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FH Toronto Does Young Lions: Pt. 1


The Globe and Mail’s Young Lions competition offers the chance for young creatives to become the official Canadian representative to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and the only competition in Canada that allows you to officially enter and compete in Cannes outside of an agency entry. Winning teams get the opportunity to attend the Cannes Lions Festival in June 2016 to compete in the global competition.

Young Lions is a 24-hour event, open to those under 30 with experience in advertising or creative media. For one day, creatives all over Canada work to deliver the most innovative solution to a single challenge. Starting Saturday morning at 9, participants are provided with a brief and have until 9 the next day to conceptualize and execute their response in the category of their choosing (print, digital, media or film).

This was my third year participating in the competition, my second in the digital category my first with my colleagues from FH. My reasons were different each time, and as a result, the experience was different each time as well. The first time I chose to participate, I was an intern eager to participate and impress. I walked away from the experience with insights about how to work effectively in a team with very different ideas and opinions. Something I would not have the opportunity to learn that early on in my career.

The second time I participated, a few years later, was a smoother experience. My coworker and I were able to execute a well thought out, strong submission through a process that was efficient and effective. We felt confident with our work, expecting our submission to do very well. This made it incredibly disappointing when I realized the next day that a key file had not copied properly into our submission folder, resulting in a broken banner ad and a missed shot at a chance to place. The third place winner for that year was essentially our concept; rooted in the same thought, less effectively executed. From this, I learned a tough lesson about patience, and the importance of taking just a few extra seconds before hitting go.

For year three, my motivation was rooted in the opportunity to own a project creatively from start to finish. Young Lions is an opportunity to think creatively and collaboratively in a circumstance outside of every day work, with fewer guiding influences. It’s a chance to take risks. There are no outside influences, no competing priorities and no limitations. You’re in the drivers seat. The idea you end up executing is yours – through brainstorm, refinement, and second-guessing. It’s challenging, rewarding and it’s fun. I couldn’t think of a better partner to work with this year than Stefan Weidauer.

Competing in Young Lions is a nothing to lose, everything to gain, opportunity. Beyond the learning experience, the creative control, and the chance to collaborate with someone you like, to produce something you are proud of. Winning allows your work to be showcased on a massive platform. The chance to win a trip to France is the cherry on top. Why not participate?

Stay tuned to hear more about our Young Lions experience. You’ll read about our process from research to execution, our submission and a highlight of the winning entry. Fingers crossed, it’s ours….