The heart and soul of Cannes is the work itself.
In 2019, there were a staggering 30,953 Cannes submissions from 89 different countries – but less than three percent ultimately awarded medals. The medal-winning work truly represents the best of the best, and reflects the highest standards of creative excellence.
Some clear themes emerged:
New dimensions of diversity and inclusion: In years past, there has been a positive spotlight on inclusion, focusing on gender inequality and LGBTQ rights in particular. This year, we also saw brands that recognized and empowered disabled people through their products and the work. At the top of the list were IKEA THISABLES, Microsoft Changing the Game and Tommy Hilfiger’s Adaptive Collection.
Competition alongside kindness & empathy:  There was a divide between brands that chose to take pointed, direct hits on their competition versus work that really leaned into kindness, empathy, and quite simply, encouraged us to be better to one another. Burger King’s Whopper Detour and AeroMexico’s A World Without Borders were lauded for their direct hits, while Pernod’s The Time We Have Left and ANZ Bank’s Signs of Love helped us believe in a kinder, gentler world.
Finally, brands continued to make an impact on society by harnessing cultural moments. Nike’s Dream Crazier work embodies this from a brand point of view, and there was also a distinct body of work from the journalism community that took a stand on the importance of a free press at key cultural moments. An-Nahar’s The Blank Issue, the Columbia Journalism Review’s Fake News Stand and The New York Times’ The Truth is Worth It offered distinct viewpoints on the state of journalism today.
As our industry continues to evolve and our world becomes ever more complex, how we define creativity and think about it in the context of society continues to change too. If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that the power of creativity to drive positive change should make marketers and brands seek to help people experience our world in new ways like never before.
View the full Publicis Media Cannes Lions 2019 Trends & Insights Report here.

 Author: Kathy Kline, Global Chief Strategy Officer, Starcom