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The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is an annual celebration of the best in creative communication. Photo: Cannes Lions
The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is an annual celebration of the best in creative communication. Photo: Cannes Lions

Hear that roar? U.S. Hispanic advertising agencies are on the rise at the Cannes Lions

In 2019, Hispanic ad agencies took home 12 trophies at the Cannes Lions Festival.

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2019 was a great year for the U.S. Hispanic advertising talent at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Thirty-seven pieces were shortlisted and Hispanic ad agencies took home 12 trophies. 

During the past decade, Hispanic agencies have had 191 shortlisted pieces listed, 62 of which won awards. In the same period, Cannes has appointed six jurors from Hispanic companies.

These were some of the achievements highlighted during a webinar hoping to guide Hispanic agencies to submit more of their work. The event was produced by Círculo Creativo and Hispanic Star. 

Claudia Romo Edelman, founder of We Are All Human Foundation, was the moderator. She emphasized the importance of “increasing the representation of Hispanic creatives, brands, and agencies” by submitting their work to the festival.

Luis Miguel Messianu, founder, creative chairman, and CEO of Alma, said there is definitely a “runway” for the U.S. Hispanic agencies. In order to succeed, he added, it is important to have “the right talent”, but also to create partnerships with “great clients that are willing to take great risks.”

Flor Leibaschoff, president of Círculo Creativo USA and group creative director at Lerma, seconded Messianu’s opinion. Leisbachoff, who won a Lion Award years ago, added that the brief and strategy to promote the pieces are also key elements. 

“We need clients that are courageous, that are brave, that want to go forward. We need clients like this in the U.S. Hispanic market,” she said. 

Marcelo Pascoa, VP Marketing, Coors, Global & North America at Molson Coors Beverage Company, pointed out that the agency, as well as the clients, also need to have an “uncontrollable passion” for advertising and creativity. 

“Is not about wanting to win an award. It’s about wanting to do work that will change the industry forever,” he said. 

Tips on how to submit a great entry

Susie Walker, Head of Awards at Cannes Lions, started by saying that for an agency to be shortlisted “is already an award.” 

She shared the four-step process to succeed: “Enter [the festival], learn from the winners, adjust for creative excellence, and repeat.”

To those agencies that might feel discouraged from participating, she explained that, based on the festival analysis, it takes two to three years on average for a company that submits its work for the first time to win its first Lion. 

Do only agencies with big budgets can win an award? 

“No, this is a really common misconception. A lot of people think that only the big brands or the big budgets will win,” she said.

Lara Goes, Walker’s colleague, recommended everyone who is interested in participating download the entry kits available on the festival’s webpage. She said that it is important to identify the best category in which to participate. 

“Ask yourself questions like: ‘What was the purpose of your work? ‘’What does your company specialize in’?” 

This year's Cannes Lions’ edition will be held in June.

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