Last month, two of Publicis New York’s brightest young creatives, Kimberly Ronan and Patrick Merritt, took top prize at the US Young Lions competition in the film category. This week, they’re headed to the Cannes Lions festival to compete against other Young Lions winners from around the world.
Each year the Young Lions Competitions invite creative teams under 28 years of age from advertising, media and PR agencies, or internal company teams, to compete against each other creating cyber, film, media, PR and print campaigns for a selected non-profit organization.
This year, the competition partnered with Every Mother Counts, an organization that works to make pregnancy and childbirth safer for women around the world. Kimberly and Patrick’s evocative film struck upon the serious health dangers faced by expectant mothers who don’t have access to quality health care.
The Young Lions competitions give young creatives an opportunity to showcase their talent globally, and winning in the competition is a tremendous honor for a creative team. We asked Kimberly and Patrick about their experience, how it feels to win and how they’re preparing for Cannes.
What was your creative process like for the US Young Lions competition, from creative brief to final concept?
Kimberly: It was really exciting to get this brief and begin to concept on an idea that was different than what we have been working on. Especially knowing that it gave us a chance to win a trip to Cannes, with some of the best advertising people in the world. We got the brief and had two weeks to complete it, so we had to start working on it right away. We actually submitted in the film and print category with a similar idea, but the film took the cake.
How involved were you in production of the film?
Kimberly: We were involved in the whole thing. According to the rules of the Young Lions competition, you are not allowed to hire professional editors or producers, so we were involved in the whole production. There were a few days of concepting, one day of shooting, and a few days of editing and color correcting the final piece. It was a lot of fun to have full control of this project and pick what WE wanted to be in the final film. To see it take 1st place was just an amazing feeling.
What are you most looking forward to at Cannes?
Kimberly: The chance to meet new people, to hang out with some of the most talented people in advertising, and to experience Cannes in a whole new way. I am looking forward to the whole experience. I don’t think there is just one thing I can say.
Patrick: I’m looking forward to hearing the different speakers, and getting their take on the industry. Right now, people are always asking, “what’s the future of advertising?” and I’m interested in hearing what some of the most important people in advertising have to say on that subject.
How are you preparing for Cannes?
Kimberly: We plan on going in with clear minds, and we know that our idea has to be very simple and very smart. We want to win the whole thing, but we know it’s not going to be easy. We’re competing against over 40 different international teams, so we have to bring our “A” game to the competition.