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Creative Strategy Lions

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The Creative Strategy Lions celebrate the idea behind the idea, how strategic planning can redefine a brand, reinvent its business, and influence consumers or wider culture.

Entries will need to demonstrate exceptional interpretation of the business/brand challenge, breakthrough thinking and transformational problem-solving that led to compelling creative strategy.


A number of criteria will be considered during judging and weighted as follows: 30% interpretation of business / brand challenge; 30% insight / breakthrough thinking; 20% creative idea; 20% outcome / results.

The same piece of work can be entered up to four times in Creative Strategy. However, the same piece of work may only be entered once in ‘A. Sectors’.

For Creative Strategy Lions the eligibility dates are 21 February 2020 - 23 April 2023 where the strategy being judged was first implemented within the eligibility period, except for category 'C04 Long-term Strategy', which has an eligibility period of 21 February 2018 - 23 April 2023.

Explore the categories

A. Creative Strategy: Sectors

The same entry can be submitted only once in this section.

A01 Food & Drink.
All food and drinks.
* All fast food entries should be entered into A05. Retail.

A02 Consumer Goods.
Beauty, cleaning products, household goods, technology, furniture and lighting, toys, fashion, home appliances, other FMCG / consumer durables.

A03 Healthcare.
Pharma, OTC drugs, wellness.

A04 Automotive.
Vehicles, other automotive.

A05 Retail.
Retail, eCommerce, restaurants, fast food.

A06 Travel / Leisure.
Travel, tourism, transport, live events, museums & galleries, gambling, sports, gaming, other recreation.

A07 Media / Entertainment.
Music, film, television, publications & media, books, news, digital platforms, other media.

A08 Consumer Services / Business to Business.
All commercial public services, Legal, financial, B2B technology, consultancies & professional services, other business services, internal & corporate communications.

A09 Not-for-profit / Charity / Government .
Government, public information, NGOs, military, charities, non-profit organisations.
* All CSR work should be entered in the relevant sector and/or C05. Corporate Purpose & Social Responsibility category in section C. Challenges & Breakthroughs.

B. Insights & Research

B01 Data & Analytics.
Strategy inspired by insightful analysis and interpretation of data, revealing a clear business problem / opportunity. This may include, but is not limited to the use of data science, commissioned research, online behavioural data, statistical analysis, sales information, consumer first party data etc.

B02 Audience Insight.
How deep understanding of the audience / consumers has created a transformative effect on the business. Work that demonstrates the application of behavioural science in relation to building and creating the audience profile. These may include, but aren't limited to, behavioural economics, consumer insight, social listening, cultural trends, ethnography, experience mapping, neuroscience etc.

C. Challenges & Breakthroughs

Creative and innovative work which is brought to life through deep cultural insight, regional context and progressive thinking.

C01 Challenger Brand Strategy.
Celebrating brands which have creatively adapted their approach in response to competitor pressure by challenging the status quo to create game-changing work that uses progressive thinking and innovative creativity. Entries should demonstrate the core strategic thought and its positive effect on brand value by challenging the dominant narrative conventions in their category.

C02 Breakthrough on a Budget.
Creative use of modest budgets and/or resources in relation to the market and/or industry to create maximum impact. Entries should demonstrate how fresh insight, smart spending and compelling strategic thinking solved a business problem despite limited resources.

C03 Multi-market Strategy.
Successful translation and integration of strategy across multiple markets. Entrants should demonstrate how a global strategy was applied to specific markets in order to drive tangible business results, or achieve a brand's purpose.
* Entries should identify a minimum of three countries / regions the strategy was applied to.

C04 Long-term Strategy .
Celebrating the creativity of long-term strategy. Entries should demonstrate how a long-running strategy was instrumental to achieving a brand's purpose, driving engagement and shaping brand identity.
* There is an increased eligibility for this category of 5+ years: 21 February 2018 - 23 April 2023

C05 Corporate Purpose & Social Responsibility.
Purpose driven work / brand activism which address social, ethical and environmental issues. Entries should demonstrate how the brand’s purpose has created value and impacted communities by connecting customers to culture.

C06 Market Disruption.
Brands that have creatively adapted their strategy in response to local / regional / global issues, embracing new ways of delivering their brand while showing consideration for the consumer.

D. Partnerships & Perspectives

D01 Brave Brands.
Rewarding outstanding brand bravery including progressive thinking relating to a brief. Entries should demonstrate risk-taking that produced tangible results for the brand.

D02 Collaboration .
Celebrating the intersection between creative agency and/or media and/or brand. Entries should demonstrate the focus on the existence of a deep shared understanding of the brand and a unified working relationship to achieve the best possible results.

E. Excellence in Creative Strategy

Entries here should show strategic vision, planning and execution as part of a branded communication campaign.

E01 Products / Services.
Integration of a new or developed product / services to solve a problem, evolve the business, enhance the user experience, or grow the customer base. Entrants should give a breakdown of how the product / services was conceived, implemented and provide analysis of its ultimate impact.

E02 Experience and Relationship Models.
Creative customer experience initiatives that strengthen relationships with customers by creating seamless journeys across digital and physical touchpoints and / or offer new routes of engagement between brand and consumer.

E03 Brand Strategy.
Rewarding the core, strategic positioning of a brand. Entries should demonstrate how the value proposition, mission, narrative and brand positioning was achieved, and ultimately led to renewed interest, higher brand affinity and commercial success.

What does winning work look like?


Decathlon’s purpose is to make sport accessible to all. They wanted to act concretely to show that the emotions of sport are indeed accessible even to people who wouldn’t dare to dream about it. So they made the brave choice to go where no brand dares to go: prison. They founded the first eCycling team for prisoners, an ongoing initiative that allows prisoners to ride online with people from the outside world on the Zwift platform. Reconnected with society from behind bars.

2023 Jury President

Amrita Randhawa


Publicis Groupe, Singapore & Southeast Asia

Resources for the Creative Strategy Lions

Compulsory Material Guide