new program allocating one Young Delegate badge for agencies that entered more than 15 different submissions in 2017 is being introduced to encourage fresher and younger voices to attend and experience the event. Some 650 free young Lions delegate passes will be distributed in 2018.
Cannes Lions have also worked with local businesses to mitigate expense, with a freeze on hotel rates, free wifi all over the Festival, fixed taxi price and fixed price delegate menus in over 50 restaurants.
The show will also be streamed live and for free across multiple platforms so that non-attendees can tune in. It will also be broadcast via open-air locations throughout Cannes.
These changes are being well-received by agencies. Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun who earlier stated that his Groupe would not participate in the 2018 awards said it will be present in 2019.
Omnicom commented: “Cannes acknowledged that after 60 years it was time to hit the re-set button and that’s smart. We applaud the steps the festival has taken after seeking input from Omnicom and many agencies and CMOs across our industry. We are especially pleased to see the festival renew their focus on inspiring and energizing the next generation of creative talent — which, of course, is what the festival is — and should be — all about.”
“The changes for 2018 are more radical and exciting than we’ve seen in the last few years,” says Simon Cook, Director of Creative Excellence at Cannes Lions. “We feel it’s the right thing for the festival, and for everyone involved.”