Category Archives: Cannes Young Lions

Winners Day at TV2: Cannes Lions – without Cannes

Wrapping up a perfect week I had the pleasure of attending TV2s Winners Day at Teglholmen, and was to give a short speech on the learnings on competing in the Young Media Lions category in Cannes. So before heading to meetings in the afternoon I had the pleasure of hearing a lot of inspiring people. Most of the cases were well known, but nice to see them presented by the real people involved. I was there with Katrine Riis Andersen from DIST who also joined me in the Cannes Lions competition. 

First Steve Latham, Content Director from the Cannes Lions presented the concepts of Cannes and how it is developing and this development especially driven by the content richness of the program. Steve also has the Young Lions dear at heart, so we spoke to him a few times down at the competition, and it was really nice seeing him again. He is really a nice guy and feels so passionate about continuously improving the Cannes Lions offer. Later on he was asked a quite relevant question from Jesper von Wieding from Scandinavian DesignLab about the challenges within the naming of the festival as an advertising festival, traditional advertising having a declining role to play at the festival, suggesting Creative festival to perhaps being a more appropriate name. Steve earlier noted that the traditional categories still takes the heavy load of the entries, but welcomed the discussion.     

Then Lars Bastholm, Co-Chief Creative Officer, AKQA made a presentation about the Halo 3 case

and then spoke on the Future Lions program, and showed cases on how incredible talent this program reveals. A case on ideas for a MagLite campaign was incredible – both the ideas and the bold presentation. Lars commented that farfar already took the talented guys in. Which I’m happy to hear, knowing that fresh creative blood is the once again added to our family..

Last Michael Lebowitz, founder and CEO, Big Spaceship talked on the HBO Voyeur Campaign which I will not comment on since it is earlier covered in this blog. But interesting was that the audience being asked about awareness on the campaign, almost nobody did know it. That was really kind of sad, the audience being a really good agency crowd. Asking Michael about the conflicts on creating the actual center-piece of the campaign and BBDO being rewarded the credits, Michael talked briefly on this emerging conflict in the market being which agencies to be lead on projects. I think this is a very interesting discussion.   

After this the danish jury talked on learnings and then Katrine and I talked on learnings from the young lions competition. The day ended with guided tours in the exhibition.


No gold (or anything else) to Denmark (aka us)

Damn it. Even though we found the brief hard and knew that we didn’t have much time, we wanted to do our best.

Do or don’t do. There is no try!

So of cause we wanted to win. But we didn’t! Damn it. 

But the press conference was fun and very nice to see the Japanese girls who won for best separate idea crying and screaming in happiness. They were so nice and they really got happy…

But still; a shame, but we didn’t expect it, so we were actually able to be happy for the winning teams who were two really nice people from Italy. 

And alway a pleasure speaking to the press afterwards.. “Wy didn’t you guys win??????????” (no answer) “Hmm?” “bla bla bla bla bla” (aka of cause we don’t know – we wanted to win but obvious the judges liked the Italian solution better) . You can’t really ask people about that. We just really wanted to see what the others teams had made – but it wasn’t available yet, so no chance of knowing which truck hit us 🙂 

Living Naked

For numeral reasons I’m soo glad I went to this masterclass in the Young LIons Zone. 

1. It was 1 minute after our presentation so a reason for sitting thinking and no-one asking “hoooow did it goooo in a screaming tone-of-voice”

2. I love the filosophy of Naked and Paul  Woolmington is a wonderful speaker. My heartbeat after have the most stressed 5 minutes of my career fell down listening to his calm, confident and clear voice. 

3. I get the change for tagging this blog “Naked” which will give our little Cannes blog so much more google-juice. (Perhaps it wont be the most relevant hits, but giving the facts that googling porn and still end up clicking on a communications planning blog, proofs that marketing people also surfs for porn as well as everybody else.)

This post was actually dedicated to an ode for Naked, but sometimes things do not end up as we thought. Thank god for that.

But still two words about the masterclass:

It was great! Basic intro of the heart of independency.

