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Cannes Lions: Day 1 Wrap-Up

It’s Monday. After two years, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2022 is back and the vibe is electric. This week, The Globe and Mail is bringing you the insights and ideas you won’t want to miss. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, IG, and Twitter.

In this edition:

  • Zulu and Rethink win gold Lions
  • On-the-ground intel from Karen Howe
  • Brand purpose unites at Cannes Lions
  • The big six to watch
  • How to create unforgettable creative work

Canadian agencies strike gold 

Strategy reports that Zulu Alpha Kilo won the Gold Health & Wellness Lion for Pfaff Harley-Davidson’s ‘Tough Turban,’ an initiative that allowed Sikh Harley drivers to stay safe while still recognizing their faith; while Rethink Communications claimed the Gold Lion in Print & Publishing for Kraft Heinz’ ‘Draw Ketchup,’ which seized on the fact that, when asked to literally “draw ketchup,” most people draw the iconic Heinz Ketchup bottle. 

Ground intelligence from Karen Howe

  1. COVID? What COVID? In 2022, Ukraine tops the bill. Zelensky’s plea to a packed Palais to “unleash the power of your creativity to help us” was met with a standing ovation. 
  1. Edelman’s Trust Barometer shows that trust in a brand jumps 40 percent if it leaves Russia. Garry Kasparov’s “Regain Ukraine” maps a plan to rebuild the nation. 
  1. AI versus human creativity. We still eye AI with suspicion. Yet AI-centric ideas dominated the Innovations shortlist. AI identifies Lyme disease, prevents stock image bias, and allows John McEnroe to play tennis with his meta-human self. In the Future Gazers session, where futurists were asked to predict 18 months out, AI today as compared to Photoshop in the early 90s. It’s still rough, still in its infancy, but should be embraced versus feared. 
  1. “Innovation in audio remains an untapped global opportunity,” says Canadian executive creative director at INNOCEAN Worldwide and audio category judge Ian MacKellar.
  1. Buzzword of the Day: circularity. 

-Karen Howe is the creative director and founder of The Township Group

Calling on brands to unite

Purpose may not be a new topic for Cannes Lions, but the backdrop of the war in Ukraine has changed the tone this year, writes Sonia Carreno, president of IAB Canada. There was a sense of positive activism in the air with CMOs calling on leaders to coordinate their ideas and efforts in support of Ukraine. For the first time, Carreno says, we saw purpose, not as a brand differentiator, but rather one that showed a united front. 

Read more here.


Despite complaints about the value of the festival, and a drop in award entries, media and marketing execs are thrilled to be back in the French Riviera (at least according to Twitter). This year’s festival centres on six large themes, as identified by the global marketing community through the LIONS’ State of Creativity Study. Thousands of creatives took part in the study, identifying key issues like sustainability; DEI; talent; data and technology; business transformation, and creative effectiveness. 

Keep reading here.

Five tips to create unforgettable creative work

The creative directors of Superunion draw on their experience and share advice for creating award-winning work.

  1. Make bravery a must, not an option.
  2. Question everything (even the basics)
  3. Park the practicalities
  4. Don’t be afraid of the obvious
  5. Craft it from great to good

Read the full story here.

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