Creative Effectiveness: to be defined

The Creative Effectiveness Lions, the new category at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, will be debuted this year. It was reported that the category had received 142 entries from 33 countries.

According to the Cannes committee, this new category aims to reward work that has shown a ‘measurable’ and ‘proven’ impact on a client’s business by affecting consumer behaviour, brand equity, sales, and where identifiable, profit. Entries will be judged for strategy (25%), idea (25%) and results (50%).

It came as no surprise that it has already generated quite a lot of debate around it. Cannes has always been traditionally a celebration of creativity but I do believe that talking about effectiveness is an indication that the industry is recognising the value that we bring to brands. With clients increasingly focusing on return on investment these days, no creatives can really forget about how the campaign performs, so it is a natural development that this category is being created. Not only will it give credibility to the creative work that will be awarded and more important, to keep the award show relevant to the ‘currency’ of the industry at the moment. (It could also be a marketing tactics to attract a broader audience in varied disciplines including procurement.)

I am in particularly interested to hear about the debate on the definition of ‘effectiveness’. Is it about engagement level? Actual sales? What about buzz? And if it’s digital work, is it about clickthroughs or ‘eyeballs’?

Another aspect of it is who should be awarded for this category, is it just the creative teams or in some cases, the communications planner, or even the client?

I am also keen to see how different market perceive effectiveness and whether the award allows those ‘dark horse’ countries being awarded for what they deserve.

I bet the Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lion won’t produce clear winners everyone will agree with. It’s not the point. But may be just the opportunity to debate about what ‘Creative Effectiveness’ means is already the beginning.

For those who will be attending this year’s festival, I look forward to exchanging views with you.