Inaugural Future Lions Competition to Debut at Cannes

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The students will get a chance to show the masters a thing or two in the first-ever "Future Lions Competition" at this year's Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. Co-organized by AKQA, the competition calls out the advertising students of today to prove who among them are the advertising superstars of tomorrow. "The inspiration for issuing this challenge to ad students around the world came after seeing so many books at portfolio shows that contained mostly print ads and TV scripts," says AKQA/New York executive creative director Lars Bastholm, "when what we were looking for was people who approach advertising from a different perspective than the generations who have gone before them. Not necessarily interactive—just more influenced by the way media is consumed today."

Students who fit that description will have until May 21 to check out the creative brief at the Future Lions website and craft a media neutral campaign (meaning entries that don't fall neatly into established categories like TV, print or interactive) that will be judged by AKQA's Creative Council (including Bastholm, AKQA/San Francisco executive creative director PJ Pereira and global creative director Rei Inamoto, and AKQA/London executive creative directors Daniel Bonner and James Hilton). The five Future Lions who run wildest—whose entries that exude a combination of cutting-edge creativity, forward-thinking originality and savvy feasibility—will be presented to the ad industry's elite movers and shakers on June 20, at a Cannes seminar titled "Hire Them Before They Steal Your Job: Meet the World's Most Forward-Thinking Students." "For a student, this is the ultimate portfolio showcase," says Bastholm. "If you manage to create one of the five winning entries, you will have your work and thinking presented to what is arguably the world's biggest gathering of the people you want to work with after school. We're hoping that a Future Lions award will become the ultimate student calling card."

As for the ultimate goal of the competition? "To scare the living daylights out of every creative director attending Cannes," laughs Bastholm. "We've been told that several ad schools around the world have already put together classes focused on competing in the Future Lions, so we hope to be able to present a snapshot of the best work from the coming generation of advertising superstars."
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