Leo Burnett Reveals 2023 Cannes Lions Predictions

Leo Burnett Global Chief Creative Officer Chaka Sobhani curates the 35th annual Cannes Predictions ahead of this year’s Cannes International Festival of Creativity.

For more than three decades Leo Burnet has picked Cannes Lions winners with 90% accuracy and for the third year, Leo Burnett’s Global Chief Creative Officer, Chaka Sobhani has curated Leo’s list representing top work from the industry writ large.

“As we look ahead toward the sunny skies in the South of France, I can’t help but feel hopeful. I believe in us as a people and an industry to make the best out of anything thrown at us—through heart, love and a tonne of creativity.”

The annual Cannes Predictions list is compiled from a yearlong evaluation of work that reflects global industry standards. This year, five key themes emerged:

New Creative Capitals.

Over the short course of a new millennium, we’ve witnessed a global rise in creativity that’s democratized representation with a fearless spirit in championing human rights.

In Lebanon where democracy can remain fragile at times, Annahar Newspaper made a counterintuitive move to affirm press freedoms in the “Newspapers Inside the Newspaper” campaign. Following the tone of creative cultural transformation was Oreo’s “Bring Back 2011” and Vioz Waffle Choco’s “The Innocent Eyes” campaigns.

Film Packs a Punch.

From high-budget blockbusters to brilliantly simple demos, we’ve seen a plethora of contenders that speak to the vitality of filmmaking and entertaining this year.

Two brands that delivered on this exceptionally well were the French cable network Canal+ who is bringing the next level of craft to Cannes with their understanding of their viewers and passion for programming in this year’s installment of “The Secret of Wakany.” Another notable campaign in Apple’s “The Greatest,” a strong tributary film featuring Apple’s products that support accessibility.

The Great Big Canvas Keeps Getting Bigger.

As the industry explodes with new opportunities in tech, data and media, where and what we bring to life is more exciting and challenging than ever before.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 invited the world to find themselves by reverse engineering SEO—a smart and original way to engage potential consumers in the face of tough competition.

As we’ve watched the world quickly evolve to using new platform technologies, harnessing direct engagement from consumers in a fresh and compelling way has become a necessity, and brands like Google, Volkswagen, and Heinz Ketchup have leveraged new mediums to tell compelling stories that speak to human emotions.

Purpose You Believe In.

As brands wade into social and cause-related waters, they are under greater scrutiny to be transparent and authentic. This year, we recognize brands that have produced provocative work that champions authenticity and the power of purpose.

Unilever’s Dove “Cost of Beauty” campaign leads the charge as a champion for women’s self-esteem, relaying the toxicity faced by young women when it comes to their appearance. With Vanish’s “Me, My Autism and I” campaign powerfully representing the voices of people in the autism community in a sensitive and powerful way.

Fighting for Rights.

Expect to see work this year that focuses heavily on defending human rights on behalf of charities, pro bono, and government organizations. From women’s health to protecting free and democratic elections this year’s creative work is demanding human rights as a central cause to promote greater social equity.

Amnesty International’s “Land of the Unfree” campaign powerfully dramatizes the challenging circumstances surrounding reproductive freedoms.

Brands are also spotlighting dispersity in media coverage in the Columbia Journalism Review’s “Are You Press Worthy” campaign. As well as creative work that’s drawing attention to issues surrounding mental health, battling climate change, and pressing issues of human rights around the globe.

Ahead of advertising’s biggest week of the year, here is the full list of Leo’s Top 20 Cannes Contenders from around the globe:

  1. OREO “Brings Back 2011” // Leo Burnett India
  2. BBC “Hey Duggee, The Welcome Badge” // Mother London (UK)
  3. CANAL + “The Secret Wakany” // BETC Paris (France)
  4. Amnesty International “Land of the Unfree” // ANORAK/NOA (Norway)
  5. Skinny “Phone it In” // Colense BBDO (Australia)
  6. Kraft Heinz “Heinz Fraud Ketchup” // Rethink Toronto (Canada)
  7. Korean National Police Agency “Knock Knock” // Cheil Worldwide Inc. (Korea)
  8. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 “Welcome to Flipvertising” // CHEP Network South Yara (Australia)
  9. Annahar Newspaper “Newspapers Inside the Newspaper” // Impact BBDO (UAE)
  10. The Government of Tuvalu “The First Digital Nation” // The Monkeys Sydney (Australia)
  11. Columbia Journalism Review “Are You Press Worthy?” // TBWA/CHIAT New York (USA)
  12. Volkswagon Group France “Inside Jobs” // DDB Paris (France)
  13. Voiz Waffle Choco “The Innocent Eyes” // Oglivy Bangkok (Thailand)
  14. Apple USA & EA Sports “FIFA 23 x Ted Lasso” // Apple & EA Sports (USA)
  15. Apple “The Greatest” // In-house (USA)
  16. Calm “The Last Photo” // adam&eveDDB London (UK)
  17. Nike “Nike FC Presents Footballverse” // Widen + Kennedy (USA)
  18. Google & U.S. Black Chambers Inc. “Black-owned Friday Every Day” // BBH New York (USA)
  19. Unilever Dove “Cost of Beauty” // Oglivy (Canada)
  20. Reckitt/Vanish “Me, My Autism and I” // Havas London (UK)