Introducing the Lions Creative MBA

At a time when championing creativity is harder than ever, Lions have launched a course designed to teach creatives and marketers everything they need to know to do just that

Given that we have 70 years’ worth of unique data charting creative work, Lions is uniquely placed to help marketing professionals and their creative partners understand what creativity could deliver for their business. We have over 2,500 talks on our site from brands that have been named Creative Marketer of the Year, as well as brands and agencies that have picked up multiple Lions awards and those that have really understood how having creativity as a foundation can change their financial fortunes. 

We also have recordings of multi-Lion-winning creatives on stage, talking about how they’d worked with brands in order to reframe their ability to understand creativity. And all of this is backed up by amazing, Lion-winning work. 

So, we decided to take this history and wisdom and launch the Lions Creative MBA (cMBA) on the 28th of May this year. Our main target audience is brands and their agency partners; marketing professionals looking to understand how to articulate the value of creativity for growing their brand, and how to execute it; as well as creatives, working in agencies, who may be looking for the next stage in their career.

How the Lions cMBA works

Every module in the Lions cMBA looks at the theory you need to create great creativity. For example, for the behavioural economics module we talk through subjects like nudge theory and loss aversion. Then we back it up with expertise from the likes of behavioural scientist and vice-chairman of Ogilvy & Mather, Rory Sutherland. We also then use Lion-winning work that illustrates the theories we have been talking about. 

Every element covers the topics that creatives and marketers need to understand, from insights to setting up a culture of creativity, inclusivity to collaboration, all the way through to the final modules where we talk about creative leadership and the work that merits Cannes Lions’ Titanium award, which celebrates game-changing creativity.

Every module in the Lions cMBA looks at what you need to create Lion-winning creativity

People always want to know about what it takes to win Lions so one of the elements that we’ve incorporated into the Lions cMBA is the “You’re On The Jury” section. We decided to give our Lions cMBA learners the opportunity to look at entries through the lens of a Cannes Lions Juror and see whether they would have given a piece of work Gold or Silver or Bronze. Once decided, they then hear from the actual jury president, who will tell them why the Jury gave this piece of work Gold rather than Silver or Bronze, for example. They will explain the nuances that make one piece of work good and another great. 

Learning to champion creativity

Working in creativity can be really difficult because it can be death by 1000 cuts sometimes. You’ll get feedback from a stakeholder – “could you make this font a little bigger? Could you do this in yellow? I like this but does it have to be a man or could it be a woman who’s in this shot?” Creatives and marketers can feel frustrated, as their ideas are diluted.

To help with this, as part of the Lions cMBA, creative industry icons and brand leaders will join weekly live calls to give practical advice about how to handle this. We’ll also be running cohort-based workshops around dilemmas you might have or challenges you might face as a creative or marketing professional. 

We’ve got a whole section focused on disrupting category norms, using the case studies  of lots of brands that have done just this. The Mondelez gorilla advert with Cadbury’s is a great example. You can just imagine some of the conversations. “We’re not going to show chocolate being eaten. We’re not going to show the bar, we’re not going to show the wrapper.” On the course we explore some of those unexpected elements of great creativity. You have to be incredibly brave and smart to do it but you also need to be able to articulate why creativity works. The Lions cMBA gives you insights, inspiration – and the courage you need to achieve your best creative work ever.

As told to Francesca Cassidy