While I’ve been to Cannes Lions several times, this will be my first time at Eurobest, Cannes Lion’s continental cousin. The festival celebrates the best work in Europe, as you might have guessed from the title.
Last year this festival attracted over 4,000 entries – a huge number by any standard. Well, except of course Cannes, which saw a staggering 40,000 entries.
Does this mean Eurobest is just Cannes-Lite?
Not at all. The standard at Eurobest is world-class. And speaking from years of entering the awards, it’s fiendishly tough to win. Almost as tough as Cannes. And this tells us a lot about a creative industry renaissance happening in Europe right now.
Over the last decade, a lot of the world’s mould-breaking work has come from less mature and therefore more experimental markets outside Europe – South America for example has been a strong creative force.
But very recently, you can see European countries surging up the ranks. Just last year, UK, Germany, France and Sweden all had an exceptional year picking up over 250 Lions between us (that’s more than the US won. And the UK took 106 of those, a similar performance to Brazil).
Europe is creatively world-class again, and the numbers back that up.
I expect to see similar themes to Cannes there too. First, brands with purpose will be an ever-growing trend, brands that take on big causes for humanity.
Secondly, we’ll continue to see work that taps the latest tech, but hopefully not for its own sake. Whatever innovation is used, I hope we’ll see ideas that will still seem fresh in 10 years. In other words, ideas, not tactics, that contain eternal human truths at their heart.
And it’s not just about the work. The speaker programme looks inspirational too. I’m looking forward to our EMEA CEO Colin Byrne’s session with renowned economist and researcher Professor Noreena Hertz on why brands need to get under the skin of the 14-21 year olds known as Generation K.
You needn’t come to Rome to see the work – it will be on the Eurobest website for a couple of months afterwards. So dive in: it’s so important to see what winning work looks like.
Eurobest runs from 30 November – 2 December in Rome. Watch out for our live blogs from the Festival next week.