Jack Smyth, communications strategist from Initiative, and Chris Colter, strategy director at UM, are in Cannes and blogging for B&T. But after winning the the Young Lions Media Lions Gold on Tuesday they partied so hard they forgot the blogging part. But fear not, they’re back with us and have posted this on their incredible win…
It’s not just because we haven’t stopped celebrating since we heard the news (we probably have more rosé than blood in our systems at the moment) but it’s because we’ve been lost for words. It’s almost impossible to capture the amazing 48 hours we’ve just experienced; just being in Cannes is epic enough, but winning at Cannes on behalf of Australia ju
Going up on that stage, where only the World’s best have walked, in the middle of the awards ceremony was the most incredibly surreal and humbling moment in our lives – one that will NEVER be forgotten.
This brief to get us there was a tough one. Not your ‘typical’ Cannes Young Lions brief – i.e. come up with a smart donation mechanic or super unique way to raise public awareness. This year our task was convince 20-plus high net-worth individuals and major corporate brands to all come together and create a coalition to eradicate Malaria within the next 15 years alongside the charity Malaria No More. So, it’s safe to say that caught us by surprise and most of the prep work we did leading up to the competition went out the window.
But in saying that, we loved the fact it was so different. The impossible briefs always spark the best solutions, and require you to really push yourself strategically and creatively.
First stop for us, as it is for every tough-brief, was ‘coffeetown’. We went to a café, read the brief thoroughly together and just started throwing thoughts at paper. We landed in the ballpark of where we ended up relatively quickly, within the first hour or two, and we got extremely excited as we genuinely felt we were onto a winner.
Then we got back to our hotel to craft our strategy, only to find that Malaria No More is a frustratingly amazing organisation. They have done everything you could possibly think of, from creating bonds for rich people where they collect money from the government based on the savings to their health care, to fully embedding the Charity in I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here for zero cost. This immediately raised the bar and set us back a bit, and we found ourselves questioning our idea and trying to make it work.
We back-and-forthed for a good three hours and kept finding ourselves getting stuck – how do we make this work? No, that’s not strong enough! Why would these people actually give a shit? It was tough.
We then made what turned out to be the best decision of our lives; we left the hotel in search for fresh air, clear minds and ice-cream. It was over this banana-choc goodness that we cracked our ‘aha’ moment. The moment that we all live for in this industry when all of a sudden you say something that just makes everything fall into place. We literally ran back to the hotel, with childlike giddiness and started building our story. From then on we never lost faith in our idea, every bump was easily ironed out, we kept refining and refining the deck, and then we submitted it at 7pm. We then spent the next 13 hours locked away practicing our delivery, and rocked up at 8am the next day where we were first to present.
Some eight hours later, after a day of nervous anticipation, all the groups were brought back into the room where they revealed the winners. When they announced we’d won it was surreal. There’s something deeply special about hearing ‘the winners are….Australia’ and knowing that means you. We did it. We got Gold for Australia at Cannes. Wow!!!
Once again, thanks to everyone who helped us get here, supported us along the way and who sent through their congratulations. We couldn’t have done it without you all and we’re eternally grateful.
Cannes’t wait to celebrate with you all.