Cannes Lions 2022 Jury Report (Entertainment Lions For Music)

27 July 2022

Cannes Lions 2022 Jury Report (Entertainment Lions For Music)

In June 2022, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the world’s largest advertising awards in terms of number of entries and participants (hereafter referred to as Cannes Lions), was held on site for the first time in three years.

We asked Kazoo Sato, Chief Creative Sustainability Officer of TBWA\HAKUHODO and TBWA\Asia, who served as a member of the jury for the Entertainment Lions For Music category at this year’s Cannes Lions, to share his thoughts on winning works and overall trends he saw at Cannes Lions 2022.

Q. How did you feel about the Cannes Lions 2022 that was held on site for the first time in three years due to COVID-19, and what trends did you see this year?

When I landed at the airport in Europe, it was quite surprising to see people without masks, exuding an exuberance of traveling that I had not felt for a long time. The COVID-19 regulation seemed to have been completely lifted in Europe and the U.S., and for the first time in three years, Cannes seemed to be fully back to its old self, or even more vibrant than ever. Of course, the jury members wore no masks either. I was excited to see the mouths of the people, and was reminded that face-to-face discussions are the ideal way to discuss creativity.

The number of entries in the music category was relatively small, about 500 in all. From there, we ended up with a shortlist of about 40 works, and then about 23 award-winners. The jury was headed by the CEO of BBH NY (former director of MTV), with about half of the jury coming from agencies, and the rest were global CMOs from major beverage companies, entertainment platformers such as Amazon Music, or Netflix, and producers from music production companies. I think this perfect balance of diversity and professionalism made for a meaningful discussion from start to finish.

Photo from Cannes Lions 2022, Kazoo is in the center of the group

Photo from Cannes Lions 2022, Kazoo is in the center of the group

Although there could be many keywords to describe the trends of the award-winning entries, in terms of the Music category, I could say the key trends include: “Social Justice,” “Speed of Culture,” and “Ture Ambassador”.
“Social Justice”, a brand’s opinion or stance on an issue of social injustice, was a common key concept in more than half of this year’s winning works. It may be easier to understand if you think of it as Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign for its 30th anniversary of “Just Do It.”.
“Speed of Culture” refers to how quickly a brand is able to take advantage of the culture that is being discussed on social media and apply it to its own marketing and communications.
“True Ambassador” means that the relationship between the artist as an ambassador and the brand is not just shallow and one-time only but becoming more and more authentic, truthful, and they collaborate with shared passion or aspiration. I believe that these three keywords can be read in many of the award-winning works.

Q. What were the characteristics of this year’s Grand Prix winner at Music category?

Cannes Lions 2022 Jury Report (Entertainment Lions For Music)

Grand Prix Winner: This is Not America
Client: Doomsday Entertainment and Sony Music Latin for Residente
Cannes Lions Official Website: The Work | Festival 2022 | Entertainment Lions For Music (

There is a rule that one of the two Music Grand Prix winners each year must be selected from pure music videos, not advertisements. This rule was established in the year when the Music category was first made, with the aim of looking at the category from the broader perspective of “creativity” and not just “advertising”. It is to prove that even music videos have the power to change society, which can be seen from the global impact of “This is America,” which won the Grand Prix in the same category in 2019.

I believe that this year’s Grand Prix winner “This is Not America” was chosen as a work that symbolizes exactly that thinking – which links to the key word “Social Justice” that I mentioned earlier. It is a music video released by Doomsday Entertainment and Sony Music Latin for a South American Mexican artist named Residente. It is a rap music presentation of the relationship between U.S. imperialism and the social problems facing South American societies.
The following is an introduction to the work I contributed to a Japanese writer on Cannes Lions, Mr.Koichi Kawajiri.

“When “America” (the U.S.) uses the word “America”, it refers to the Northern American continent – when “South America” is also America, called Latin America. Isn’t U.S. imperialism based on the sacrifice of many good citizens, abundant natural resources, and other resources in Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, and many other Latin American countries? By parodying various historical heroes and events that fought for justice against this reality, this video calls out for what real justice is. If the Childish Gambino’s “This is America” highlights the truth of the North American continent, “This is Not America” will be an appeal to the world shedding the light on truth about Latin America.”(Full article (Japanese):

The judging panel was naturally very careful in discussion of political correctness, but it went on to even discuss what real justice in war is, using the current war in Ukraine as an example. Although the visual expression was a bit aggressive, it was fresh and very brave in that it gave a new perspective on the values of America, and the power of music is always there when society undergoes a major transformation or when values change – based on the overall evaluation of these points, we selected this work for the Grand Prix.

Q. What do you think is likely to be evaluated at Cannes Lions in the future in overall categories, and what perspectives are necessary to be an award-winning work?

I am sure has often been said but the important things to consider are: that the relationship between the idea of the work and the company’s identity must be authentic, and that the company’s stance on the work must be true and in line with its own purpose.
Whenever I share Cannes Lions winning works, I am still sometimes asked how so-called “For Good” campaigns are related to the company’s profit. However, realistically speaking the resolution of social issues by companies is a theme that directly affects stock prices from an ESG perspective, and I believe that the opportunities for our ideas to make a significant contribution to the creation of non-financial value for companies will increase in the future.
There are so many to learn from Cannes Lions in the future and I am excited for what to come.

※ This article is a re-post of the aritcle from Hakuhodo Web Magazine The Centeral Dot. “[Cannes Lions 2022] Hakuhodo DY Group Jury Interview Vol. 1 Kazoo Sato (Entertainment Lions for Music)” (July 25, 2022). To read the original article (Japanese) please see: