Five Sri Lankans represent the country at Cannes Lions Advertising Festival

Monday, 20 June 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Five young advertising professionals have been selected to represent Sri Lanka at the highly acclaimed Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and at the Roger Hatchuel Academy. The announcement of the winners was made at a media briefing.

The Cannes Young Lions programme is open to advertising professionals 28 years and under working in advertising/communications businesses. The participating teams, are selected through a pre-selection process in their own country, with the winners attending the Cannes Lions festival in France to participate at the Young Lions Competition, where they compete against teams from all over the world.

The Young Lions competitions take place during the Cannes Lions festival week at the Palais des Festivals. Each competing team is briefed by a client to create and execute a campaign within 24 hours (within 48 hours for Film). After which the relevant global jury will judge the work and select Gold winners from around the world.

The preliminary competition of the Young Lions competition organized by Metal Factor in association with the IAA and the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4A’s) saw 40 young professionals from a cross section of agencies, competing in the Young Lions categories of Print & TV.  The Young Lions competition unveils the very best of young talent from amongst Sri Lanka’s advertising professionals and ultimately provides the winning teams the opportunity to attend a global gathering of industry giants at the Cannes Lions Festival of creativity.  

This year the TV category was won by Gayan Perera and Sandun Kankanamge of JWT and the print category was won by Chanuka Wijayasinghe and Ruani Wijenaike of Triad. The place to attend the Roger Hatchuel Academy (a program conducted alongside the festival) was won by Academy of Design (AOD) student Dihan de Silva who will join the rest of the winners from across the world for a series of masterclasses at the Cannes Lions Festival. Chandu Rajapreyar of Leo Burnett Solutions and Dilshad Ahamad of Grant McCann Erickson were the respective mentors for the winning teams whilst Delon de Silva directed the winning commercial.

ANCL under the Daily News were the sponsors of the Young Lions print competition and challenged the competitors to promote their newspaper. Unilever with Signal also extended their support to this globally acclaimed competition by being a sponsor and presented a brief which called on the competitors to produce an effective TV commercial for Signal Whitening. The TV commercial production was supported by Samsung Electronics who provided the competing teams with a Samsung mobile phone to film their TV commercials.. The Judges of the Young Lions competition were: Chandani Rajaratnam of JWT, David Blacker of Phoenix Ogilvy, Russel Miranda of Grant McCann Erickson and Firzan Mulafer of Leo Burnett, who chaired the jury. Sun FM extended their support to the competition by sponsoring the programme for the selection of the student to attend the Roger Hatchuel Academy in Cannes.  The Roger Hatchuel Academy student was selected by a panel comprising Keith Wijesuriya of BBDO, Sharon Jayasundera of Bates, Laila Gunasekera Martenstyn of Grant McCann Erickson, Irfan Ahmed of JWT and this jury was chaired by Chalaka Gajabahu of Lowe LDB

The juries concluded that ‘The talent amongst Sri Lanka’s young advertising professionals is becoming increasingly evident. This year’s Young Lions competition brought together teams from a variety of Advertising agencies in the country. The quality of the final work presented was impressive and augurs well for the future of our industry.  It is heartening to observe the progress and evolution of the advertising industry in Sri Lanka and to witness the transformation and improvements that are taking place.’

Ranill de Silva, Representative for the Cannes Lions in Sri Lanka stated ‘The advertising community extends our congratulations to the winners of this year’s Cannes Young Lions Competition. We are happy to have seen a greater interest in the competition’. Cannes Lions, the International Festival of Creativity is the largest gathering of worldwide leaders in marketing and advertising. Such a gathering combined with the unique programs and masterclasses presented, not to mention the opportunity to meet with professionals from around the world, makes the festival an excellent platform for gaining valuable exposure.’

Rayynor Silva, Chairman and Managing Director of ABC Radio Networks, sponsor of the Roger Hatchuel student stated ‘the ABC group is very happy to foster the talent in the industry and we will continue to do so.’ Whilst Bandula Padmakumara, Chairman of the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited, who extended their patronage for the Young Lions Print completion stated, ‘ANCL is always willing to support the industry and we wish the participants at the Young Lions Print competition all the very best at Cannes.’ Mihira Kulatunga, Brand Manager – Signal, had this to say: ‘the talent we saw in this competition augurs well for the future of the industry and we wish the winners the very best.’

 ‘The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity is the Olympics of the advertising world and the industry’s most prestigious awards are presented at the festival each year. The Cannes Young Lions programmes create an ideal gateway for young Sri Lankans to learn from the global advertising industry. It’s important that the youth in the industry are exposed to global standards to bring back learning to infuse into the local advertising industry in Sri Lanka’ stated Keith Wijesuriya, President of the 4A’s and Renuka Marshall, President of the IAA.