Cannes Blog: It’s UM Young Lions Charlotte Berry & Grace Espinoza

Cannes Blog: It’s UM Young Lions Charlotte Berry & Grace Espinoza

Not only are UM’s Charlotte Berry (left in main photo) and Grace Espinoza representing Australia in the Cannes Young Lions, our young lionesses are also blogging from the sunny climes of the French Riviera for B&T too – lucky things! And here’s their first rosé-soaked instalment…

Charlotte and Grace reporting for duty after finishing the biggest competition of our lives just 45 minutes ago – the Cannes Young Lions 24 hour media brief against 30-plus countries.


We are the freshest members of the UM Strategy team, loving every minute, and kicking ourselves to be here after working in the industry for just under two years. We have just embarked on the biggest mission of our careers – and boy has it been a whirlwind.

Following in the footsteps of previous UM winner and legend, Chris Colter, we arrived in Cannes on Saturday afternoon, unpacked and then had a welcome glass of rosé at the Cannes Lions Beach Club – but it’s the quick and the dead around here! At 11am on Sunday we were briefed by Amnesty International to help them refresh their “Write for Rights” campaign reaching a new Millennial audience.


Our hotel room swiftly became a war zone covered in fluorescent post it notes that you could see from outside the hotel. It was at that moment we realised we really were UM Strategists, notorious around the office for using Post-It’s and Smelly Pens.

Having worked together on briefs since 2015 at Charles Sturt University, and now at UM, we went in with a clear strategy to crack the idea. Sometimes, it doesn’t always work out in the expected timings, but we are happy to announce that we cracked our idea within the first few hours, and then proceeded to jump around our hotel room in excitement. We had this same feeling in the Australian finals, so when it overcame us again we knew we were onto something BIG!


Despite this feeling, it was not all smooth sailing – we hit some cyclones on the way and rode a seriously emotional rollercoaster. With the wise words of our original mentor and National Strategy Director, Sam Geer, in our minds – as soon as we cracked the idea we wrote a list of “Why We Love It” – pulling us through to the other side.

For anyone reading this, if you are considering entering the Cannes Young Lions competition next year:

  1. DO IT – by far the best experience of our short two year media careers
  2. Enter with someone that you trust
  3. Back yourself, back yourself, back yourself

We have competed in four competitions together in the last three years, and each time we are astounded by how much we improve – no doubt, this week we will learn a whole lot more.

And with that, we are off to explore Cannes properly for the first time after 45 hours of intense competition.

Winners are announced tonights at 6.00pm Cannes time. Hopefully there will be a few early morning calls home to Sydney!


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