Young Media Lions bloom for Lotus Flower

by | Jun 20, 2019

How do you build global awareness about women and girls impacted by conflict and displacement? That was the issue facing the 31 teams taking part in the Young Lions Media contest…

I’m at Cannes Lions all week running the debriefs for a series of amazing competitions that are showcasing the talents of some of the sharpest young minds coming up through the creative industries today. One that really created a buzz was the media contest, which was aimed at young media planners, buyers, strategists and managers.

The contest challenged teams to exploit the value of emerging media to drive effective communication strategies, and entrants were asked to show how their idea would work across different channels. What you see below is just a snapshot; a whole lot more (24 hours of hard work!) went into each idea and many of the entrants were really thinking big.

The judges for this competition were Kate Ivory, Managing Partner at OMD, Taban Shoresh, Founder of Lotus Flower and David McCallen, Head of Strategy at OMD who shared their insights with the competitors.

Young Lions 2019 Media Competition

The brief (as provided by Lotus Flower, a non-profit that supports women and girls impacted by conflict and displacement):

“We need you to develop a media campaign which engages the target audience of Millennial and Generation Z with Lotus Flower through our campaign titled ‘Love Who You Are’. Launched in April with T-shirts, it is becoming popular each day with Instagram influencers such as Clare Uchima and Anne Twist, writing ‘Love letters to yourself’. We need you to galvanise this target audience.”

If you’d like to read the detailed brief (and ponder how you might have tackled it), here is the full Media brief. The judges for this contest were Kate Ivory, Managing Partner at OMD, Taban Shoresh, Founder of Lotus Flower and David McCallen, Head of Strategy at OMD.

Bronze: Team Australia

The Australian team were the first to pitch chose a fantastic visual to help illustrate their campaign, which used the date of 1st January as the hook/context. If a refugee has no papers to prove their date of birth this is the date they are given, making a powerful link with an existing behaviour to tie into new year’s resolutions.

They summed it up like this: “We’ll bring a new perspective to New Year’s resolutions by encouraging our audiences to donate theirs and stand in solidarity with women who are fighting for their real identity and learning to love themselves again.”

Team members: Hayley Saddleton and Cameron Roberts of Mediacom.

Silver: Team South Korea

Another place on the podium for the South Koreans with their #Lovewhoyouare idea. “We will sell the value people want in order to ‘Love who you are’. Shop for yourself, and someone in need” was how they summed it up. South Korea has had an amazingly strong showing in the Young Lions competitions this year.

Team members: Ah Young Kim and Suyearn Cha of HSAd.

Gold: Team Colombia

The South Americans hit the spot with a well-articulated campaign that was built on a new virtual assistant named Amal. This would be created using the real voices of women refugees, and would strategically be woven into existing voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa.

The team reported that 45 per cent of millennials – the target audience for the brief – use voice-controlled assistants, which gave the idea extra credibility. The client loved this idea and said that it was the perfect combination of ambition and do-ability which made it the overall winner.

Team members: Allison Diaz Velandia of Sancho BBDO and Johan Eduardo Granados Gallo of DDB Bogota.

As with all the Young Lions competitions this year, the judges were full of praise for the quality of thinking and work produced by all the teams.

Key insights from the judges in the Young Media Lions 2019 category were:

  1. Have a bold ambition – it’s Cannes!
  2. Be single-minded – pick your idea and back it to the hilt
  3. Build on assets you already have – some of the campaign ideas whilst brilliant required awareness building in themselves which a charity just does not have the budget for. In this case the t-shirts are already created so new product development would confuse the consumer and make more work for the charity with limited resources.

Check back for more winners soon. The briefs I’ve posted are well worth reading too if you fancy an intellectual challenge on the home-bound commute!

And if all of this hard (but fun!) work has made you think you need to up your creativity game and become a better creative thinker, please check out our selection of creativity training courses. To book a course or for more information, please email

Are you and your team ready to prepared to supercharge your creativity?

Brace yourself for the ultimate game-changer: our best-selling How To Become A Creative Ninja workshop. This thought-provoking session will supercharge your team with the knowledge, skills, and mindset needed to generate ideas and stay ahead of the curve.