Leading up to the 2020 Young Lions Competitions, we’re spotlighting conversations with past Canadian gold winners. We ask them to share their unique competition experiences and shed light on the strategies and tactics that allowed them to make a big impression and ultimately take on the task of representing Canada at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Jordan Gladman and Alex Boland, two-time gold winners of the Young Lions Digital Competition, reflect on their experiences in Cannes, including major wardrobe regrets.
Q: Tell us about yourselves.
Jordan is an Associate Creative Director at FCB but his mom still doesn’t understand what he does.
Alex is an Associate Creative Director at Sid Lee and part-time baton twirler.
We both get paid to come up with ideas, but spend most of our time watching our ideas die slow, painful deaths.
Q: As two-time winners, what was your Young Lions experience like and did it differ each time?
The first time we were Young Lions, we lost to a Dutch team wearing matching velvet jumpsuits. Last year, though we wore matching velvet jumpsuits, we shortlisted but didn’t medal. It seems that our hypothesis that we would have a better chance of winning the competition by wearing velvet jumpsuits was misguided.
Q: What was the most rewarding or memorable moment about competing?
The most rewarding moment was just after losing the competition. We could finally drown our tears in rosé after a gruelling 48-hour hiatus.
Q: How did winning the competition influence, if at all, your perspective or approach to work?
Winning gold twice has been a humbling experience. It’s eye opening to see how amazing the young talent is worldwide. The local competition is tough, but competing in Cannes is a whole other level.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to Young Lions competitors heading to Cannes Lions?
The best piece of advice we could give to YL competitors is that velvet jumpsuits won’t help you win. Try suede, or even leather.