Marketers who want to contend for a Creative Effectiveness award at the Cannes Lions might benefit from thinking like a skeptic.

“I always think, in the [Creative] Effectiveness case … you're guilty until proven innocent,” explained Brent Nelsen, who serves as partner, svp/director of planning at Leo Burnett Canada, and was a member of the judging panel for the Creative Effectiveness category at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

“I go into a case and assume that everyone is going to think, ‘I'm guilty, and now I have to prove my innocence, that I haven't manipulated anything.’”

Nelsen applied such a winning formula to over 160 entrants into this year’s Creative Effectiveness competition at the Cannes Lions, as he assisted in identifying the papers that drove favorable outcomes across one or more of the following:

  • long-term results;
  • tangible business impacts;
  • cultural change;
  • brand purpose.