Cannes Lions award entries are down from 2019 amid pandemic

As the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity prepares to open its virtual doors next week, organizers have revealed that overall entry numbers are down compared to 2019—despite this year’s awards spanning two years’ worth of work.

The 2021 Lions have seen 29,074 pieces of work entered from 90 countries, compared to 30,953 from 89 countries in 2019, reflecting a decline of 6%. Categories that declined the most are work that relies on long term strategy and results, with entries in the Creative Effectiveness Lions category down 38% and the Creative Strategy Lions seeing a 20% drop. Cannes Lions suggested that companies have “shifted to short term strategy in the face of unprecedented circumstances.”

However, other categories saw a boost, particularly those reflecting the pivot to digital during the pandemic. Titanium Lions entries were up 15%, while entries for Social & Influencer Lions were up by 14%. The Creative eCommerce Lions recorded a 12% increase year-over-year. The newly launched Creative Business Transformation Lions, celebrating “creativity that drives business forward,” has had a “strong” first year, with 202 entries. The award with the most entries is Film, with 2,726 entries. 

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