Shinya Tokuhisa on serving on the Creative Commerce Lions Jury

Jul. 27, 2022
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Cannes Lions 2022: Interviews with HDY jury members 2

To get a look into some the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2022 winners and gain a feel for the overall trend at Cannes Lions this year, we interviewed Hakuhodo’s Shinya Tokuhisa, who served on the Creative Commerce Lions Jury, and TBWA\HAKUHODO’s Kazoo Sato, who was on the Entertainment Lions for Music Jury. Our second interview about the first Cannes Lions to be held on location in France in three years is with Shinya Tokuhisa.

Second from left: Shinya Tokuhisa, General Manager, Shopper Marketing Business Division, Hakuhodo Inc., Team Leader, Shopper Marketing Initiative®

What were your impressions of this year’s Cannes Lions, which were held on location for the first time in three years due to the pandemic? And did you detect any trends?

I truly felt the focus on diversity, equity & inclusion (DE &I). What I witnessed at Cannes, where I participated as a jury member for the first time, was the jury’s diversity. I felt Cannes’ strong desire for diversity not just in terms of age, gender and nationality, but in the fact that the majority of jury members came from outside of agencies, including from clients, consulting firms, and platforms. I witnessed moments when the fair and inclusive discussion among jury members from different backgrounds provided a variety of perspectives, which enhanced the quality of the discussions and pushed the level of judging up. DE &I was never discussed, but it was an essential element in improving the quality of judging. The fact that judges in other categories uniformly said the same thing impressed me. DE &I will be indispensable to realizing a sustainable society, and the biggest learning for me was becoming able to appreciate its importance and the extent of its impact on a personal level.

What made this year’s Creative Commerce Lions Grand Prix winner unique?

The Grand Prix was awarded for work that demonstrated “commerce-led business transformation.” The client was Wingstop, a US fried chicken franchise chain. Supply chain problems caused the price of chicken wings to skyrocket, threatening to jeopardize the continuation of the business. So, the brand launched an online-only brand—“Thighstop”—utilizing chicken thighs instead. New products using chicken thighs were developed, a procurement/logistics structure set up, a dark store launched, and a partnership with DoorDash arranged for delivery, all in a short period of time. The reason for the award is the speed with which a value chain was built from scratch, and the fact Wingstop’s ratio of digital sales to all sales reached around 65%, contributing significantly to the growth of the client’s business. Commerce is business itself, and the creative ideas that lead to a business transformation were why the work deserved the Grand Prix.

The Grand Prix winning work: Thighstop
Advertiser: Wingstop
Cannes Lions official site: The Work | Festival 2022 | Creative Commerce (

The Hakuhodo Group also received a Silver Lion in this category.

Creative Commerce Lions: Creative commerce: Sectors (Food & Drink)
Title: Favorite Food Soy Sauce
Advertiser: Dento Design Kobo Inc.
Agency: Hakuhodo Inc.

What is likely to rate highly at Cannes in the future, including in other categories, and what perspectives are necessary to win awards?

Until last year, this category was known as the Creative eCommerce Lions, but this year the name was changed to Creative Commerce Lions, and the level has gone up dramatically. E-commerce (EC) is important, but it has come to be seen as “just another channel.” Works are being called upon to show how commerce led to business model transformation and business transformation. In addition to novelty and interest as a creative idea, there need to be business results, and it is also important for ideas to have scalability/a message that can transform the industry. The bar has been raised, especially for Gold and above, which need to demonstrate all of these things. In short, to be perfect. I think it is important to enter knowing your work is in a different kind of fight, where it will be judged from various angles, from both business and creative perspectives.


Shinya Tokuhisa
General Manager, Shopper Marketing Business Division, Hakuhodo Inc.
Team Leader, Shopper Marketing Initiative®
Shinya Tokuhisa joined Hakuhodo from an international consulting firm in 2005. He has been involved in marketing strategy planning, branding, creative development and data-driving marketing, among other fields, for retail and consumer goods clients. Since 2014, he has been engaged in data technology-enabled new business and service development. He has 10 registered and pending patents in Japan and abroad, and a track record in launching new businesses in-house, setting up joint ventures with clients, and planning and developing multiple collaborative solutions with other firms. Tokuhisa has been in his current position since 2021. He is the Team Leader of Shopper Marketing Initiative®, a strategic unit spanning nine Hakuhodo DY Group companies.
Tokuhisa is the recipient of many awards, including a Gold Lion in Design, Silver Lion in Creative Data, and Silver and Bronze Lions in Mobile.
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