Entries Open for 64th Cannes Lions, as Nigerian agencies vow to end trophy drought

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Tuesday announced the opening of entries for the 2017 edition of the prestigious Lions awards. Cannes Lions is the world’s largest creativity festival.

The 64th edition will hold between 17-24 June, in Cannes, France. During the period, those working in brand communications industry are offered a platform to connect, share, learn, and celebrate the best creative works.

Cannes is the World Cup of advertising and it attracts over 15,000 people from around 100 countries. But till date, no Nigerian agency has won the diadem, despite her exploits and position in Africa’s creative industry.
A number of Nigerian creative outfits have said they are determined to stop the Cannes drought this year. “We are going to bring that Lion home,” boasts Feyi Olubodun, CEO of Insight Publicis.

Continuing, he said, “we say that not because one most make statements like that, but because we are actively moving in that direction and there are thing that we are doing even now to get it.”

In 2016, Insight Publicis won, WARC and EPICA, two major international awards for their sensational Pepsi LongThroat campaign. But the agency’s biggest aspiration remains the Lion, which it actually came close to winning in 2015, but ended up with a much lowly Press Lions National Diploma.

Noah’s Ark repeated the same feat in 2016. The agency was actually tipped by many to break Nigeria’s Cannes jinx, but it failed. It was a painful miss for an agency that created a number of phenomenal works like Three Crown’s Pillar of Support, Hypo’s For Whites Only, Gala’s No one is too big for hunger and Boko Hala.

Lanre Adisa, CEO of the agency has said it will keep fighting until a Lion finds home in the agency’s shelve. Such aspiration is shared by the likes of X3M Ideas, DDB Lagos and a handful of other Nigerian agencies.

The Lions commends and honours 24 key disciplines, from Innovation, Product Design and Entertainment to Creative Data, Outdoor and brand experience.

According to a statement by the organisers, two new categories have been introduced this year: ‘Technological Craft & Development’ which will award the technical prowess behind the ideas, and ‘Early Stage Technology’ which offers a space for prototypes and beta stage ideas, providing more opportunities for start-ups to enter their best work.

Subcategories have been revised across some existing Lions in 2017 and amended guidelines will help to outline what the jury will be looking for. The statement reads in part: “The Creative Data Lions now aim to recognise the use of creative insight in a more accurate and meaningful way by introducing new categories: ‘Data Strategy’, ‘Data-Driven Targeting’ and ‘Use of Real-Time Data’ and the existing data section within Media Lions has been refined.

“The Media Lions have added a new ‘Excellence in Media’ section, which recognises how a media campaign delivered outcomes for a brand through outstanding media strategy, planning and execution. The Promo & Activation Lions introduce a new ‘Experience’ section for engaging, immersive, face-to-face customer-focused brand experiences with storytelling at the heart.”

Director of Awards for Cannes Lions, Simon Cook, said, “The Lions are developed in partnership with the industry and are in a continual state of review, because it’s vital they continue to reflect current shifts. So this year, there is no new Lion, instead, we’ve focused on our existing awards and made developments to cement their relevance.”

Managing Director of Cannes Lions, Jose Papa, noted that “The work that wins Lions demonstrates the most exciting and innovative progressions in creative communications and sets the standard globally. The awards will always remain the heart of the Festival.”


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