AB InBev wins Cannes Lions Creative Marketer Award, twice in a row – big lessons for every brand

Published: March 17, 2023

min read

AB InBev wins the Cannes Lions “Creative Marketer Award” this year - and they are the first brand to have ever won the award twice!

The Creative Marketer of the Year award is presented by Cannes Lions, which is the largest gathering of the creative communications industry, whose awards are highly prestigious and much-coveted. Earlier winners include Apple, Google, Microsoft and Burger King, to name a few.

AB InBev is the first to have won the award twice.

The Creative Marketer of the Year award is given to a marketer or a brand that consistently demonstrates excellence (by creating Lion-winning work) producing creative, brave and innovative marketing solutions over a period of time.

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity specifically highlighted AB InBev’s commitment to creativity and its impressive haul of Lions (they won 49 Lions–including one Grand Prix, 10 gold, 19 silver and 19 bronze–across 10 brands from seven countries – this is nine more Lions than they won last year)

Digging a little deeper to see how brands can emulate AB InBev

Creativity is a conscious strategy for AB InBev. It is ubiquitous and affects every aspect of their business strategy.

2018, we set the ambitious goal to become the best company in the world at creative effectiveness to bring us closer to our consumers and respond more quickly to their needs and trends in a rapidly changing world. And we knew the only way to get there was if all the brands in our portfolio, and all our teams across the world, worked together towards that goal.

AB InBev

The importance of setting a realistic and highly specific goal cannot be over-emphasized. AB InBev made a conscious business decision to be creatively effective.

Achieving that goal, takes some sharp strategizing. And since their goal was to be creatively effective, they applied that same quality to their strategy as well.

To achieve their goal, AB InBev –

  • Adopted new processes – you cannot keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results
  • Enhanced their capabilities – where deficient, it is imperative to add and expand
  • Recruited specialized talent – there are skills and there are skills. It is vital to find the right people with the right skills
  • Collaborated with strong creative partners – when you need to supplement your in-house efforts, you partner with someone who can bring what it takes to take you to the next level.
  • Created a marketing culture and capabilities team to take this culture across the organization – success is never an isolated effort of the CMO or some committed executive. It takes all hands on deck to make it happen.

It is not easy. It won’t’ happen overnight. But it is truly worth all the effort. At the end of the day, you win Lions!


Grace Wang

Grace is an advertising professional who keeps abreast of the latest and greatest in the marketing and advertising space. She is a traditionalist in lifestyle and modernist in her profession. Outside of marketing and advertising, she helps younger generation try and adapt traditional lifestyle for a healthy living.


Be the first one to comment.

Follow Us

Related Articles

Recent posts

The subscriber's email address.