LIONS releases annual State of Creativity

All News

Lions has released its annual State of Creativity report. The seminal piece of research – and the biggest study of its kind – is an insight-led toolkit designed to enable senior marketers to quickly understand the creative landscape with functional advice on how to drive business growth using creativity.

The study is titled Communication Breakdown On The Road To Recovery, and Spencer Fox, SVP, Business Lead, Advisory, LIONS said:

“This is a unique window into the global creative landscape, and what we’re seeing is that although the sentiment is outwardly optimistic, inwardly the industry is at odds. There’s optimism around progress and investment, but tensions that need to be worked through if we’re going to realise the potential of creativity as a growth driver. Essentially, there’s a communication breakdown.”

In 2023, pressing macroeconomic concerns stifled the creative industry’s ambitions and forced budget cuts, but in 2024, a much more positive tale emerges. Businesses are reporting promising growth and an increase in marketing investment, with 51% of brand and agency respondents saying they anticipate stronger growth this year. However, the opportunity to capitalise on this with groundbreaking creative work might be at risk, with responses revealing two growing tensions driving a wedge between key creativity stakeholders.

This year’s study revealed that there are glaring discrepancies in how brands experience the agency–client relationship compared to their agency partners. When asked about the partnership, brands expressed a more positive attitude towards it, while creative partners painted a starkly different picture. It suggests that brands are less in the know of the reality of their situation.

Senior leadership was the second target of criticism. Brand-side respondents expressed difficulty in getting executives to embrace creativity. This was attributed, in part, to an absence of creative people in the boardroom, with more traditional, risk-averse marketers taking seats. Despite the majority of people wanting to push the boundaries of their creative work, conservative leaders make them feel like they can’t.

Fox continued:

“Our findings show that brands predicting higher growth for 2024 are 6x more likely to prioritise creativity, are 4.6x more likely to have a higher marketing spend than 2023 and put more investment into brand building. It’s consistent evidence for the business case for creativity.”

Providing a comprehensive view of the trends and drivers shaping the business of creativity, the study has been informed by a global survey of close to 3,000 creatives and marketers, along with 1:1 conversations with leaders from across the industry. The full State of Creativity, authored by LIONS Advisory, is available online

As The Home of Creativity, LIONS powers the marketing segment of Ascential and is a destination for those in the business of creativity. As the definitive benchmark of creative excellence and with unparalleled access to insight on how it works, LIONS provides those on the journey to creative excellence all they need, at whatever stage they are at and wherever they are. Our annual five-day Festival, Cannes Lions, is the meeting place for the global creative marketing community and a celebration of the world’s most excellent and effective work.

LIONS is part of Ascential, which delivers specialist information, analytics and events to the world’s leading consumer brands and their ecosystems. Our world-class businesses improve performance and solve customer problems by delivering immediately actionable information combined with visionary longer-term thinking across Product Design, Marketing and Retail & Financial Services. It has customers in over 120 countries, bringing local knowledge and connections to our global customer base. Ascential is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.