Top 10 themes coming out of Cannes 2023


There was no shortage of insights coming out of this year’s awards shows. I was left in awe at the size and complexity of some of the ideas submitted from across the globe. Based on the work I saw, it was clear that we, as a people, are in crises. From climate change to mental health, sustainability, disabilities of every kind, and the impact of war on humanity – creativity was trying to wake people, provide comfort, and ultimately change the current trajectory our planet is on. In a nutshell, there was an overwhelming sense of hope in the work. Here are just a few notable ones I took note of.


  1. Purpose-driven work brought home the most trophies, so find your brand’s north star for good and share it with the world via creative.
  2. In a world in turmoil, with issues impacting all of us, try to bring a bit of joy into your creative solution. There is still tremendous power of making an audience smile, take a break from their hectic day and experience a bit of joy.
  3. Longstanding issues still need solutions, so look for ways for your brand to engage and provide a solve – whether new thinking, a new product or a service.
  4. Racial, cultural, medical and disability issues continue to need to be addressed and brands have the power to engage in the conversation and showcase the best of humanity.
  5. The earth is in distress and the impact on humans is profound. Climate change is impacting every single person. Ask yourself how your brand can be a champion for the planet by offering real world solutions through innovation and technology.
  6. New AI-generated creative visualizations and solutions make our canvas a lot bigger by showcasing what a better world could look like.
  7. Make sure you have the evidence to back up any new and innovative claim you make. Consumers are doing their homework and will call you out. And AI will make it easier for them to do so.
  8. Create brand experiences you take part in versus just watch. Be personal. Get emotional. Take part in their day via gamification and deliver joy.
  9. Partner and collaborate with industry leading tech companies, universities, professionals – from doctors to historians – and data-leading organizations like NASA, to deliver best-in-class data to help deliver never been done creative ideas.
  10. Be patient. Much of the breakthrough work was years in the making given the complexity of the creative idea whether collecting and sorting multiple data sources, creating a new product, or collaborating with expert partners in their respective fields.