As a kid, I have always dreamt of being able to represent Canada on the international stage, noting in my grade 2 yearbook, that “I would like to one day win an Olympic Gold medal and stand on the podium with my soccer teammates”. Well, a few twisted ankles and broken bones (not to mention, broken dreams) later, I realized quite quickly that professional sports was just not in my future. However, this one beautiful week in the south of France called the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity – or affectionately known as “Cannes Lions” – happens to be the biggest international stage for those in the marketing and creative advertising industry. And not to mention, an opportunity to attend the “Olympics” of marketing and advertising.
Regardless of what side of the advertising or marketing spectrum you fall on – client-side marketers, creative directors, media and account planners – all are invited (and graciously welcomed) to indulge in a week of thoughtful seminars, galleries of inspiring work, and ultimately to witness the main event, which is the crowning of the Gold and Grand Prix Lions winners, representing the crème de la crème in advertising around the world. This is the type of work that inspires you, makes you cry, makes you laugh and makes brand campaigns forever legendary. Yes, legendary.
For Young Lions (those under 30 in client side marketing or 28 in creative fields), this is an extra special week. Having the privilege to be in the same company of our industry greats is enough to make anyone fist pump with excitement or over-instagram pictures to their account – but having the opportunity to also compete against fellow Young Lions during the festival is the ultimate opportunity. On Wednesday, we will compete on behalf of Canada in the Young Lions Young Marketers competition – against the world – and we couldn’t be more proud or excited.
Regardless of the outcome, just being here representing Canada amongst the most inspiring minds in our industry – that is the real prize.