Cannes Lions 2024: Top five themes (and one festival observation).

Cannes Lions is the pinnacle event for the advertising and creative industries. It focuses exclusively on celebrating creative excellence, bringing together the world's top brands, agencies and innovators. So, what's shaking and shaping today's marketing agenda?

Written by Caroline Szeremeta.

1) Meaningful AI.

It’s been less than two years since ChatGPT exploded onto the scene and there’s been a conversational shift, from concern around the unknown to a rapid adoption mindset, driven by the pace of integration into our daily lives and workplaces.

2) The return of analogue.

In an era of rapidly advancing technology which touches every facet of our lives, there’s been an undercurrent of yearning for tangible and authentic experiences.

3) All about strategy.

Although always a vital part of marketing, the emphasis on strategic thinking has become even more critical as a result of AI allowing us to have more headspace for blue sky thinking.

4) B2B brand-led marketing.

B2B marketing is shifting – moving away from the traditional sales-led approach towards a brand-led one.

5) Leads with needs.

A shout out to the brands who inherently understand that providing some simple utility for audiences is a must.

Lost charm?

There’s no doubt the festival has evolved a fair amount since its first edition 71 years ago. But is it still recognisable?


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More reading:

Cannes Lions 2024: Which brands delivered The Experience Advantage® and top tips for 2025.
EMS 2024: Inside the great pivot toward C-Suite experiences.
SXSW 2024: The good, the bad and the Insta-worthy.