Virginia Bond Núñez Horcajadas and María Isabel Ortiz Ortega of Shiseido in Spain won the Gold Lion in the eighth-annual Young Lions Marketers Competition at the 64th annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Sponsored by Ketchum, this year's competition challenged 24 teams of young, in-house marketers from around the world to develop a creative brief for a product or service that would benefit the International Rescue Committee, which responds to humanitarian crises with aid for people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict or disaster. Competitors presented their communication plans to a panel of industry leaders, which was led by Karen Strauss, partner and chief strategy and creativity officer for Ketchum.
Núñez Horcajadas and Ortiz Ortega developed the winning brief to win Gold. Ortiz Ortega said of the campaign brief: “Being creative actually changes lives. It is amazing how powerful we can be with our daily work.” Núñez Horcajadas, added: “We put a lot of passion into the project and the briefing. We really believe in the cause and we are really engaged in the issue. It was such a privilege to be a part of this week, even if we didn't win it would have already been a prize.”
The team from India, Hindustan Unilever's Sachit Handa and Vikram Sashi Mohan won Silver, and Bronze went to the team from Portugal, Unicer's Mário Alves and José Silva. Silva said of the competitive challenge, “We learned how to work differently and achieve business goals along with a social cause, so it's completely new ground for us. We believe in the idea, and we know this is a cause that needs to be drawn into the spotlight.”
Participants were briefed onsite at Cannes and then given 30 hours to develop their product or service concept before showcasing their communication plans in a one-page written brief and short presentation to the judging panel. In addition to Strauss, the Young Lions Marketers Competition jury included Alastair Cotterill, head of creative and brand strategy at Pinterest, Andrés Ordóñez, chief creative officer at Energy BBDO, and Patricia Dimichele, development manager at Procter & Gamble. The winning teams received their trophies at the Young Lions Marketers Competition award ceremony on Saturday, June 24.
Strauss said of the judging: “We saw so much imagination and heart in the ideas that each Young Marketers team proposed to create a more welcoming attitude toward refugees worldwide. The teams wrote briefs with tremendous insights and emotion, and the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners provided such powerful ideas that I'm hoping the International Rescue Committee seriously considers implementing one or more of the campaigns.”
Additional participants in this year's competition hailed from Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Finland, Georgia, Hungary, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Sri Lanka, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam.
This is the seventh year Ketchum has sponsored the Young Lions Marketers Competition. In addition to its sponsorship, the firm hosted a live panel on the main stage on June 19 – “Classic Hollywood Meets the YouTube Generation: Who Are Fans Following?” featuring Laura Dern and Grace Helbig. On June 21, Ketchum hosted a panel with the editor of Fast Company, which explored the existence and causes of a creative echo chamber, based on the findings of a survey of 500 creatives. In addition, Ketchum representatives posted their insights and observations from the festival on the agency's #InspiredbyCannes hub.