Irish agencies urged to have a can-do attitude to Cannes Lions

‘Young Lions’ scheme offers chance to work with director Lenny Abrahamson

Lenny Abrahamson: nominated for Best Director for the 88th Academy Awards for Room. photograph: brian lawless/pa wire

Lenny Abrahamson: nominated for Best Director for the 88th Academy Awards for Room. photograph: brian lawless/pa wire

 

A bid by the Institute of Advertising Practitioners of Ireland (IAPI) to boost Irish entries for the Cannes Lions Festival moved forward last week when Simon Cook, head of entries development at Cannes Lions, was invited to brief a packed room of potential applicants on how to craft their entries, give advice on the different categories, and practical matters such as the best places to stay in Cannes.

IAPI launched a three-year strategy last year to encourage more Irish advertisers to compete at Cannes. About 60 people from the industry in Ireland attended last June’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, a much higher presence than in previous years. But while the number of Irish entries for the coveted awards rose 34 per cent in 2015, the overall number is still low.

Not fancying their chances is part of the problem. The Irish advertising industry assesses itself to be “pretty cautious” in the work it produces, and it is expensive for creative agencies to enter work into competition “without much hope of winning”, as IAPI chief executive Tania Banotti noted last year.

“Irish agencies are still losing out on work to UK and European agencies. As the Irish advertising industry continues to recover, now is the time to showcase our work to global brand leaders,” she says now.

“There’s no doubting the creative talent is here – the challenge now is for Irish agencies to win,” according to Simon Cook.

For a second year, IAPI – in association with Google and Shutterstock – is hosting the Young Lions competition. Wide Eye Media has also come on board this year for the scheme, which will see six young creatives represent Ireland at the festival.

The contenders are this year charged with devising a campaign for the Peter McVerry Trust, and the winners will have the honour of working with Oscar-nominated Room director Lenny Abrahamson, who will shoot the winning script. The campaign for the homeless charity will be produced by Pull the Trigger and will be shown in Irish cinemas later this year.