Young creatives: Deadline extended for Ad Age's Cannes Lions cover contest

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2017 Young Creatives Cover Competition Winners at the Ad Age Cannes Lawn party.
2017 Young Creatives Cover Competition Winners at the Ad Age Cannes Lawn party.

Think you have what it takes to inspire a world of marketers—or better yet, do you have what it takes to change the world?

That's the heart of this year's brief for Ad Age's annual young creatives cover contest. For the ninth consecutive year, Ad Age is inviting creatives 30 or younger to design the cover of our Creativity issue, which will be distributed at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June. The winner will not only see their work on magazine, they'll also get a free trip to the annual ad fest in France.

While the brief in the past has centered on the broader idea of "creativity," we believe this year calls for something new. Over the last several months, we've seen voices once unheard or silent coming to the fore to have tremendous impact on the world around them—we've seen it with #MeToo, the Women's March and most recently March for Our Lives and Never Again. Inspired by this momentum, we'd like to see how you can put your creativity to good work too, and we challenge you to create an image that shows how creativity can change the world.

The Brief:

Create a powerful image that inspires others to take action for an important cause. This can but does not need to address any of the issues above. Choose something you personally feel strongly about and create around that. We believe passion can inspire the best ideas.

  • The winning cover should have a strong visual idea that clearly answers the brief.
  • Focus on the elements of originality and surprise—this is your chance to shine.
  • Leave the clichés at home. Dispense with tired metaphors for creativity—globes, lightbulbs, sparks, the Cannes Lions trophy—and other overused symbols and themes like emojis and social media platforms. (Past submissions have even often featured, strangely, bodily fluids.) They're likely to put you quickly out of competition. Avoid these unless you believe you're using them in a truly exceptional way.
Last year's winning cover.
Last year's winning cover. Credit: Cover by Carlos Quimpo and Byron Co

In the spirit of Cannes' own "Young Lions" competition, our contest is designed to tap into the talent of young creatives, inspire them to join in important industry gatherings and offer a career-enhancing opportunity to those who are still junior in the business and not as likely to have agency financial support for a trip to the festival.

Ad Age will announce a number of finalists, but only one winner (or creative team) will be selected. Participants can be students, full-time creative professionals or freelancers.

The winning entry will become the cover of the print edition of Ad Age's Cannes Issue, which will be published June 11, and distributed at the Cannes Lions festival the following week, as well as to all Ad Age subscribers.

The winner will receive a free trip to the 2018 Cannes Lions festival, and the winner and finalists' designs will be celebrated at our exclusive cockatil party at Le Grand Hotel in Cannes.

The competition is FREE to enter! Deadline has been extended to April 30 at 5 p.m. EDT. See full submission details here and see the story on last year's winners here.

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