The great and the good of the advertising world were out in force for Cannes Lions 2023 as the ‘Home of Creativity’ celebrated its 70th anniversary. With entries up by 6% on 2022 and a strong revival of humor in the awards categories, there was a palpable sense that the week-long event in the French Riviera was back in full swing.
Cannes Decoded: Six trends from Cannes Lions 2023
Jun 30, 2023
Generative AI and DE&I lead the conversation at Cannes, as humour makes a welcome return.
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Fresh from the Croisette, the team at VML Intelligence caught the talks, panels, and seminars from the main stages at the Palais and beyond, to bring you this round-up of the key themes, topics and trends that emerged from this year’s event. Download the report here, or see a snapshot of the big talking points below.
The AI Revolution
Generative AI has captured imaginations in 2023 and was the buzz topic at this year’s Festival. Experts predict that it will be a real gamechanger, not only supercharging creativity but also starting to deliver benefits at a societal level. At the same time, brands must proceed with caution, with an eye to ethics and responsibility.
CCO of Google Creative Lab
The Equity Gap
Despite commitments and pledges, there’s still a long way to go to on inclusion. Brands have a powerful role to play, from shaping culture and society to actively carving out opportunity and making space for marginalized groups. It's time to step up and start genuinely delivering on equity.
Actor, playwright, and UN Women ambassador
Bringing Back the Funny
After a few years in the wilderness, humour is back with a bang. Laughter is a powerful tool for brands: it increases engagement, retention and even intent to purchase, yet in the era of pandemic and purpose brands shied away. Now, in the era of the joyconomy (as predicted in this year’s Future 100) there’s an open invitation for any brand to bring back the funny.
Global Brand Vice President, Hellmann’s and Dressings, Unilever
Celebrities have always held allure for brands, and in recent years many have built deep, authentic relationships with their fandoms. But as the boundaries between branding, content and entertainment blur, celebrities are going beyond roles as ambassadors and endorsers and flexing their own creative muscles.
Cannes Lions’ Entertainment Person of the Year
The Social Paradox
Amid the hype about AI and its future potential, a few voices drew attention to a powerful brand opportunity that is right here, right now under our noses. Social media commands an engaged and creative audience of billions. Yet brands face a conundrum; this opportunity comes with a side order of concerns over brand safety due to its impacts on discourse and wellbeing.
Founder and CEO of VaynerMedia
Climate: with a small ‘c’
There was a quiet, fringe conversation on climate this year as many steered clear of the potential scrutiny and backlash, yet new research shows that sustainability can amplify brand messaging. This is an opportunity for bold brands who are authentically striving to respond to the issue.
Marketing Director EMEA, Patagonia
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Main image: Cannes Lions 2023, Getty Images