LIONS and WARC launch the Creative Impact Content Stream to the drive effectiveness agenda at Cannes Lions 2023

LIONS, the global benchmark for creativity, and WARC, the authority on marketing effectiveness, today announced Creative Impact – a co-curated stream of content that will run every day and across multiple stages as part of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Monday 19 – Friday 23 June 2023. 

The significant focus on effectiveness at this year’s Festival reflects the extreme pressure on marketing budgets in the current economic climate, and the urgent need to prove the role creativity can play in supercharging sustainable commercial growth. 

The launch of Creative Impact comes at a time when creative investment is under pressure:

  • 95% of marketers are reassessing their strategies in light of the economic downturn – with 46% shifting budget into performance channels (WARC Marketer’s Toolkit 2023)
  • Only 12% of clients feel extremely confident convincing the CFO to invest in creativity (LIONS State of Creativity study, 2022)
  • Yet studies repeatedly find that creative marketing is an asset not a liability when budgets are under pressure. For example, higher creative quality translates into lower CPM and lower cost per engagement (CreativeX, 2022), and high-quality creative does not wear out over time (System 1, 2022).
  • Strong brands are much better placed to weather periods of inflation and price pressure; 34% of companies do not have sufficient brand power to support their current price and are at risk of margin erosion (Kantar, 2022).

Creative Impact will uncover what it takes to build, protect and grow a business through creativity in 2023. It will ask what creative effectiveness means in the current media and economic environment, and what types of creative thinking will make the biggest impact. It will also cover how to make a proven and compelling case for investment in creative marketing to the C-suite of an organisation. 

Creative Impact will act as the premier global forum for creative effectiveness. It will feature:

  • Actionable ideas and examples from across the industry that are agenda-setting and challenging 
  • Provocation and inspiration from brands that have used creativity to build successful businesses
  • Exclusive new research into the drivers of effectiveness – and how to convince the C-suite to invest in them
  • Clear direction on future challenges within the industry – and how to respond to them effectively

Importantly, the emphasis will be as much on the “creative” part of the equation as on “effectiveness” – ensuring delegates gain insight into how the two work together.

The Creative Impact content stream will be a core part of the delegate experience, alongside other Festival programming. It will feature workshops and accelerators, ensuring delegates come back equipped with tools and insights they can plug directly into their own organisations and marketing plans.

Simon Cook, CEO, LIONS, said: “We know that Lion-winning creativity has the power to progress people, shape society and drive business – and we also know that brands and agencies are under pressure to prove the ROI of creativity. As part of our 70th edition of Cannes Lions, we’re delighted to introduce Creative Impact, which we are co-curating with our sister brand WARC, the global authority in effective marketing. Loaded with world-class thinkers, insights, resources and practical advice from those who successfully make the case for creativity everyday, we’re pleased to provide a dedicated space for everyone in the business of creativity to come together to learn about something that will be essential to our collective success over the next 70 years. Creative Effectiveness.”

Paul Coxhill, CEO, WARC, commented: “In 2022 WARC organised a hugely successful effectiveness series at Cannes Lions, building on 10 years of ever-growing programming at the Festival. We’re delighted to work with LIONS to expand this into the Creative Impact stream, bringing the best thinking on effectiveness from around the world into one place. Brand marketers, media owners and agencies will come back from the Festival armed with new ways to respond to the current climate and to maximise their impact through creative effectiveness for both the short and the long-term.”

Anyone who would like to submit content ideas to be considered for the Creative Impact content stream, as well as any other part of the Festival or LIONS content schedule, can do so all year-round. Details about how to do this can be found here.

Attendees of Cannes Lions 2023 will be able to attend the Creative Impact content stream as part of their delegate pass. This year also sees the launch of the Creative Brand Marketer pass. Exclusively for brands, the pass is designed to help brand marketers learn how to unlock creativity with learning opportunities, insights and exclusive networking invites. Find out more about pass options here

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