2017 marks a historic year for the Irish Young Lions competition. For the first time in the festival’s 64 year history, IAPI is bringing 14 Young Lions to Cannes to represent Ireland on the global stage.

Celebrating the best creative work in the world, the Cannes Lions Festival will take place from 17 – 24 June with an estimated 19,000 delegates in attendance.  Winning at this festival puts creatives among the world’s elite with a globally recognised accolade.

Our Young Lions will be competing  in seven categories; Film, Cyber, Media, Print, PR, Design and Young Marketers.

Film Team – Conor Hamill & Laura Cahill, Rothco

Conor is a Junior Producer at Rothco. He has written and directed short films, and produced at ad agencies in Dublin and San Francisco. Laura is an in-house Producer at Rothco. She studied Digital Media at Maynooth University and has produced live action and animated work for clients such as Tesco, AIB and Heineken.

“It’s a massive privilege to be competing at Cannes this year. The global talent is second to none. With that in mind we’re fully aware that it could be a long time before we get to attend the festival again so we plan to soak everything up.

IAPI have put a huge amount of work and time into ensuring that Team Ireland will have its biggest ever presence at this years Cannes Young Lions competition. To help us perform at our best, IAPI have set us an exciting and admittedly intense few weeks of training in the run up to the festival. We’re very thankful to them and for the generosity of this years sponsors.”

Cyber Team – Patricia Prezotto and Tamara Conyngham, Target McConnells

Tamara is a Strategic Planner with Target McConnells. She started her career working part time for the experiential marketing agency Modern Green while studying Business and Economics in Trinity.

Patricia joined the Digital Experience and Performance team in April 2016 as a Digital Project Manager. She holds a BA in International Relations and has over nine years experience in digital development and a huge passion for technology.

“The Irish Young Lions competition has already been a great experience. The creative process was tough and the brief challenging but all the effort was so worth it. It is a huge achievement for us and we can’t even explain how excited we are. I know it will be intense and the pressure will be on but we will do our best to bring home the gold for Ireland.”

Media Team – Sarah Dennehy & Greg Ashe, Starcom

Greg joined Starcom in 2015 after spending just over a year in media consulting. He graduated from UCC having studied Commerce, followed by an MA in Information Systems for Business Performance (ISBP). Predominantly working on the AIB Bank account as part of the planning team, he has worked on AIB’s award-winning sponsorship of the All Ireland Football championship, as well as the launch of Android Pay into the Irish market.

Sarah began her studies in DCU with BA International Business with French & Spanish. She then went on to complete a Masters in Digital Marketing in DCU leading to a marketing role for the non-profit organisation Dogs Trust. She made the move into the media industry with her role as a Digital Planner in Starcom and currently works across some of Ireland’s leading brands including AIB & the Musgrave Group.

“We found the competition challenging but infinitely rewarding. We had the opportunity to work with a remarkable cause and create a campaign that challenges social norms in the increasingly online world that we live in today. We were ecstatic to have been chosen to represent Ireland on the world stage in Cannes and can’t wait to experience all that the festival has to offer.“

Print Team – Raf Ferla and Laura Halpin, Havas Dublin

Raf is an Art Director with 10 years of experience in the advertising world and worked in six large agencies in his native Brazil before moving to Dublin.

Laura is a Copywriter, Flash Fiction editor of Into the Void Magazine and Irish Film Young Lions Winner 2016.

“We’re over the moon to have won the Print competition this year. Mental health is an issue that touches every single one of us and we’re delighted to have the chance to contribute something to the great work Jigsaw does every day. We also can’t wait to get to Cannes, we’ll be putting everything into the 24hr Print competition…and then as many talks, workshops, and networking events as we can possibly squeeze in!”

PR Team – Emma Williams and Jennifer Hyland, Edelman

Following completion of an MA in Public Relations, DIT, Emma joined Edelman in June 2011 as an Account Executive. She quickly rose through the ranks to the position of Associate Director and now leads the day-to-day operations of Edelman’s award-winning Brand team.

Jennifer graduated from DCU with an MSc in Digital Marketing. She worked as a Digital Marketing Research Assistant in the Marketing Lab; an initiative designed to accelerate startup businesses and SMEs into the digital marketing landscape. In 2013, Jennifer was recruited by Edelman as a Senior Account Executive. During her 3 years, Jennifer has contributed hugely to the fast growth of the Digital team and now sits as Account Director leading many high-profile accounts.

“The Irish Young Lions competition was an exciting opportunity for us as it was the first year of the PR category in Ireland. We have worked together across several client accounts over the last number of years however this was a completely new challenge and one we really enjoyed. It was rewarding to work on a brief that could have real impact in Ireland today.”

Design Team – Emma Wilson and Kyle Schouw, RichardsDee

Emma is a Senior Designer and has been with RichardsDee since 2014. She holds a BA in Visual Communications from IADT and has extensive experience with branding and design for print.

Kyle joined RichardsDee as a Brand and Digital Designer in 2016. He has over 5 years experience working on a diverse range of projects for FMCG clients and international fashion brands.

“Young Lions has been a fantastic experience for us. After winning in our category we started preparations for the rollercoaster that will be Cannes. We’ve been in ‘design training’, so to speak (!); practicing 24-hour briefs, soaking up inspiration at D&AD, and deep-diving into past competition topics. We are beyond thrilled to be competing on behalf of our country in Cannes at such an internationally renowned and prestigious event.”

Young Marketers Team – Rachael Crawley & Paddy Carberry, Vodafone

Rachael is a Brand & Communications Lead currently working on ATL and BTL campaigns for Vodafone’s mass segments bill pay and pay, as well as their Networks. She studied Marketing, Innovation and Technology in DCU. Paddy is a Sponsorship Specialist and also attended DCU gaining a BA in Irish & journalism and an MSc in Management.

“From brief to final results the competition really kept us on our toes. There was an air of nervous excitement in the briefing room on the first day, as it was the first time Ireland has sent ‘Young Marketers’ to Cannes. The prospect of winning a trip to Cannes and being able to witness the best of advertising at a global level was thrilling.

The brief itself really challenged us and forced us to think outside of what was the norm. I really enjoyed working over the three weeks on this project with Paddy as it gave us a chance to be really innovative in our thinking. We were working on the presentation up until the very last minute and relied a lot on our adrenaline to keep us going!”

Team Ireland will be travelling to Cannes on 16 June, with the first competition kicking off on 18 June. Keep up to date on Team Ireland’s progress via IAPI’s Twitter.

The Young Lions Competition wouldn’t be possible without our generous sponsors.