A Winning Pair at Cannes Young Lions

May 30, 2017 | Share this article

Fantastic news for IPG Mediabrands UK, as Rob Bellamy and Will Parrish, who both work in the EMEA hub strategy team, officially won the UK Young Cannes Lions competition in the Media category.

The Young Cannes Lions competition is open to advertising professionals up to 28 years old working in teams of two, with regional competitions held in most countries and local winners competing globally at the Cannes Lions festival week next month. For the UK competition, over 260 people answered a charity brief within 24 hours. Judges then awarded 5 finalists who had to present to them at the Guardian Newspaper offices.

Rob and Will presented a stand out media idea based on the idea of partnering with the Chris Nolan “Dunkirk” movie.

They will now now head to Cannes next month to participate in a global competition where they take on all the other country winners to try and claim the top prize.

Good luck to Will and Rob in the next stage of this competition and enjoy Cannes! In the meantime, here’s what Will had to say about the experience:

Want to start with a quick thank you to everyone that has helped us get this far. As the people who work closely with us will testify we are neither particularly lucky or gifted but with years of support and a little persistence I think we proved anyone can do it. We have already got a number of ideas for training and support for anyone who’s interested in taking part next year.

This year’s brief took place in March, and came from the refugee charity Safe Passage, part of Citizens UK. In short, we were asked to drive awareness with the UK public and drive donations for their cause which provides refugee children stranded in Europe because of conflict in Syria and the Middle East safe passage to the UK.

We saw the challenge a little differently, realising that with the majority of the UK being pro-Brexit and anti-immigration, to make a real difference we needed to reframe the issue as a British duty for the whole country to bring lost children home. We centred our idea around Christopher Nolan’s film Dunkirk – a moment in history when ordinary British people did extraordinary things to save the lives of stranded young people in Europe.

Our ten page written submission was shortlisted, and we were given a little over a week to prepare a five minute presentation to a panel of industry judges; now down to the last five pairs of entrants. We survived a grilling from the judges on why would the Director of the film get involved and what was our process (“We went to the pub”) and were left to stew for a day before getting the call to say we’d won.

As Rob’s dad said, ‘that’s just the qualifier, now on to Cannes’.