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What’s New for Cannes Lions 2023

Introducing the Entertainment Lions for Gaming

The Entertainment Lions for Gaming celebrate creative work that connects people to brands through gameplay.

Entries will need to demonstrate how brands successfully tapped into complex gaming communities and seamlessly added real value to the overall gaming experience while driving commercial success. To be eligible for the Entertainment Lions for Gaming, the eligibility dates are 21 February 2021 - 23 April 2023.

Updating the Eligibility Period

The end of the previous eligibility period came after the final deadline, leaving little time for some work to sit in 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).

Refresh to Media Lions

The Media Lions have undergone a second phase refresh for 2023, to ensure the Award accurately reflects the current Media industry, and celebrates the craftsmanship of harnessing media to deliver a brand message, change behaviour or engage consumers at scale.

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.

Refresh to Creative B2B Lions

Following its inaugural year, the Creative B2B Lion has been refreshed by removing the distinction between Products and Services across the categories to better reflect the B2B industry.

In addition 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.

Refresh to 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 & 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.

Refresh to 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 across the Lions

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.

A focus on Impact, Effectiveness and Growth

For Impact, Effectiveness and Growth, entrants will be asked to provide information that demonstrates the impact of the creative work, taking into account the wide variety of metrics that showcase the effectiveness of creativity.

All Lions except Digital Craft, Film Craft and Industry Craft will have this question as part of the written submission.

Embedding Sustainability across the Lions

Cannes Lions is a proud member of Ad Net Zero and as part of this, we want to support the industry’s drive to reduce the carbon impact of developing, producing and airing creative work to real net zero by 2030.

Starting this year, all entrants will be encouraged to provide information that outlines their C02 emissions as part of the production process, using AdNet Zero’s five-point Action Plan as a guide. This information is not compulsory and will not be used as part of the judging process. It will be used by LIONS to establish a benchmark of current practices.

A drive for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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 the findings will be presented (anonymously) back to the industry in the form of an annual report.

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.

Lions Creativity Report Rankings Inclusion

Two new people rankings have been added to the Global Creativity Report for 2023. Both are based on points accumulated from the Lions Awards. The Chief Creative Officer rankings will celebrate those at the top of their game by recognising their role in providing the creative leadership that drives their teams to push their own, and their client’s, creative boundaries. The Chief Marketing Officer rankings recognise those CMOs whose bravery and commitment embeds creativity into the work that drives their brands forward and improves their bottom line.

Regional Network of the Year

The Regional Network of the Year Award has been expanded from four regions to seven. EMEA will now be awarded across three regions: Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and MENA. APAC will be awarded across both Asia and Pacific. North America and Latin America will remain as in previous years.

Cannes Lions open for awards submissions across all of its Lions, including the new Entertainment Lions for Gaming. Further information on the awards and all Lions is available here. This year’s Jury Presidents are available to view here. Awards submissions close on 13 April 2023.