I was very interested in how to sell ideas and how to make so many external partners work together. But this was more inspiration and cases of how the solutions will look if thinking concepts over “were do we make money”. 

And once again – go see Noah Briers Brand Tag feature… I commented on it on my own blog channel8000 a while ago – it is really interesting. 

Thanks to Paul for setting my mind free…


The Presentation

Early next morning we got our 5 minutes to present the assignment. This was really tough. We really looked at the competition brief to find out how to solve it, but little did it help. It said that we needed to present insights, strategy and solution – with everything explained why chosen. This was really a hard job – and we didn’t really succeed with this part. In the after light we perhaps shouldn´t have focussed so much on was we were told to explain but focused on explaining out ideas instead. We had only 5 minutes but we reached the ideas at 4.30 which was horrible because we didn´t feel at all that we had time to explain what, how and why… and we didn’t even have time to present it all.  

So it was really a hard and learning experience… 

This really felt like bad sex. Great expectation, too short time and a strange unfulfilled feeling afterwards.

But bad sex is better than none, so after an hour or so we started smiling a bit again 🙂 And we were still satisfied with the work – but would have died for 17 minutes instead of 5.



Dinner with TV2

Afterwards we went down to the Croisettes where we were going to dinner with TV2, press and the other Young Lions competitors. I was actually really ready to go home, but we really wanted to show up, so we took a deep breath and took out in the cannes evening.. And it ended up being so cosy. We had a wonderful meal and everybody were so nice and fun at the dinner. We meet so many nice people and the evening was one of the best on the whole trip.

Thanks to TV2 for a perfect evening!


12 hours of work

At 8 am the doors opened for the competion area downstairs the palais. Small boxes with a huge mac and a password for gettyimages. Then GO!

12 hours of laughs, coffee, near-death experiences and so much stress. 

But it was fun and very challenging. But thanks god we’re are ot working like this on a regular basis. It was really a tough job.

The last 4 hours flew – we didn’t really manage to do all the nice things we planned late in the past evening. But we finished the presentation (almost) and pressed save just 2 minutes till 8 pm were we got kicked out.

Our solution were a network strategy with focus on activating the network around the very wealthy and get their attention through personal recommendations. The campaign idea was called Backstage due to the duality in War Child’s engagement in music and the need from the target group to be able to see the outcome of their donations. The lack of transparency in the charity landscape gave a possible positioning for war child due to the small, engaged culture. So we wanted to take the connection backstage to exclusivity, music, transparency and networks. 

The key idea was parted in two: What money can’t buy and track your money. First we had The War Child secret gigs with huge bands playing for only the network at a backstage concert and a lot of PR and network activities evolving around those. And second we offered a wide range of digital connection tolls to engage the network with desktop apps, widgets and private member zones, to make it possible to customize the communication in the network. This was off cause a tool to face the discussion about the problems in charities and make War Child stand out as the personal, transparent and engaged charity having an attitude towards making everything and every penny count in a tracking of results.  

We used contextual print and online ads as well as personal placed outdoor facings, and a direct marketing postcard with a private message from the saved children targeted very strongly on these networks of wealth, to crate awareness and public attention. 

This was just a short description of some of the things we came up with and why. 

At 20pm we left the palais – exhausted but with a big smile. 

The brief

Sunday at 5pm we started the brief after a few hours of training from Getty Images and Apple. These people were so friendly and helpful. Thanks to both – this was really a pleasure! We saw some cool Keynote features… Sorry to say it, but keynote beats Powerpoint 10-0. Of cause a challenge working in a new program but we learned a lot – and the interface was really intuitive, so it went quite well. Getty is just nice as always… Didn’t know though that it contained video files to. So that was interesting – but we didn’t have the time to really use it in the assignment.

We got the assignment from War Child. The task was to raise money from huge private donations, and this was really a challenging brief, because of the crowded charity landscape and the very hard to reach target. But challenges are good. We discussed the brief for a while. Then we went home to work….


At 2am we fell a sleep..