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Lionesses at CANNES LIONS 2023

The dream of almost every creative is to at least once in their lifetime experience the Cannes Festival of Creativity. Thanks to Karst and the Young Lions competition, we were able to send several young lions this year to compete for the Lions awards and immerse themselves in this exceptional creative gathering. A week filled with inspiration, stimulation, creativity, new acquaintances, and eye-opening experiences.

Reflecting on the festival and the Young Lions competition, what have they learned, and which Cannes projects made the strongest impression?

YOUNG LIONS: A Glimpse into the Digital Brief at the International Stage

In the digital category, Lenka Švančárková and Marika Tisoňová triumphed with their work Para NHL, which jury chairman Martin Motáček described as a bomb.
In Cannes, the brief was uniquely challenging, primarily because it required diving deep into the culture of Indian mothers.

“Our task was to shift their perspective towards educating their children, ensuring that they not only enroll their children in schools but also play an active role in their home education. This was our final presentation board.”

The result was Moms Know Best, showcased on Love The Work. Marika and Lenka highlighted the unparalleled wisdom of mothers, especially regarding the necessity of pre-school education by offering them a reward of 5GB of free data upon enrolling in a free education program, a compelling offer for Indian mothers under those circumstances, Marika elaborates.

With Only 24 Hours on the Clock

How can a digital campaign be devised in just 24 hours? As one colleague put it, “Easily done!”

“We began by immersing ourselves in their culture and understanding their perception of education. Did you know, 60% of children up to 6 years old don’t recognize a single letter? There’s a general apathy towards education, compounded by a lack of resources. Rocket Learning, our partner, operates educational schemes through WhatsApp groups, but typically, households have just one mobile phone with limited data,” shares Marika Tisova in an interview for Strategies.

YOUNG LIONS: The Print Brief’s Journey on the International Stage

Andrea Vargova and Lisa Koryakina, winners in the print category, captivated the Slovak round with Fun Doesn’t Need Alcohol. Their brief for the global round introduced them to another unique challenge.
“We were briefed by Ecotree, a reforestation company in Europe. They offer a program enabling anyone to become a tree owner, encouraging participation through company rewards. Our mission was to craft an engaging visual to capture people’s attention and convey the essence of the company’s work,” Lisa explains.

Their accomplishment was significant, securing a Shortlist and placing in the Top 8 in the Print category at Love The Work. “Our final piece showcased an orange-hued New York, reflecting the urgency of Canadian wildfires – a poignant environmental issue. Social media was rife with discussions on air purifiers for health protection. Positioning trees as superior air purifiers and carbon absorbers, we prompted viewers to consider purchasing a tree,” shares Lisa.

Insights and Advice for Aspiring Lions from Marika and Lisa

The first lecture for young lions worldwide proved immensely inspiring. Notables like Kate Rothen (SS+K Partner) and Soyoung Kong (CMO at eos) offered the inaugural insights.

Nine pillars of creativity were highlighted for every creative to embody:
  1. Eat.Sleep.Repeat.
  2. Avoid striving for the idea; let it come to you.
  3. Understand your audience as well as your best friend.
  4. Emotions are key. Be receptive to yours.
  5. Blandness is your enemy. Avoid it at all costs.
  6. Commit fully to your endeavors.
  7. Indecision is worse than making a wrong decision.
  8. Refine, refine, and refine again.
  9. Remember, this is just one day in your long and fruitful career.
For an even deeper dive into Cannes insights, tune into the special episode of our Marketing Without Packaging podcast, featuring ‘Ad On The Beach’.

A part of the program aimed to foster deeper connections through three fundamental questions:

  1. What does creativity mean to you?
  2. What’s your secret weapon?
  3. What are your expectations from Young Lions?

Despite asking the same questions, every participant offered distinct perspectives on creativity, presenting a vibrant spectrum of ideas and insights. Challenging these questions occasionally can lead to profound self-discovery.

The Vibrant Energy of Global Advertising

With only 3% of Cannes Lions entries winning, participation itself is a significant achievement. The festival not only offers a lifetime of memories but serves as an infinite well of inspiration. We all returned recharged, ready to contribute to the advertising world. On witnessing the breadth of work showcased, it becomes clear that, even at home, we hold ourselves to incredibly high standards. However, some concepts had parallels with work executed by our teams, including TRIAD, reinforcing the notion that bravery and originality should never be compromised in creativity.

A poster I brought back fittingly encapsulates this sentiment:

To wrap up, here are the campaigns that hold a special place in our hearts:

1. Government of Tuvalu – The First Digital Nation (case study) | Titanium Grand Prix at Cannes Lions 2023


Encounter the world’s first digital nation, poised to survive the climate crisis solely in the digital realm—a potent reminder of an overarching global challenge.

2. Stella Artois – The Artois Probability (case study) | Creative Data Grand Prix at Cannes Lions 2023


Stella Artois crafts a unique narrative, showcasing the depth of its heritage.

3. Can an alphabet preserve a culture?


An endangered culture finds preservation through a newly created script, ensuring its language and stories persist.

4. Partners Life Last Performance


Illustrating the significance of insurance through the narratives of the departed in a crime drama.

5. Renault – Plug Inn (case study) | Creative Strategy Grand Prix at Cannes Lions 2023


A business challenge is transformed into an innovative business model, offering solutions and benefits.

6. Korean National Police Agency – Knock Knock (case study) | Glass Lions Grand Prix at Cannes Lions 2023


A campaign that leverages creativity to save lives, addressing domestic violence with a new approach.

7. Muskrat Magazine presents Missing Matoaka


‘Missing Matoaka’ revisits a well-known fairy tale, revealing Pocahontas’s true story and addressing the issue of gender-based violence through historical context.

This article aims to inspire creatives under 30 to brave the 2024 Young Lions competition. Dare to believe in your limitless potential and embrace this enriching experience.

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