Cannes Young Lions 2017: DDB and FCB creatives heading to the Riviera in June

Two teams of young local creatives will be jetting off to Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity to represent New Zealand in the next round of the Young Lions competition after Val Morgan New Zealand announced the winners of its National Young Lions competition at an awards show last week.

This year, it was CatWalk, the charity for research to find a cure for spinal cord injury, that shared its vision with more than 70 teams made up of agency folk under 30 years old before the 48-hour countdown began.

However, there could only be two winning teams and it was DDB’s Liz Richards and Nick Dellabarca who took out the Film category and FCB’s Mitch Wiffin and Qassem Naim who won the Media category.

Left: Liz Richards right: Nick Dellabarca

Commenting on the Film entries, judge and creative director of Clemenger BBDO Touchcast Emily Beautrais says her stand out thing is that the winning piece focused on the positive.

“Many charities leverage people’s sympathy, but CatWalk’s key purpose is a positive, hopeful one. So, in this case, it made sense to make that hope the centre of the work, which will help it stand out from appeals for other causes. Overall I think the quality of entries was outstanding.”

Qassem Naim and Mitch Wiffin

Judge and general manager of Y&R Media Nicky Greville commented on the winning Media entry, saying Wiffin and Naim’s ‘Battlepack’ nailed a simple, strong and innovative narrative throughout their presentation and it was a brave and differentiated strategy based on a pragmatic understanding of the audience. 

“The appeal of this idea was that it showcased that they were not only thinking of a way to continuously drive donations, but they were thinking globally for massive scale. A genuinely innovative media idea that uniquely made donation an easy, positive experience while dramatising the charity’s mission.”  

Both teams are now off to Cannes Festival of Creativity to represent New Zealand at the Young Lions global competition courtesy of Val Morgan Cinema Network.

This isn’t the first Val Morgan Young Lions competition win for Dellabarca and both he and Richards won a trip to SXSW last year as part of another competition.

DDB executive creative director Shane Bradnick commented: “I’m super proud of our guys, they’re both brilliant and deserving winners and prove DDB is fostering the next crop of creative talent.”

FCB Media’s managing director, Rufus Chuter, also commented on his team, saying everyone was stoked with the win.

“They’re super smart, talented media thinkers that epitomise our values of restlessness and doing different. Look out Cannes.”

Young Lions has been offered by the Cannes festival organisers since 1992 and this year, more than 12,000 young creatives from around the world have competed to win the coveted prize.

Last year was represented by approximately 75 countries with over 1,100 young lions attending the festival.  

Val Morgan sales director, Suzie Lamborn, says the competition works twofold; to support a charity and promote creativity and strategy within the advertising industry which is burgeoning with talent.

“A big round of congratulations and thanks to all the teams who competed, as well as the winning teams. We are excited about the next round of the competition in Cannes.”

CatWalk general manager Meg Speirs also congratulated all those who competed and says the next step for it is to turn the ideas into campaigns.

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