If They Cannes, You Cannes: 2020 Winner Jack Elliott Says Young Lions Is “Like Advertising’s Answer To Australian Idol”

If They Cannes, You Cannes: 2020 Winner Jack Elliott Says Young Lions Is “Like Advertising’s Answer To Australian Idol”

Entries are well and truly open for the 2022 TikTok Young Lions Competition Australia, sponsored by AKQA and The Trade Desk, so we decided to sit down with winners from previous years and pick their brains.

This time we’re with Jack Elliott, associate creative director at Wunderman Thompson who won the 2020 Young Lions award in the film category with his creative partner Lochie Newham.

This Victorian-born winner completed his bachelor’s degree in Communications (Advertising) at RMIT University while doing freelance creative work at the Melbourne-based marketing and advertising agency Fenton Stephens.

Elliott moved on soon after graduating from uni to work as a creative at J. Walter Thompson and stayed on through the company’s merger as Wunderman Thompson where he was promoted in 2020 to the position he’s in today. 

This young creative has plenty to say and plenty to show for it, so check out this interview for some insights to how Cannes Young Lions can help out young up-and-comers.

What inspired you to enter? 

Young Lions is a great way for people to show off their talents – like advertising’s answer to Australian Idol – but without Shannon Noll’s flavour saver. It’s a great opportunity for young professionals, particularly juniors, who are looking to take the next step in their career. I think it always looks good on the CV and in the folio to have done Young Lions – and particularly to have done well at it. 

How have things changed for you since winning? 

More people seem to know who you are – or be more interested in finding out who you are. You certainly get more attention from recruiters and other agencies. My Mum is also proud of me – even though she has no idea what it is. 

What advice would you give to this year’s new entrants? And is there anything you wish you’d known when you were preparing your response? 

It feels like stating the obvious, but I’m gonna say it anyway: make sure that the idea is on brief. As we were competing, we saw a few executions that were a lot stronger than ours from a craft perspective, but because ours answered the brief more directly, we had a better chance of winning.  Another piece of advice – that I wish I knew my first time around – is to get a second opinion, but not a seventh opinion. It’s handy to have someone from your agency or the industry who you can run your idea past to make sure it’s solid before you off and spend all your time executing it. On the other hand, you don’t want to be showing 10 people, because then you’ll just get 10 different opinions. And it’ll do more harm than good.

How important would you consider Cannes Young Lions to be for the industry and why?

Young Lions is incredibly important. It’s the great leveler in our industry – it gives those who aren’t in the most awarded agency with the most ambitious clients the chance to shine too. It also gives really junior creatives exposure to more fun, challenging briefs compared to the web banners they might be cutting their teeth on. Agencies are also the winners too, because it’s a shortcut to finding and hiring some of the most creative brains out there. 

The Young Lions Australia competition, presented by TikTok is officially open for entries and we’re on the lookout to find the best and brightest of young Aussie talent to compete at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

If you’re under 30 the Young Lions competitions are one of the best places to celebrate your creativity. Entries are open to teams of two young advertising, media or marketing professionals.

This year’s competition will cover five Young Lions categories, including a brand-new category for Design professionals.

Get started on your entry HERE, as the deadline for submissions (14 MARCH 2022) will be here before you know it. You can find all the details you’ll need to enter right HERE.




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