And they’re off! Cannes Young Lions 2019 has its first winners

by | Jun 18, 2019

Special report. The first of the Cannes Young Lions saw nearly 40 creative duos tackle an amazing brief showcasing creativity for good.

It’s done – my first debrief for the entrants in the Cannes Young Lions competitions for 2019, which will see more than 230 creative teams taking part in seven competitions across five days.

First up was the Print competition, for which we had 38 teams trying to come up with a head-turning Christmas print ad that would motivate people to adopt an animal and support the WWF. Here’s the full breakdown. Check back for more results soon.

Young Lions 2019 Print competition

The brief: “Christmas is the key time for fundraising at WWF and we want to tap in to the magic, wonder and sentimentality of the Christmas period to inspire a record-breaking number of people to adopt animals. And most importantly they should feel not just like they are protecting a single animal, but that they’re joining a mass movement that is tackling the critical issues and changing the future for the planet forever.”

See here for the full brief WWF_PRINT. How would you and your team tackle it?

The Young Lions Print winners:

Young Lions Print Bronze: Team Lebanon

The team from Lebanon subverted the iconic panda logo and used a real life, cuddly looking panda in the arms of well-known political figure with the strapline ‘Adoption Makes You A Better person’ highlighting that anyone looks better when they support good causes.

The judges said this work made them smile; it had a witty, yet slightly cynical tone and the logic in the copy and visual was clear.

Team members: Melissa Chamoun and Elie Fakhry of Impact BBDO Beirut.

Young Lions Print Silver: Team Ukraine

Cleverly playing on the similarity between ‘WWF’ and ‘WTF’, Team Ukraine faked up two Amazon-style ads, one depicting a thoroughly pointless garden gnome Christmas decoration priced at £79 (WTF?!) and the other with an animal adoption gift costing just £3 per month.

This was a clever little juxtaposition that highlighted just how easily we slip into buying Christmas tat for friends and loved ones – and what we could be doing instead.

The judges felt that this work was witty, relatable to Christmas and campaignable beyond the spoof ads.

Team members: Illia Anufriienko of Banda Agency and Kateryna Anufriienko at R Agency.

Young Lions Print Gold: Team Russia

The winning entrants went with an aerial shot of a pine forest and a thought-provoking sell that read: “Anna, your gift is under the Christmas tree.” You don’t need a degree in environmental sciences to get the message, but the strapline underneath – “Adopt an animal. It is an opportunity for the young generation to understand causes of wildlife decline” – neatly fills in any blanks. Thought-provoking, uncomplicated and altogether pretty powerful, too.

The judges liked the direct link with a universal symbol of Christmas – the tree – and the curiosity inspired by the line, not knowing what is under the tree. They also felt that this was the strongest call to action and the most emotionally engaging. Whilst they loved a lot of the entries they all agreed unanimously that this was a deserved Gold winner.

Team members: Pavel Kostikov and Maria Kulchak of Soll.

Congratulations to the team and thanks to the Print judges: Marie Claire Maalouf, Creative Director at Impact BBDO, Małgorzata Drozdowska, Executive Creative Director at FCB Bridge2Fun and Sandipan Bhattacharyya, Chief Creative Officer at Grey who generously gave their time to give the feedback to the teams.

Insights from the Young Lions Print Jury:

  1. Choose one idea – you might have to sacrifice an idea but it will be better for it if you have two competing ideas
  2. That might mean that the line and the visual should say the same thing
  3. The judges saw several ideas that were similar – there were 3 ideas playing on wrapping paper for example. They advised to set yourself a mental benchmark to go beyond the obvious. It’s not necessarily wrong but if your first idea seems obvious it’s likely others will do the same and then you get into the nitty gritty of the execution rather than the idea itself
  4. Talk to the heart, not just the head

I’ll be sharing the winners from each category and the learnings from the debriefs as the week goes on.

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