With the annual Cannes Lions Festival set to kick off next week, 83 Irish delegates, representing 18 different agencies and 17 brands, will make the trip to the south of France this year.
While Irish eyes will obviously be focused on bagging some awards during the week, following the recent successes of Publicis Dublin, Droga5 (formerly Rothco) and Boys+Girls, the early part of the week will see the Irish Cannes Young Lions battle it out against some of the best young advertising and marketing talent in the world.
Flying the Irish flag this year will be John Aherne and Cathy Lambert, Bord Gáis Energy in the Young Marketers category; Eva Redmond and Anthony McDonagh from Core in the Media category; Shane O’Hare, Bloom and Daragh Griffin from Connelly Partners in the Print category while Nico Dagdag from PHD and Carolyn McMorrow of OMG will be looking to rise the top in the Digital category. Other Irish contenders include Meabh O’Mahony and Katie Dumpleton, 150 Bond in the PR category; Nadine Kennedy, ACNE and Conor Marron, Boys + Girls in the Film category while Robin Winchester and James Stedmond, F&B Huskies will be representing the industry in the Design category.
Overall, the number of entries this year are up by 6% on 2022 to 26,992, according to the organisers. This includes 609 entries to the inaugural Gaming category.
Some of the other categories that have seen a bump in entries include the Brand Experience & Activation Lions which have seen an increase of 16% on 2022 while the Creative Strategy Lions have increased by 35%. Elsewhere, the Creative Business Transformation Lions have seen a 59% increase while entries to the Creative Commerce Lions have increased 25%.
According to Charley Stoney, CEO of IAPI: “This year the Cannes Lions agenda is more comprehensive than ever. As the Festival Reps for Ireland the IAPI team will be on hand to support the 14 young Irish lions in the global competition and ensure that the Irish delegates gain as much as possible from the week. This year we’ll also be publishing live social broadcasts from the festival to share nuggets with those that can’t be there. On a personal note, I’m looking forward to participating in the promotion of Ad Net Zero in the Sustainability Hall and sharing learnings with my global colleagues on the drive towards a more sustainable industry.”
For the first time this year, the Cannes Lions Festival introduced a sustainability criteria in every award entry and entrants were asked to demonstrate how they contributed to, or advanced the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development across people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships. The Lions team, together with the Ad Net Zero teams will use the entry data to provide a report year-on-year for how the industry is making progress on embedding sustainability into its work.
This year, a team representing Ad Net Zero Ireland will also be making the trip to Cannes to engage with other Ad Net Zero chapters throughout the world.
According to Elizabeth Sheehan, chair of Ad Net Zero in Ireland: “This festival will champion and celebrate the advertising and marketing professionals who are genuinely trying to affect real change. When we launched Ad Net Zero in Ireland just over a year ago, there was a lot of excitement in the industry.
“Everyone wanted to find out how they could do more, do better. 12 months on and the engagement from the industry has been phenomenal, with everyone working together. An event like Cannes Lions is the perfect opportunity for Brands, Agencies, Media Owners and Producers to share their progress, showcase their work and to learn from each other about ways they can improve their operations even further. Because this is a collaborative effort. If we work together, we all win,” she adds.