Cannes Lions has local representatives across the globe for the Festival brand and, in South Africa, Cinemark plays this role, aiming to encourage involvement with the Young Lions competition and inspire innovation in advertising. Cinemark says it has had a long and successful association with the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

A streamlined Festival and a simplified award structure will aim to bring a greater focus to each Lion, recognising the best work and delivering it to audiences, aiming to ensure that delegates can benefit from a quality content programme and make the most of their time at Cannes.

As a result of the reorganisation:

  • The Lions will be organised across nine core tracks;
  • The new tracks will provide the foundation for the Festival’s content programme – speakers, panel sessions, and workshops – and will aim to help attendees navigate the Festival more easily;
  • The points allocations for the Special Awards (Holding Company of the Year, Agency of the Year, and Network of the Year) have been changed;
  • 120 Lions sub-categories have been removed;
  • Charity and NGO work will now be presented to the jury separately from brand-led work; the first step to separate charity and brand work;
  • A new entry cap means that each piece of work can only be entered into a maximum of six Lions; and
  • Lions Innovation and Lions Entertainment return to Palais 2, with Lions Innovation extended across the entire week with a full programme of content that aims to reflect the importance of technology as an enabler of creativity.

Changes to the Lions:

  • The Cyber Lions, Integrated Lions, and the Promo Lions will be retired;
  • The Brand Experience and Activation, Creative e-commerce, and Social and Influencer Lions will be launched as part of the new architecture; and
  • The craft categories within Print, Outdoor, and Design will be removed from their respective Lions to be judged by a specialist Industry Craft Jury.

Philip Thomas, CEO of Ascential Events, says, "This is an especially important launch for us. We have spent a lot of time talking to the relevant people to make sure the Festival is not only as aspirational as possible but to also ensure the sentiment behind the Festival is fundamentally founded on the work and those behind it. We have held lengthy discussions in order to curate an updated Festival that puts the creative content back at the heart of Cannes Lions."

Following on from conversations with the City of Cannes, the first in a series of exclusive benefit packages for Festival attendees have also been unveiled. Alongside capped taxi fares and expanded free Wi-Fi facilities along the Croisette, hotel prices will be frozen for 2018, and fixed-price menus will be on offer exclusively for Festival badge holders at more than 50 restaurants.

Jose Papa, MD, Cannes Lions, adds, "Our customers made it clear that they had a significant issue with the affordability of the City of Cannes, and we shared this feedback with our city partners. The response from the city, and from the Mayor David Lisnard’s office has been fantastic. These new delegate benefits make it possible for attendees to budget for the Festival more accurately and effectively, with genuine money-saving measures."

The Festival also marks the introduction of a new initiative aimed at nurturing global young talent across the industry. One Young Lions delegate pass will be given free to every office that entered more than 15 entries at the 2017 Festival, totalling over 650 free places for the Festival in 2018.

Papa says, "As representatives of the future of the industry, it’s vital that young creatives get to experience Cannes Lions and can take advantage of all the learning, inspiration, and networking on offer.

He adds, "This new Young Lions scheme will welcome a new generation of young creatives to the Festival, while at the same time recognising the agencies and creative businesses who enter the awards."

Throughout the five days of the Festival, the City of Cannes will play host to the awards shows as they spread beyond the Palais. Submissions and award winners will be displayed on screens on the beach and around Cannes.

The 2018 Festival will also mark the first time that every awards show will be available to view for free on all major platforms. All winning work will be published on the Cannes Lions website.

Thomas says, "Change has always been part of Cannes Lions, and the innovations we’re introducing for 2018 mark an exciting new phase in the story of the Festival. Some of the effects of these changes will be felt immediately, while others represent the start of a longer transitional journey."

He adds, "But what they all have in common is that they refocus the Festival and ensure that Cannes Lions continues to be the leading global event for the world’s creative communications industries for many years to come."

Passes are available to purchase through the Cannes Lions website.

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