CUBE Studio head to Cannes Lions 2023.

7 min read 27.06.2023 Insights

The world renowned Cannes Lions International Festivity of Creativity returned this month for its 70th year, bringing together people who believe in the power of creativity from across the globe for a week of exploring, learning and networking.

Our CUBE Studio CEO, James Hakesley, headed over to Cannes for the week-long festival, as part of the Advertising Association and Department for Business and Trade Mission, alongside 50 creative companies.

Check out our key takeaways from Cannes Lions 2023…

CUBE Studio Cannes
CUBE Studio Cannes


AI took centre stage at this year’s festival, dominating panel talks, events and activations and proving a hot topic of conversation for a number of influential figures, including

Having recently launched FYI, the world’s first AI-powered messenger for creative collaboration, discussed the potential of artificial intelligence in the creative process, and his vision for the future of creative collaboration.

One of the most powerful conversations centred around ‘the art of AI prompts’, discussing the importance of being able to craft effective prompts as a necessary skill for success, and preparing us to soon see AI and ChatGPT listed on CVs as businesses search for ‘prompt professionals’ to give them an advantage in an increasingly tech-focused world.

Despite the excitement around the tool, it was clear to see that within creative industries (production specifically!), human-driven stories remain crucial. As a result, it’s important that we find the right balance between AI and human creativity.

CUBE Studio Cannes
CUBE Studio Cannes

Microsoft’s ‘Imagine That - Manifesting otherworldly ideas with generative AI’ event did just that!

Having asked creators from around the world to take on a challenge of imagining a fascinating sea creature using their Microsoft Bing Image Creator, we experienced a collection of art created using AI, sparking imagination and showcasing the tool’s creative possibilities.

CUBE Studio Cannes
CUBE Studio Cannes


It was no surprise to see sustainability appear as another strong theme throughout this year’s festival, with the creative industry dubbed as one of the most wasteful and calling for a need to change the ‘whatever it takes to drive the creative’ mentality that’s existed for so long.

Moving beyond being just a buzzword, sustainability appeared in almost every pitch, panel and activation, with major tech brands actively seeking more sustainable production techniques and signing sustainability pledges, signalling a growing commitment to making a positive environmental impact.

Clean Creatives made a big statement at the festival, through a series of PR stunts that brought attention to founders of advertising companies not living up to sustainable ideals.

The introduction of sustainability-focused awards at this year’s Cannes Lions couldn’t have been more timely - reflecting the industry’s recognition of the need for environmentally conscious practices.

CUBE Studio Cannes
CUBE Studio Cannes


This year’s festival saw more influencer creators and marketing firms in attendance than ever before, and proving to be a powerful tool for brands to connect with their audience, influencer marketing looks set to stay…

The likes of Influential and Captiv8 made their presence known through strategic takeovers and brand engagement, while notable influencers including Emma Chamberlain shared their insights and experiences with industry professionals.

From TikTok networking events to Pinterest’s Manifestival, there was a real focus on the next generation of creators and the power that they hold.

This rise of young creators and the notable presence of Gen Z brought a new vibrance to the festival, suggesting that Cannes Lions has an exciting future.

CUBE Studio Cannes
CUBE Studio Cannes


We couldn’t return from Cannes Lions without shouting out some of the amazing award-winning work on display.

A stand-out project for us was the incredibly impactful ‘Last Photo’ campaign by CALM; the campaign against living miserably. The 90-second TV commercial, featuring the last footage of people who then died by suicide, was awarded the Grand Prix award in the film category on the last day of Cannes.

As our CUBE™ chosen charity of the year in 2022, it was brilliant to see CALM recognised for their amazing work in addressing mental health and the creativity shown through their campaign which led to a 400% increase in donations and a 33% increase in online conversations about suicide.