Just four Canadian entries on Film shortlist

For a long time, Film (or TV, as the civilians call it) was the Cannes Lions glamour award, and if we’re being honest, many people in the industry still dream of creating an iconic TV commercial.

But, to state the obvious, consumer media habits have changed radically in recent years, and the industry has rightfully been changing with them. Consequently, it does seem as if the Film Lions aren’t as popular as they once were.

In the last pre-Covid Cannes, in 2019, there were 2,793 Film Lion entries in a Festival that saw 30,953 entries across all competitions. It was the most entered competition, with Film representing about 9% of all entries.

This year, in a Festival featuring 26,992 entries in total, there were just 1,867 submissions for Film, a little less than 6.9% of all entries. It’s also now the fourth most popular competition, behind Brand Experience & Activation, Direct, and Outdoor (and only barely ahead of Media).

Of this year’s Film submissions, 74 came from Canada, about 3.9%. Although—as we math’d on Sunday—Canada accounted for about 4.7% of all submissions this year.

The point of this long preamble is to say that it’s perhaps unsurprising that just four Canadian entries made the Film shortlist, which was released early Tuesday morning. (In 2019, Canadian work was shortlisted 11 times.)

The winners will be announced at the closing gala on Friday night, with Dentsu’s Jordan Doucette representing Canada on the jury.

The four contenders for a Film Lion are:

Along with Film, four other shortlists were released Tuesday morning—two in the Experience Track, where Canada did pretty well, and two in the Strategy Track.

Experience Track

Cannes describes this work as being focused on customer journeys and immersive experiences, that capture audiences at every touch point.

Creative Business Transformation

The recognition of “the ingenuity that leads to the creation of new products and services, and the reinvention of operations and customer experiences.”

  • McCann Calgary with McCann New York, Bucharest, London and Octagon, and Mastercard for “Three Years of Inclusive Cards.”

Creative Commerce (7 entries)

The celebration of innovation and creativity in online and offline commerce, payment solutions and transactional journeys. Winners must demonstrate how innovation in the customer journey led to increased commercial engagement and commercial success.

  • FCB Toronto and Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation were nominated three times for “Dream Bars”
  • FCB Toronto and Bank of Montreal were nominated twice for “NXT LVL”
  • Angry Butterfly and Jane/Finch Community Centre “Bill it to Bezos”
  • Performance Art with VectorB McCann Mexico City for “The Greatest Guide to Jochos & Burgers”

Strategy Track

Creativity and strategy that “unlock growth and measure impact.”

Creative Effectiveness

Entries need to demonstrate how an effective strategy “rooted in creativity has met its chosen business objectives.”

  • Rethink and Kraft Heinz for “Heinz Draw Ketchup”

Creative Strategy

Entries need to demonstrate “exceptional interpretation of the business/brand challenge, breakthrough thinking and transformational problem-solving.”

  • McCann Calgary with McCann New York, Bucharest, London and Octagon, and Mastercard for “Three Years of Inclusive Cards.”
David Brown