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