Industry growth fuels record Cannes entries

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Entries for the 2016 Cannes Lions have closed, with a record 43,101 (+7%) submissions received. Overall there’s been growth in 18 of the 24 Lions.

The standout is the Product Design Lions (+92%), plus there are notable increases in awards associated with the festival’s three specialist streams: Lions Entertainment, Lions Innovation and Lions Health.

The Entertainment Lions (formerly Branded Content & Entertainment) grew by 32% to 1843, while the new Entertainment Lions for Music attracted 637 entries in their debut year.

The two awards linked to Lions Innovation have also grown. Launched last year, entries into the Creative Data Lions have risen by 16% and there was a leap of 69% in the Innovation Lions, echoing the continuing explosion of data and tech-led creativity.

“We’re seeing evidence that the role of start-ups in the branded communications ecosystem is key, with new businesses and their products not only buoying entries to these two Lions, but driving deep into others as well,” said Lions Festivals chairman Terry Savage.

The Pharma Lions and the Health & Wellness Lions have again grown significantly (+35% and +42% respectively) with a total number of 2607 entries, a dramatic growth which Lions Health director Louise Benson attributes to the ethos and impact of the event. “By celebrating life-changing creativity, we’re challenging the norms of a highly regulated industry and accelerating change,” she said. “Such strong entry numbers are a powerful sign of growing creative confidence.”

Other trends included strong support for craft. The inaugural Digital Craft Lions received 1150 entries, Film Craft is up by 5% and the craft categories within other Lions have also surged this year.

“We are constantly evaluating every Lion, consulting with the industry to form a view on how they should be structured to reflect the creative landscape and remain relevant,” said Lions Festivals ceo Philip Thomas. “The Lions remain a barometer for the industry, as well as an enduring creative benchmark.

“These numbers are also a reminder that there are ebbs and flows, and that it’s always best to take a long-term view. The Outdoor Lions are just one example of that – a drop last year of 11% prompted commentary about a decline in the sector, but this year we’ve seen a determined bounce-back, with entries rising by 7%.”

The 387 judges across all juries began their assessment of the work on Tuesday 14 June. The first results will be revealed on Day 1 of the 63rd International Festival of Creativity, Saturday 18 June at the Lions Health Awards Ceremony.

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