Isobel Diamond

Cannes Lions: Inside Track Reach

marketing industry researcher

I researched, wrote and edited a series of reports for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, to provide industry insights and trends behind the Lions awards, the advertising and marketing industry’s global accolades. This report explores emerging themes in Cannes Lions Reach Track and today’s attention economy.


The new Cannes Lions Reach Track honours the strategy, ideas and insight to engage consumers in today’s attention economy. It celebrates the execution behind multi-channel campaigns that reach audiences, at scale, and the techniques to deliver mass personalisation.

The Lions encompassing the Reach Track – Direct, Media and PR are joined by the new Social & Influencer Lions, which recognise the expanding role of social and influencer marketing in the communications landscape and replace the now retired Cyber Lions. The Creative Data Lions, launched in 2016, honour the application of data to provide the innovation and analysis to enable agencies and clients to stay ahead of the competition.

As diverse disciplines from across the global industry battle
in the war for attention, Stuart Smith, 2018 PR Lions Jury President and Global Chief Executive Officer, Ogilvy PR, suggests that it’s the power of the idea that will enable brands to win: “Whatever the discipline we choose as our home expertise - the ideas we generate have to earn attention and earn influence.”

Cannes Lions launched the Reach Track in a time of industry evolution. The traditional agency model – where disciplines, from marketing to PR to social, sat in silo - is being disrupted by an integrated ecosystem, driven by creativity at every touchpoint.

“Over the years, many corporations divided the roles into separate silos. It seems intuitive. Let PR and creatives handle brand messaging while sales focus on optimizing funnels and bidding. But this isn’t 1998. Since then, human attention spans have dropped by over half, despite a five-fold increase in average daily information intake,” AJ Agrawal, ‘How Visual Advertising Will Change Marketing In 2017’, Forbes.

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