Social & Influencer Lions

The Social & Influencer Lions celebrate creative social thinking and strategic influencer marketing solutions.

Entries will need to demonstrate how levels of engagement, social reach and the creative use of social networks & platforms, brand ambassadors and influencers led to commercial success. A number of criteria will be considered during judging and weighted as follows: 30% Idea, 20% strategy, 20% execution, 30% results

Social & Influencer Lions Sections

  • A. Social & Influencer: Sectors

    The same entry can be submitted only once in this section.

    • A01 Food & Drink

      All food and drinks.

    • A02 Other FMCG

      Beauty, cleaning products, other household goods, other FMCG.

    • A03 Healthcare

      Pharma, OTC drugs, wellness.

    • A04 Consumer Durables

      Technology, homewares, furniture and lighting, toys, fashion, home appliances, other durables.

    • A05 Automotive

      Vehicles, other automotive.

    • A06 Retail

      Retail, eCommerce, restaurants, fast food.

    • A07 Travel

      Travel, tourism, transport.

    • A08 Leisure

      Live events, museums & galleries, gambling, sports, gaming, other recreation.

    • A09 Media / Entertainment

      Music, film, television, publications & media, books, news, digital platforms, other media.

    • A10 Consumer Services / Business to Business

      Legal, financial, B2B technology, consultancies & professional services, other business services, internal & corporate comms.

    • A11 Not-for-profit / Charity / Government

      Government, public information, other not-for-profit, military, charities, non-profit.

    • A12 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) / Corporate Image

      Non-product based social responsibility campaigns aimed to address social, ethical and environmental issues. Corporate Image campaigns including event sponsorship to build the image/ raise the profile/ shape the perceptions of a brand.

  • B. Social Insights & Engagement

    Work in these categories will be judged on how successfully social was used to engage with online communities and deliver measurable and meaningful results for a brand.

    • B01 Community Building & Management

      Social activity that is designed to engage, build or maintain an online social community. Community activity engagement levels and the appropriateness of targeted communications directed at active/non-active users will all be considered.

    • B02 Audience Targeting / Engagement Strategies

      Social activity customised for predefined communities, groups or individuals based on social insights such as behaviour, interests, geo-location etc. This can include, but is not limited to, native advertising and programmatic campaigns. The customisation of messages, their relevance and creative execution will all be considered.

    • B03 Real-time Response

      Targeted social activity that utilises social platforms to respond to world events, public affairs and other real-world, real-time activity in a meaningful time sensitive and creative way, which prompts social sharing and engagement.

    • B04 Social Data & Insight

      Social campaigns elevated through their use of data and insights to engage or develop a meaningful relationship with a specific audience or community. Insights gained through the strategic application of social data/analytics will be considered.

    • B05 Brand Storytelling

      Social campaigns that use exceptional brand/consumer stories to drive meaningful engagement with a specific audience.

    • B06 Innovative Use of Community New!

      Creative utilisation of existing social platforms and or online communities to impact business objectives or enhance a relationships with a brand, community or consumers. This may also include utilisation of new functionality of existing social platforms. Levels of engagement, social reach and the creative strategy will all be considered.

    • B07 New Realities & Voice-activation New!

      Creative application of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality and Voice technology. Including but not limited to AI, immersive systems, gaming, video mapping and voice enabled assistants.

  • C. Influencer Marketing

    Entries in this category must demonstrate how a social campaign was enhanced through the use of a social influencer and implementation of content marketing.

    • C01 Organic Reach & Influence

      Brand-led social campaigns that become part of popular culture and as a result, are picked-up by a celebrity, social ambassador or influencer, further expanding the campaign’s reach and impact.Entries must state which celebrities, social ambassadors or influencers picked up the campaign.

    • C02 Partnerships

      Social initiatives or executions where brands partner with an influencer or social ambassador or influencer in order to engage with a specific audience. Entries here will be judged on how effective and mutually beneficial the partnership was and how target audiences were involved in compelling ways.

    • C03 Innovative Use of Influencers

      Creative use of influencers, including but not limited to unique content created by an influencer for the primary purpose of increasing a brand or organisation’s reach and awareness and/or to drive business results.

  • D. Social Content Marketing

    Work in these categories will be judged on how successfully content was used to engage with the consumers and target audiences.

    • D01 Content Placement

      Content and editorial strategy and placement using social channels. The strategic arrangement and curation of appropriate content that may either drive or enhance a wider social campaign.

    • D02 Social Film

      One-off online video specifically created for online social platforms that are intended for widespread sharing. Results and number of views will be taken into consideration during the judging process.

    • D03 Social Film Series

      Video content series specifically created for online social platforms that are intended for widespread sharing. Results and number of views will be taken into consideration during the judging process.

    • D04 Co-Creation & User Generated Content

      Social activity designed to encourage a community/fanbase to contribute or collaborate with a brand initiative. Engagement may be intended to drive long term value through collaborative interaction.

    • D05 Social Games

      Online, mobile and console games designed for and played on social platforms. Including, but not limited to AR, VR and MR.

    • D06 Social Business & Commerce

      Campaigns that harness social media and social platforms for ecommerce to drive business results.

  • E. Excellence in Social & Influencer

    • E01 Multi-platform Social Campaign

      Social campaigns that utilise multiple media platforms. Including offline elements, and live events Entries must illustrate that these elements drive or are inherently necessary to the overall execution of the social campaign.

