Cannes Lions Special Section

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What's new for Cannes Lions 2023?

Cannes Lions has made changes to its processes and categories for 2023, including a revamp for the Pharma Lions.
Image sourced from the Cannes Lions
Image sourced from the Cannes Lions website

Here are the changes we can expect to see:

The Entertainment Lions for Gaming

The Entertainment Lions for Gaming category will seek to celebrate creative work that connects brands and people through gaming.

Entries will be required to demonstrate how brands successfully tapped into gaming communities and added value to the overall gaming experience - all while driving commercial success.

Media Lions

To ensure the Media Lions Awards accurately reflects the media industry, as well as celebrate the craftsmanship of using media to create brand awareness.

Entries into the ‘Excellence in Media Craft’ section can only be submitted and paid for by independent media agencies or companies owned by a media network or independent media network. This section will sit outside the existing maximum limits for entry within the Media Lion, by Media Agencies only.

Creative B2B Lions

The Creative B2B Lion has been refreshed by removing the distinction between Products and Services across the categories to better reflect the B2B industry.

A new ‘Integrated Campaign’ category has been introduced to ensure that the Lion recognises the multi-touchpoint, multi-stakeholder nature of the buying journey for B2B creative work.

The weightings of the judging criteria have also been altered to place more emphasis on the strategy of the work.

Pharma Lions

The Pharma Lions have been refreshed for 2023, to ensure the Lion clearly distinguishes the difference between Pharma work that faces heavy regulation and health and wellness work which can air without the same stringent restrictions.

All work entered into Pharma Lions must be aimed at specific practitioners and patient groups in relation to the management of a disease or medical condition diagnosed and treated by a healthcare professional.

In addition, the sections have been restructured so that all regulated work and non-regulated work are now separate, and the Health Mediums have also been updated to align more closely with the specialisms of the Lions.

Mobile Lions

The definition of Mobile Lions has been updated for 2023 to include all applications of portable devices and mobile technology, In addition, categories across the Lion have been amended to celebrate work that focuses on how the mobile device was central to the user experience.

Entries will need to demonstrate creativity through the application of technology on portable platforms; work where a hand-held or wearable environment is central to the idea and the experience and enables key aspects of the execution.

Introduction of the Metaverse

Cannes Lions 2023 will see the introduction of the Metaverse into categories focused on New Realities and Emerging Tech. For the purposes of the Awards, the use of the Metaverse is defined as “the creative application of immersive experiences which creatively push the boundaries of technology”.

Other category descriptions across the Lions have been expanded to include virtual worlds, new realities and the associated technology and innovations.

Changes to Cannes overall

The end of the previous eligibility period came after the final deadline, leaving little time for some work to sit in the market and demonstrate measurable impact.

For 2023, the work submitted must have aired, launched or been released to the public for the first time between 21 Feb 2022 and 23 April 2023. (If only part of the campaign falls into this window, see the rules for more information).

For 2023, entrants will be encouraged to provide information about the composition of the teams involved ‘behind the camera’ and any relevant information about the brand or agency’s DE&I agenda. Whilst this information won’t be part of the written submission, and so won’t contribute towards judging, it is intended to measure progress and help inform future criteria.

This move builds on the objectification and harmful stereotypes criteria introduced in 2017 and will contribute to the ongoing partnerships by continuing to work closely with the Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media, and the Unstereotype Alliance.

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