Cannes Lions will honor Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) as Creative Marketer of the Year for a second year in a row. The award recognizes AB InBev’s sustained creative excellence that has driven sustainable business growth--as well as its body of Lion-winning work amassed over a sustained period of time, and reputation for producing brave creative and innovative marketing solutions.
AB InBev is the first brand in the Festival’s history to be honored with the award for two consecutive years after embedding creativity at the heart of their business.
Simon Cook, CEO, LIONS, said, “AB InBev have raised the bar once again and embedded a culture that ensures continued success is inevitable. This win bucks the trend and demonstrates an ongoing commitment to creativity as a driver for growth.” Its published business results show that AB InBev has achieved an all-time high in sales volume, and brand power, in 2022.
In 2018, AB InBev embarked on a journey to develop a creative excellence program and set a five year strategic goal to improve its creative marketing capabilities and drive organic revenue for the business.
This program saw AB InBev introduce an embedded, sustainable system and culture that put creative problem solving at the center of its business--leading to organic growth and improved creative and financial performance.
At last year’s Cannes Lions, AB InBev won 49 Lions--one Grand Prix, 10 Gold, 19 Silver, 19 Bronze--across 10 brands from seven countries. The Grand Prix came in the Creative Effectiveness Lions, the award that recognizes effective strategy rooted in creativity that drives sustainable business impact over time. "Contract for Change" was said by jury president Raja Rajamannar to go “above and beyond--it is disruptive, game-changing and has impact lasting into the future”.
Cook added, “AB InBev’s commitment to creativity and the role it plays in business value creation is further supported by the clear buy-in from the company board, including CEO Michel Doukeris, which has been critical to their success. They’ve also scaled, using the best practice established in the US as a blueprint for their approach across other markets. All of this has delivered incredible business results, and the fact that they now use the number and breadth of Lion wins as a core measure of success shows just how powerful creativity is in driving progress.”
Speaking about receiving the award, AB InBev's Michel Doukeris, said, “This is truly unprecedented to win such a prestigious award two years in a row. It is a testament to the creativity of our entire marketing organization and the relentless focus on connecting in meaningful ways with consumers. Investing in organic growth is our number one priority and this recognition of creativity further demonstrates our brand building excellence.”
AB InBev will be honored at the final Awards Show of the Festival on Friday, June 23. Additionally, its seminar, taking place on Monday, June 19, will democratize AB InBev's learnings for the good of wider industry growth, breaking down its five-year journey and sustained success.