Was the Apple Cannes Lions win its Leo moment?

Apple was recently crowned 2019 Creative Marketer of the Year by The Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity. Despite receiving many Cannes Lions awards over the years, this is the first time that Apple has received this, most coveted, title. So, has Apple excelled itself this past year? Or was this more of a nod towards the company’s lifetime achievement? In other words, was this Apple’s Leonardo DiCaprio moment?

Despite achieving five academy award nominations over his lifetime – the first back in 1994 for his role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape – and three Best Actor nominations, Leo didn’t win an Oscar until his sixth nomination in 2016. A social media storm surrounded the event; a rallying cry for the renowned actor to finally receive his due. Some suspected that the film Leo finally received a Best Actor win for, The Revenant, was one long (tedious in this writer’s humble opinion) bid for the award win. Even those who enjoyed the film seemed to agree that it wasn’t necessarily DiCaprio’s most memorable work. But he was long due recognition, and recognition he got.

Similarly, many might wonder why Apple hasn’t won a Creative Marketer award until now. If you cast your mind back, I expect you’ll be able to remember numerous Apple ads. How about the colourful dancing shadows for the iPod? Or the beautiful photography that graced our billboards for the #shotoniphone campaign (the iPhone 6 version of which took home five Lions in 2015)?

Last year, Apple won Lions for its ‘Welcome Home’ ad featuring FKA Twigs, and the Brand Experience & Activation Lion Grand Prix and a Titanium Lion for its in-store experience, ‘Today at Apple’. A further five Gold Lions, nine Silver Lions and eight Bronze Lions were awarded across 10 different campaigns. It’s good work, but will we remember it in five or even ten years’ time as with some of Apple’s historical campaigns? It’ll be exciting to see what Apple has entered into this year’s categories. Will the star-studded ‘Behind the Mac’ campaign get a mention?

According to AdWeek, Cannes’ Creative Marketer designations are ‘based primarily on two factors: the brand’s history as an award-winner and its willingness to play a prominent role in the festival itself.’ It seems like this latest recognition is indeed an acknowledgement of Apple’s consistent performance over the years.

Just as we celebrated Leonardo DiCaprio’s win in 2016, Apple’s recognition at the most significant international advertising awards will be celebrated in style at this year’s ceremony in June. Now who’s going to create the meme?