    • E02 Sponsorship & Brand Partnership

      Social campaigns that utilise sponsorship and/or partnership programs to support a product or service in order to meet specific awareness/business goals as well as to enhance the image of a corporate brand, organisation or corporation.

    • E03 Social Purpose

      Social campaigns specifically designed to engage consumers through authentic, alignments with a social purpose/cause. Entries should demonstrate how the core values of the brand align with the cause or wider social purpose. This can include, but is not limited to, non-profit social responsibility initiatives.

  • F. Culture & Context

    • F01 Local Brand New!

      Campaigns for brands distributed in a single locality or market which resonated with a specific target audience.

    • F02 Challenger Brand New!

      Celebrating the success of disruptive, game-changing work for an aspiring brand that uses progressive thinking and innovative creativity to challenge the status quo.

    • F03 Single-market Campaign New!

      Campaigns that aired or ran in a single country / region / market. Entries should describe how the campaign was designed for the specific target market.

    • F04 Social Behaviour & Cultural Insight New!

      Campaigns inspired by a specific audience / community, hinging on identifiable social behaviour or cultural insights.

    • F05 Breakthrough on a Budget New!

      Strategic and creative use of modest budgets and/or resources to create maximum impact.

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The Social & Influencer Lions President's Message

PJ Pereira President

Founder & Creative Chairman, Pereira & O'Dell

"Two years ago, I had the honor to chair the Branded Entertainment category at Cannes Lions, a competition focused on the essential question we all face: What do we do as an industry if the cornerstone of our craft – buying consumers' time – is no longer for sale? In Branded Entertainment, we focused on finding the ideas that somehow attracted their own audience and left that audience feeling they had a great time.

This year I return to preside over another jury, Social and Influencer, which also addresses the same fundamental challenge: creating opportunities to talk to a consumer whose time isn't buyable. However, this time, we will look at it from a different point of view. Instead of how to get them to spend time, we will search for ideas that inspire the future of our business by engaging consumers who are willing to give us only a glance, as we float upwards through their timelines.

Young categories such as Social and Influencers (just like Branded Entertainment two years ago) aim to deliver on the certainty that the results we pick this year are likely to change how the industry sees what "creative" means in this field. It’s a responsibility we won't take lightly, I promise. I saw the same thing even further back, when I helmed the now-extinct Cyber Lions, which back then was only a few years old too. At that time, we foresaw trends like the growth of video as an essential language of the digital world (before YouTube, I must note), the beauty of being creative through sound, and using rudimentary versions of what would today be called Artificial Intelligence. In hindsight, these were all big discoveries that came not from our pre-conceived notions of what digital was, but our openness to let the work shine and influence our taste and enthusiasm, shedding light on how incredible the future was about to be.

And here we are again.

In the name of the jury, in the name of the industry, I welcome you all into this new chapter of the marketing world, hoping the debate heating up our discussions will make us all smarter, prouder and more inspired for the years ahead.

Welcome to Cannes' Social and Influencer jury."

The Social & Influencer Lions Jury

PJ Pereira Jury President

Founder & Creative Chairman
Pereira & O'Dell

PJ Pereira, Creative Chairman and Co-Founder of Pereira O'Dell is an advertising and entertainment pioneer. An Emmy winner, best selling writer and multiple Cannes Grand Prix winner he has become one of the world?s most influential and respected creatives. He believes agencies must provide return not only on the money brands are investing, but also the time consumers are spending with the work. With a diverse portfolio, current and past clients include, Intel, MINI,, Adobe, Fifth Third Bank, National Geographic and Coca-Cola but his work extends way beyond ads. His work was the first brand film to premiere at Sundance Film Festival, Werner Herzog's 'Lo and Behold' for NETSCOUT, and his agency was also the first to win an Emmy for a branded series competing against regular programming - Intel's 'The Beauty Inside' In 2018, PJ published best-selling novels and edited 'The Art of Branded Entertainment', the first book ever published by a Cannes jury, now available worldwide in both digital and paperback.
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Anneli Rispens

Director - Content & Social Media
DDB Worldwide


Bekah Sirrine

Head of Brand Creative


Bia Granja

Founder & Chief Creative Officer


Mihnea Gheorghiu

Global Creative Director


Nicole Holzenkamp

Brand Experience Director
Kolle Rebbe


Rodrigo Sobral

Global Chief Creative Officer


Sandrine Plasseraud

Founder & CEO
We Are Social


Toshihiko Tanabe

Creative Director


Tytus Klepacz

Senior Creative Director
J. Walter Thompson Dubai
United Arab Emirates


Will McGinness

Partner/Executive Creative Director
Venables Bell & Partners


Past winners of the Social & Influencer Lions

Nothing Beats a Londoner

2018 · W+K for Nike


Nike wanted to reaffirm its place with young Londoners. Create a deeper connection with them and talk to them authentically and meaningfully, on their level, through the power of sport. Situation Kids in London are faced with impossibly high pressures and expectations to succeed - to be seen as popular, stylish, “cool” (whatever that is). At a time when many brands were feeding into their insecurities, promoting style, swag and big celebrities as a way to achieve it. Nike knew they had a harder challenge, but a more rewarding one - to inspire the inner athlete within every youth through the entertaining, empowering, confidence-building ability of sport. ObjectivesBuild salience for Nike amongst London’s youth through the power of sport.Lead kids to play sport in London.Make something London could be proud of (at a time when the city was hurting from terrorist attacks, political issues and tragedies)

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