As a supporter of the 60th annual Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France, the AdParlor team had the opportunity to meet and engage with some of the leading creative minds in our industry today. Attended by over 12,000 delegates from more than 33 countries, the festival has been called the “Oscars of Advertising”, awarding the best work across a variety of verticals and channels.

The Pride Roars: The AdParlor Top “Lions” of Cannes – 2013

In partnership with the UK startup, Leaderboarded, we developed and executed an interactive contest focused on rewarding the most influential, engaging and social active delegates. Through real-time analysis on the #canneslions Twitter hash tag, the top digital influencers of Cannes Lions were displayed and acknowledged – or – referred to as “The Cannes Pride” if you like.


During the week, the Leaderboarded system constantly analyzed a number of different gaming factors, including Tweet engagement and Peer Index relative to digital advertising. Overall during the week 24,532 digerati were involved in the leaderboard, over 1 billion tweets sent and the top 100 recognized on a daily basis. The Leaderboarded Ranking Algorithm uses an advanced formula when calculating the leaderboard score – discounting scores that are outliers and reducing the bias of users trying to “game” the system. It also means the winners of the leaderboard are those who are a more rounded player, doing well in many areas, rather than just one. Players are ranked according to how well they do against peers in each category, then weighted with other metrics to create a total score out of 100.

One way to think of it is as there being a “pie” of 100 possible points. Each metric is worth a number of points. Being top in that metric gives you all the possible points, while being second gives you 95% of them. So if a metric is worth 20 points and there are 10 people on the leaderboard, the top ranked player will get all 20 points, the second will get 18 points, the third 16and so on. The leaderboard manager decides how points are allocated for each metric – the ‘weighting’. If one metric has 50% of the weighting then that will account for 50% of the points. Managers may choose to keep this secret from the players to reduce ‘gaming’ of the system

After a final analysis, the winner, Dr. William J Ward, Professor of Practice of Social Media at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University was declared.

Toby Beresford, the founder and CEO of Leaderboarded, wrote the following analysis of why Dr. Ward won: “He won because he did fairly well in all categories – the ranking algorithm encourages players to do all activities tracked, not just the one that gets the most points. This makes it very interesting for use within a work environment where you are looking to move a whole cohort forward together rather than trying to overly reward the same top individuals.

Here are the details of William J Ward’s performance over the course of the week long competition:

Leaderboard: Past Performance for William J. Ward Leaderboard: AdParlor Cannes Pride

It goes without saying that we were excited to see the quality of the leaderboard, a real who’s who in the digital and social space. It was also great to see that a global audience engaged with the AdParlor Top 100 Digital Influencers including:

  • Guy Duncan, Global Creative Director for Coca Cola
  • Rob Schwartz, Global Creative President of TBWA
  • Justin Cooke, CMO for Topshop
  • David Jones, Global CEO of Havas
  • John Bell, Global Managing Director of Social@Ogilvy


We also wanted to share our favorite winner of a Cannes Lions. “Dumb Ways To Die” is a video created by McCann Melbourne for a public transport safety campaign in Australia.