If They Cannes, You Cannes: Past Young Lions Winners Ft. Garret Fitzgerald

If They Cannes, You Cannes: Past Young Lions Winners Ft. Garret Fitzgerald
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PSA: Entries for the 2019 Snapchat Young Lions Competition are closing this tomorrow, so if you haven’t entered yet … it’s your final chance (you have to be in it to win it, as the saying goes!)

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 Garret Fitzergald. Check out what he had to say about the whole experience below!

When did you win/what category?

It’s been quite a few years since my time as a Young Lion. I was lucky enough to get the nod twice.

2008 for print partnered with Neil Walshe and 2012 for digital partnered with Sam Dickson.

In ’08 just one submission could mean a ticket to France, which I thought was pretty good at the time.

However, the 24 hour round has been a great addition to the competition as it really simulates what happens on the ground in Cannes.

What advice would you give this year’s entrants about entering? Anything you’d wish you’d known when preparing your response?

Within a competition environment, it can sometimes be hard to know which work to back. In the first round, you’ve got more time to mull it over. The 24 hour round – less so. Really holding your work up against the brief can help break any deadlocks you may have.

Should you make it through to the 24 hour round, it can be stressful watching the clock tick down.

From getting to know various duos who had success in Cannes, it was the teams that kept to their normal routine that did really well e.g. if you do your best thinking in a café – stick to that.

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

The shape of the week is determined by when you compete. There are nerves building up to your start time, then a massive sense of relief when you make your submission.

It may have changed now, but the competition room resembled something of a UN of advertising, with a giant row of workstations defined by a flag from each competing country above. After a day/night of thinking, you enter the room which is in lockdown. Once you’re in, you don’t leave until you’ve finished working up your entry.

There’s a great sense of camaraderie between your fellow Aussie competitors and the wider group. I’m still in touch with people from o/s who I met to this day, and it’s been really interesting to see where their careers have taken them.

When it comes to the festival itself, it’s pretty bloody awesome. The work on display, the parties, the program of talks, plus the chance to meet your idols – it all combines to form a one-of-a-kind experience.– 

How important is Cannes Young Lions for the industry?

Exposing the future of our industry to a festival where the latest and greatest global thinking is on show can only lead to good things. What’s more, Young Lions is great in that it opens the festival up to people who would otherwise not get to go.

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