History of the Cannes Lions, From Ad Films to Carnival of Creativity

How the festival evolved over the years, and what's new for 2012

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CANNES, France—The 59th edition of the Cannes Lions festival is now under way. (Check out Adweek's full coverage at adweek.com/cannes all week long.) But when the festival debuted in 1954, it wasn't called the Cannes Lions. It wasn't held in Cannes. And while the big prize was a Lion trophy, it was inspired by a monument in a different city entirely—the lion of Piazza San Marcos in Venice, where that first festival took place.

The motivating emotion for having a festival at all, of course, was envy.



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