Blog: You oughta meet these Young Lions

Lauren Richards, CEO at Pollin8, on why the media industry could use more of what Young Lions winners Celia Gibb and Megan Metzak have got.
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By Lauren Richards

As we all know, the focus of the Cannes ad festival is all about inspiration. Inspiration through thought-provoking conference sessions, inspiration through technological advances, inspiration from the people you meet and most significantly, inspiration through the work.

There are lots of brilliant people here to inspire me: Al Gore, Pharrell Williams, Jamie Oliver, Sir John Hegarty, David Getta, Maurice Levy, Celia Gibb and Megan Metzak, to name a few.

Perhaps those last two names are not too familiar. These two delightful young ladies are the Young Media Lions representing Canada. They did us proud by delivering a Canadian medal placement for Media Lions, being awarded silver in the international competition amongst 28 different countries.

They are from M2 and Olive Media respectively. This achievement is particularly sweet this week, as we only took home one Media Lion.

I found it particularly refreshing to hear that Ceilia and Megan have been participating in the Globe and Mail‘s Young Lion challenge together, for all of the past five years. In their very first attempt, in year one, they placed second in Canada. They have the kind of attitude that I try and inspire in the great young minds in this business – participating in this process is hugely inspiring and tremendously educational. As Megan said, ‘There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. Getting involved motivates you to do more, to push yourself to be more original, strategic and creative in your work.” God knows, we need that in media.

When I asked them how they originally got involved, they said it was because of the commitment and passion of some friends at Starcom. I’m proud to say I had a hand in that, in the mission of creating an innovative media culture. Among the people they’ve worked with and been inspired by – and who have supported them – are Tim Hughes and Jake Norman when all were at Mindshare, and most recently Andrea Parnell at M2. “Her direction made all the difference in the world,” says Celia.

One of the most significant things they have learned through their Young Media Lions involvement is the importance of wrestling to the ground a brilliant insight to inspire innovative solutions. They’ve also learned how to better craft media presentations to simplify the information and bring focus to the idea. That skill alone is worth its weight in gold! They’ve gotten extremely comfortable in sharing their thinking via presenting. Those high fluting international judges didn’t intimidate them at all. Rather they were just pumped to share with them their passion for their recommendation.

So bravo, Young Lions, you have inspired me with your attitude, smarts, collaborative spirit and confidence. Please make sure you keep sharing your enthusiasm with your co-workers and bring this type of thinking into the real media world every day.

Lauren Richards is the CEO of Pollin8

More from Cannes:

Blog: UM’s Ryan Van Dongen on the changing face of storytelling

Always wins Media Gold, Canadian Young Lions take Silver

In the jury room with… Media Experts’ Penny Stevens

Blog: Cannes – the revenge of media