The Cannes Lion Jury's Perspective: The Power of Creative Commerce

This year, I had the honor of serving as a judge on the Creative Commerce jury at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Despite Cannes celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, the Creative Commerce category is only in its second year. With brands needing to deliver more impact across the board, it’s clear that this category will not only become a permanent category but also a highly sought-after award for brands and marketers. As a member of the jury, we collaborated as a team to scrutinize each submission, fully aware that we were shaping the future of creativity through the recognized work.

Before the festival, my predictions were centered around anticipating an increasing convergence in award-winning work, where diverse capabilities would intersect to bring brand and business excellence to life. Beyond smart use of tech, data, AI, media and more, the key ingredient was captivating creativity that would truly engage consumers. The entries this year and the best work we witnessed perfectly embodied these predictions. They showcased creativity that not only yielded tangible outcomes but also seamlessly incorporated new technologies, partnerships, and an anticipation of where consumers desire to invest their valuable time and attention.


The Debut of Biometric Commerce: At the heart of a Creative Commerce experience lies the power to drive behavior change through the transactional journey. The foundation of this must come from harnessing the convergence of data, media, creative and tech. Biometric Commerce takes that one step further in that these instances leverage AI and human behavior to deliver experiences that enable purchase behavior. There is a delicate balance in terms of the value exchange of giving your face imprint or eye tracking to make your buying experience more in service to you and your needs. The Grand Prix winner, Hunger Station Subconscious Ordering from Saudi Arabia, exemplified this balance seamlessly, addressing the overwhelming impact of choice overload.

Education as a Catalyst for Commerce: Platforms partners like TikTok and Twitch have proven their ability to leverage influencers and creators to guide consumers from discovery to purchase organically. Key success has been more on moving from entertainment moments to buying moments. A key factor in their success lies in their transition from entertainment-focused moments to pivotal buying moments. Among the various submissions, an intriguing concept emerged, highlighting the opportunity to tap into the spaces where consumers dedicate their entertainment time, employing an educational approach to drive transactions. One exceptional case study featured Twitch and the Bank of Montreal (BMO), illustrating a clever strategy that effectively engaged consumers within their preferred entertainment environment. By leveraging the gaming context, BMO creatively educated viewers on the fundamentals of financial planning and budgeting, thereby attracting new customers to their services. This endeavor not only served as a substantial recruitment effort but also established an ongoing educational and entertaining channel on Twitch.

Balancing Brand Building and Purchasing Behavior: A prevalent trend that surfaced was the power of creative endeavors to not only generate favorable outcomes at the lower end of the purchase funnel but also establish and enhance brand equity, ultimately inspiring brand purchases. This year's exceptional campaigns accomplished both lower funnel success and brand equity growth, effectively influencing purchasing behavior. A fantastic example of this was the “Lunchabuild This” campaign by Lunchables, which tapped into kids' innate desire to play with their food while reinforcing the brand's image and driving sales.

Small Experience Design Shifts for Meaningful Commerce Outcomes: Several entries showcased how small changes in user experience design solved for and addressed specific market needs. For instance, K-Lynn, a lingerie retailer that leveraged the user experience of bra purchases to promote the importance of regular breast self-check examinations among women. They simply modified the product display pages and images to not only show the bra but also illustrate how to conduct a self-check test. This subtle modification enabled K-Lynn to seamlessly transition from a typical buying moment to a crucial awareness moment, intimately intertwined with the lingerie purchase journey.