Entries are open for the 2022 TikTok 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 the wonderful Rachel Tucker who took out gold in the digital category at last year’s Young Lions competition with her partner Meredith Besseling.
Tucker’s golden advice for young adlanders is to say “yes to everything!” and if that isn’t enough to get you excited for this year’s TikTok Young Lions what is?
Unlike her name suggests, Tucker isn’t tuckered-out in any way (sorry!), in fact since winning she’s made the move from her previous strategist position at TBWA to a new creative consulting role at Sayers.
But Tucker didn’t get there overnight. She made a name for herself with a forward-thinking and optimistic attitude that put her one step ahead of the rest at last year’s Young Lions.
Here’s the inside scoop from the mover-and-shaker herself on crafting an award-winning TikTok Young Lions entry, rethinking digital, and knowing how to flex your skills when it’s your time to shine.
B&T: What inspired you to enter the young lion Australia competition?
RT: One of my friends Meredith at the agency asked me if I’d be interested. We thought, “why don’t I write the strategy and then we can respond to it together?” And I was like, “why not?”
For me, I think it was a little bit different because I’m a strategist. So I’m not as comfortable replying to or answering briefs as I am writing them.
I thought it would be really interesting and I’m so grateful that I did it. For me, I wanted to push myself in responding to a brief rather than writing it.
B&T: How have things changed for you since winning?
I feel more confident having an opinion on creative. But other than that, I now have so many new friends around the country, which is awesome. Friends from Melbourne, friends from Sydney, friends from Perth. I think that’s probably the main thing that’s changed.
B&T: What advice would you give to this year’s entrants? Is there anything you wish you’d known when you were preparing your response?
For the initial call out brief, you want to wow the judges with an interesting perspective. This can come through in the insight, idea or how you use the channel features in execution.
If it makes you excited, it will probably make the judges excited too. They will be reading hundreds of responses, so if you can make them laugh or gasp, you’re already ahead.
For the national finalists brief, it’s about exploring alternative digital channels. So really stress testing what digital actually means.
Digital is not just social media, or search, or email. It can be things like gaming or NFT’s or dating apps. Ultimately it’s about using digital channels in new, interesting and creative ways.
B&T: What do you think was the masterstroke that got you the win?
We were supported by a really tight kickass insight. That was probably the thing that connected the strategy to the creative and we really made sure that our ideas seemed like that was the only possible solution for that insight. A good insight can be the decider between two amazing ideas.
B&T: How did you celebrate after the win?
For the national comp we went out with a few friends from the agency, but for the global comp we were actually in lockdown. So we had late night tea together over zoom, which was not quite the same.
B&T: Why do you think Young Lions is important to the industry?
Two things. I think it gives young creative people a chance to flex their skills and meet other people in the industry, plus the briefs were really interesting, and a lot of fun.
And the other thing is that Young Lions is a come-one-come-all brief. With other big awards in the industry, the clients, the briefs, the budget and the media are so varied, so this type of award really evens the playing field.
B&T: What words of wisdom would you like to impart on young adlanders reading his article?
Three main things would be: say yes to everything, nail your insight, and go with your gut!
B&T: Is there any final secrets you would give for young adlanders looking to enter Young Lions?
Become super, super familiar with the digital partner platform. Last year it was Snapchat, so Meredith and I redownloaded the platform and played around for hours.
This year, the partner platform is TikTok, so I would suggest consuming content, creating videos yourself, becoming familiar with the features like filters, sounds, viral trends etc. and think about how you can best leverage the platform features and creators in execution to support your idea.
If you want to push the boundaries, think about new creative features that could support your idea as well.
The Young Lions competition 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.
*Subject to travel restrictions
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