This morning IAPI hosted a talk to kick off the Young Lions Ireland Competition and the Cannes competition itself. As well as an overview of the brief from MS Ireland, we also heard from Guy Abrahams - a 2014 Media Young Lions judge and a judge on the Irish panel this year - on the competition marking system and exactly what the judges are looking for.

1. Can I explain this in a lift?

They key message of Guy Abrahams' talk was this; keep your idea so simple that you could explain it to someone in a lift. No fluff and no marketing speak. Previous winners have kept it so simple, their entire idea can be explained on just a few basic slides.

2. All about the plumbing

When asked what comes first, the strategy or the creative idea, he emphasized that either way, if your creative doesn’t inform your strategy, you should throw the concept away. Strategy is all about rules, so don’t forget the ‘plumbing and engineering’ when trying to crack the brief.

3. Creativity, that mystical creature

On ‘eureka’ moments of creativity, the message was simply “if it’s obvious, start again”. Back to the drawing board!

4. Team dynamic

Another message Abrahams wanted to drive home was that judges will be watching us as a team. Do we work well together? Is it clear we’ve worked on this as a duo from start to finish, and do we support each other?

5. Presentations

Even a good idea will fall flat if it’s presented in a dull way. On this, the message was clear; “no one is editor and journalist”. The talk today made sure to stress that whether you have three weeks – as in the case of the Irish heats – or just 24 hours – Cannes competition – it’s imperative for teammates to review each other’s work thoroughly.   

Guy Abrahams is a Cannes Young Lions judge and also a judge on the Irish panel

Having more representatives from Ireland on the international stage will only do good things for our industry overall, and what I’ll take away from this morning’s talk is the importance of strategy, scale and simplicity. 

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