Aussie Young Lions from IPG take gold in Cannes

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 24 June 2015
Jack Smyth and Chris Colter taking out top honors back in 2015

The winning media team from News Corp's Young Lion competition has taken out the top gong at the competition in Cannes.

Jack Smyth, communications strategist from Initiative, and Chris Colter, strategy director at UM were awarded the coveted Gold Lion beating out 27 other contenders in the category.

The judges were unanimous in awarding the prestigious award to the duo, describing their entry as being "head and shoulders" above the work presented by the other participants.

The pair were briefed on Sunday and given 24 hours to respond to the brief which was to come up with an innovative media campaign that will inspire at least 20 high net worth individuals to join the ‘Malaria No More’ campaign which was launched in 2006.

The charity's goals include helping to raise funds to reduce malaria deaths and cases by 90% by 2030; to help unite world leaders behind the vision of ending malaria within a generation; and to invest in anti-malaria programs in Africa to help protect 20 million people from the disease. The competitors were urged to adopt a brave, urgent and inspiring tone of voice in their campaigns.

The pair’s idea was to engage the owners of the 20 teams in the English Premier League - known for their competitive spirit - in a bidding war for a top new talent from Africa with money raised donated to the charity. The execution involved content, partners and sponsors, and owned and earned assets.

"We were excited just to be here, winning in Australia was our big win. But this - it's the icing on the icing," said Colter.
"We are absolutely blown away, this is such a proud moment for us," Smyth added.

News Corp Australia has sent five Australian Young Lions teams to Cannes this year. This year's success adds to an impressive trophy cabinet of previous awards including two golds and three silver.

Sophie Price, UM's chief strategy officer, said she was "the proudest boss in Cannes".

"These two have an amazing ability to crack an idea quickly, back themselves quickly, and execute brilliantly," she said.

For the win the two will receive the Gold Lion trophy and return airfares to the 2016 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Fellow News Corp Young Lions, Jemma Wong and Nathan Kwok have been blogging about their experiences, see the latest post here.

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