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

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.