If They Cannes You Cannes: CommBank’s Mario Parussini Says Cannes Young Lions Helps “Foster Younger Talent As They Move Through Their Careers”

If They Cannes You Cannes: CommBank’s Mario Parussini Says Cannes Young Lions Helps “Foster Younger Talent As They Move Through Their Careers”
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Entries are open for the 2022 TikTok Cannes Young Lions Australia competition, and to celebrate we’re sitting down with winners from previous years to pick their brains. 

This time we’re with Mario Parussini, manager of emerging technology at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank). Parussini won the 2021 Cannes Young Lions award in the marketing category alongside his partner and co-worker Emily Massy-Greene. 

Parussini and Massy-Greene at the 2021 Cannes Young Lions Awards

Parussini is a straight shooter, and doesn’t beat around the bush. “My Grandma used to say, ‘Talk doesn’t cook rice.’”

It’s straight to the point ideas like this that helped bring him Young Lions success. But Parussini isn’t just known for his refreshing directness. He’s a jack of all trades, boasting a background in international business and marketing, as well as speaking Mandarin, and holding a variety of positions at CommBank since 2016. 

While studying, Parussini travelled to Peking University to improve his Mandarin skills and ventured over to the United States to study government and politics. He’s going to Cambridge to pursue his MBA in September, and certainly having the Cannes Young Lions award on his resume gave him an advantage in the application process.

Whether you’re thinking of entering the Young Lions competition yourself or just looking to get an insight into the mind of one of Australia’s brightest young creatives, find out how Parussini’s life changed after winning, and learn how to make every minute of the second round count.

B&T: What inspired you to enter the Cannes Young Lions Australia competition?

At CommBank, within the marketing team, we had quite a few teams that entered in the past and when they entered, they did quite well. We had a team that won two or three years in a row, and seeing their success and hearing from them was quite inspiring. 

The idea that you can work on these briefs that are for a good cause, and then also possibly go to Cannes at the end of it sounded really appealing and leading from their example is what inspired me to enter. 

B&T: How have things changed for you since winning?

It was really great. Going back to the broader marketing team at CommBank and having everyone pat me on the back and sending congratulation emails was really cool. 

I’ve recently moved roles and I’d definitely say that the success from Cannes Young Lions helped in that interview process where people asked about it quite a lot. The fact that you can show that you worked on these tough briefs under such time constraints really shows a positive thing for future employers. So I’m sure it’ll continue to affect my career and the future.

B&T: What advice would you give this year’s entrants? Is there anything you’d wish you’d known when preparing your response?

For the first round you don’t realise that it can take a while while you’re working full time with your partner to actually get that initial brief and response done. So, definitely, taking all the time that you have and starting early is really important. 

When it comes to the 24 hour one I think you don’t realise how short 24 hours is. It literally goes by so quickly, so setting really strong time markers for yourself and deciding by X hour we want Y thing done means you can keep yourself accountable to those timelines. 

We tried to do that and didn’t, and then it was an absolute manic rush in the last two hours. So remember to pace yourself when you’re doing the 24 hour challenge.

B&T: Why do you think Cannes Young Lions is important to the industry?

It’s incredibly important that we continue to foster younger talent moving through their careers. I also think it’s really important that younger marketers get recognised for their talents and skills. 

It’s all the creative directors or the CMOs that are lauded, but there’s a lot of talented younger people trying to make their mark and trying to show that they can actually be impactful in the work they create. So continuing to foster them and show them that you can be awarded for doing great work is important.

B&T: ​What words of wisdom would you like to impart on the young adlanders reading this article?

I think it’s pretty cliche, but I’d definitely advise people to give it a go. You might fail the first time but you’ll learn a lot and you continue to learn. 

I first entered Cannes Young Lions a couple of years ago and we didn’t even make it past the first round. I worked a couple more years and decided that last year was the year to enter again. So I definitely think every marketer under 30 should try at least once to enter Cannes Young Lions and if you do end up winning it’s well worth the effort and the time.

As Parussini can testify, the Young Lions competitions is a hugely rewarding experience that could change your career forever! So take your first step to Cannes* by registering and accessing the brief 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.

And to help you put your best foot forward in submitting a winning entry, we’ve curated virtual workshop sessions for each of the five categories for 2022. All past winners will be in attendance to offer their expertise. So sign up today!

Workshop Dates:

*Subject to travel restrictions

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