REPORT: 89% of Cannes winners use social media – real actions and people rule

Nine out of ten Cannes winners utilize social media as a core element of campaign states the latest edition of “World-Class Lessons on Social Media Marketing” report, which has been published since 2012. “We now find ourselves in an era where social media marketing is mainstream, ubiquitous even,” says Jari Lähdevuori, Creative Director of Kurio and analyst-in-chief of the report. “But our analysis isn’t just about whether or not to use social media, rather how to make it resonate with the consumers.”

One trend that is present among the Cannes Lions social media winners is that real and authentic rules over staged and dramatized. In 2023, 95% of winners use “evidence marketing techniques”, compared to the 83% in 2022 – the term dubbed by Kurio means that the campaigns show something real and true, as the name suggests. Furthermore, 94% of social winners have real people as part of the campaign compared to the 88% last year. Both of these aspects have been on a steady rise during the years.

Another trend that is picking up pace among the social media victors is purpose. This year 43% of the Cannes Lions winners with social as a key element built their campaign on a bigger why, a solid purpose.  “Some say that ‘purpose’ has lately turned into one of the most excessively utilized marketing jargon terms, and that brands should learn to behave in a ‘post-purpose’ market,” comments Lähdevuori. “The reality, however, shows that purpose-driven marketing is just only becoming mainstream.”

Another trend we’re seeing in Cannes is that brands are getting better at using influencers. This year 23% of social media victors had influencers at the core of their campaign idea, which is a record-high number. “Marketers have been using influencers more as media placements, as an afterthought to the campaign, but the statistics clearly show that year after year they are getting much better at properly integrating them into the idea itself. This benefits both the marketers and the influencers – and also both of their followers, as the executions feel more authentic, entertaining and inspiring”, Lähdevuori comments.

>> Download the report (pdf)


Jari Lähdevuori

Creative Director & Partner
Kurio // The Social Media Age(ncy)
jari [at]
+358 (0)50 530 6630


Kurio // The Social Media Age(ncy)

Kurio is a social-first creative agency, helping clients do effective marketing and communications via digital channels.

Cannes Lions

Cannes Lions is the most significant competition of the marketing & advertising industry, and a leading festival on creativity. The 70th annual Cannes Lions was held on 19th – 23th June 2023.

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