If They Cannes, You Cannes: Past Young Lions Winners Ft. Charlotte Berry

If They Cannes, You Cannes: Past Young Lions Winners Ft. Charlotte Berry

Entries are officially open for the 2019 Snapchat Young Lions Competition … have you entered?

The competition covers three of the seven Young Lions categories including media, digital and marketer.

Now in its eleventh year, the Young Lions competition searches for the best young talent in the media, marketing and creative industries to represent Australia at the 2019 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativiy.

All entries will be assessed by a team of over 60 high profile industry judges, with successful entrants taking part in a second round 24-hour brief.

In order to help first-timers with their entries – or those who have entered before but want some insider tips from past winners – we’re running a new series on B&T: If They Cannes, You Cannes (we know, we’re so punny).

From advice about entering to tips for the live pitch and what Cannes is really like, we’ve got the inside scoop to help this year’s entrants put their best creative foot forward.

Today, we’re chatting with Charlotte Berry. Check out what she had to say about the whole experience below!

When did you win/what category?

2017 – My partner/best friend/colleague, Grace Espinoza and I, won the Aussie competition and then silver globally in the media category.


What advice would you give this year’s entrants about entering?

Keep It Simple (but not stupid): you have 1000 words – be single-minded and keep the implementation tactics streamlined and punchy; shopping lists only detract from the brilliance of an idea.

Spend the most time identifying what the actual problem is: if you can differentiate yourself in the first few sentences, you will already steal the judges’ attention.

Just do it: regardless of the outcome, entering is a win: now people in your agency know who you are, that you go the extra mile, how you think and your shining star potential. Keep entering. Every. Single. Year.

Anything you’d wish you’d known when preparing your response?

If you research where everyone else is, you will come up with the same answers. If everyone’s fishing in the Pacific ocean off Bondi, go to the bottom of the Red Sea – or if that’s too hard, try Reddit, Comment Streams, Business Reviews etc.

Good ideas are killed by bad packaging. Half the entry is the idea, the other half is how you craft your response. Once you have nailed your strategy, spend as much time as possible writing and refining the response, culling as many adjectives and unnecessary words as possible.

Screen Shot 2019-03-14 at 8.58.25 am

Any tips for the live pitch?

Land the idea, and write down why you love it: The 24 hour brief is a rollercoaster of emotions – my boss, Sam Geer, gave us advice that we now live by: once you’ve finished jumping up and down, write down 5 reasons why you love your big idea; then stick it on the wall. It’s 100 per cent guaranteed at some point one of you will decide it’s atrocious and that you must start again.

Only you know what you were going to say: you came up with the idea, so back yourself. If you stumble, it’s cool – pause, deep breath and start again, the judges are none the wiser. Say anything with conviction and people believe you.

Add a little gold dust: and by that, I mean pitch theatre – what can you do, or bring that will make you stand out. I’m always a fan of the tangible leave behind.

What was your experience at Cannes itself like? What can this year’s winners expect?

I’m not going to sugar-coat it – working on a 24 hour brief, jetlagged in another country is the hardest thing I have ever done. You don’t have the privilege of time to come up with multiple ideas, go away and think about it or sleep on it overnight. 

We landed our idea within an hour, but because it was our first idea we were quick to toss it out. 4 hours and 3 territories later, we were in a very deep, dark rut – we thought we had failed. But blood sugar kicked in, we picked ourselves up and high-tailed it back to the first idea.

We wrote down “WHY WE LOVE IT”, turned my bedroom into a mosaic of post-it notes and landed the strategy, idea and 3 phase implementation in a punchy 10 slides. 

After 4 hours sleep, we went into “The Dungeon”, a room in the Palais where you aren’t allowed any technology, just a notebook – Grace mocked up our slides on their computers while I ran around Cannes looking for yellow tassels as pitch theatre props for our presentation…to everyone’s disbelief (and my bad French), I found them.

Once you have handed in your document, you can’t make any changes – but you do have time to rehearse your 5 minute pitch (so put as minimal words on your slides as possible). Then rehearse. Rehearse. Reharse (but not too much).

The wait time between pitch and the results presentation is like agony; so go and enjoy a rose while you wait…and then celebrate when you bring home the Gold for Australia in 2019.

 Have you been back to Cannes since Young Lions and how was the experience different or similar?

I was fortunate enough to go back to Cannes last year. It’s an entirely different experience. Year 1 is a whirlwind, everything is new, scary, exciting – and after we won, we were whisked off to do lots of interviews and meet people.

Year 2 was more relaxed and easier to enjoy the content and speakers that the festival attracts. If you do anything – allocate an entire day to look at the work downstairs, every case study entered has an award board, you won’t get through them all, your eyes will hurt and your head will be pulsating with new ideas.

How important is Cannes Young Lions for the industry?

No matter your experience, everyone needs a North Star. Cannes Young Lions provides a platform that doesn’t discriminate based on experience or background – it’s an even playing field where the best idea wins.

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