The Cannes Lions awards juries have their work cut out for them this year with a total of 29,074 pieces of work to evaluate. While that’s a lot of work, total entries this year are down 6% versus 2019.
As previously reported, entries cover two years of work this time around, given the postponement of last year’s awards program due to the pandemic. The decline in entries is likely due to agencies and holding companies focusing more on later work within the two-year time frame to save on entry fees.
Holding companies, in particular, have been keeping a sharp eye on Cannes costs for the past several years, even forcing a major overhaul of the awards setup in 2018.
According to the Lions organization, work has been entered from 90 countries, one less country than the total for 2019.
The group said work comes from a broader mix of entrants than previous years, with entries from independent agencies up by 14% and production companies by 19%.
Entries for Social & Influencer Lions are up 14% and the Creative eCommerce Lions saw a 12% increase in submissions. Those increases probably reflect the increasingly critical nature of digital marketing for brands during the COVID-19 crisis. And marketer demand for ecommerce services soared during the pandemic.
But not all categories were up. Entries for the Creative Effectiveness Lions are down 38% this year and the Creative Strategy Lions entrants saw a 20% drop, perhaps a reflection that marketers were more short-term focused during the chaotic COVID-19 period.
The newly launched Creative Business Transformation Lions -- celebrating creativity that drives business forward -- has had a strong first year, according to the group, which believes it indicates creative companies “are now being asked to solve real business problems.”
Lions managing director Simon Cook said the work across two years “tells a story about the changing shape of creativity throughout the global pandemic and showcases the power of creativity as a vehicle for change.”