Cannes Lions CEO on the amplification of creativity

The Cannes Lions (awards and conference) attracts 15,000 attendees annually and showcases 400 speakers, and Thomas explained how the event is evolving to attract not only advertisers, but marketers too.

Creativity equals ROI

One interesting development Cannes Lions is experiencing, is the impact of creativity on return on investment (ROI). Thomas presented findings of research into this, and highlighted an example from McDonald’s, who measured ROI of award-winning campaigns versus non award-winning campaigns. They discovered that award winning campaigns achieved 54 per cent higher ROI for work that had won awards.

“The amplification of creativity is driving into most of the global clients around the world,” said Thomas. “The power of creativity can affect not only marketing, but the entire business – including the share price.”

Backing this up further, Thomas referenced the UK’s IPA effectiveness awards, which also conducted its own research into winning versus non-winning campaigns. The research found increases in sales, market share, growth and penetration for winning campaigns. “If your work is creative, it amplifies your return on investment,” said Thomas.

Ingredients of creativity

After establishing that creativity is a proven business driver, Thomas questioned the key ‘ingredients’ of creative work:


Thomas said that while creative work has always included some collaboration, Cannes Lions is seeing “considerably more than there ever was before” in recent years.

Data and technology

“A mash-up of using data and amplifying it with a real expertise in technology is important,” said Thomas. “Creativity without technology will not get you where you need to be these days.”

He continued: “If you don’t have tech expertise, you need to get it. The vast majority of award winners we see have an understanding and ease with technology and data.”

Creativity, simplicity, technology

Thomas urged attendees to look at the creative ideas from Cannes Lions. “Although the executions may be complex, the ideas are really simple,” he said.

“Creativity, simplicity, technology is the way to win in the modern world.”

So how are magazines being creative? Thomas showed the following examples:

Story by Amy Duffin.

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