Young marketers race to win Gold Lion

Agency pros often feel the time crunch by clients, but that is nothing compared to this year's Cannes Young Marketers.

Agency pros often feel the time crunch by clients looking for that amazing creative campaign to showcase their brands. But that is nothing compared to this year’s Cannes Young Marketers, who have a day and a half to come up with a new brand message for a client they just met yesterday. The marketers have been given their brief and are off and running for the chance to win a Gold Lion on Saturday night.

This year the Young Marketers competition, sponsored by Ketchum, benefits the United Nations World Food Programme.

Jerry Olszewski, senior partner and chief client officer at Ketchum, kicked off the instruction session yesterday with about 40 marketers from top brands including Unilever and P&G.

"We come to Cannes to be inspired. I just want say that you inspired us," he said.

The teams received guidance from Tyler Guthrie, marketing communications consultant at the World Food Programme. The nonprofit wants its messaging to evolve to reflect "the potential of people who have the foundation of good food," he said. "It is transformational."

The nonprofits want to focus the message on child hunger. About 8,500 kids die from hunger every day, Guthrie added.

Now the teams from diverse countries including Belarus and Malaysia must develop a campaign for the World Food Programme, which receives most of its donations from individual and private sector donors. The nonprofit, which has never done advertising, will launch the winning campaign on October 16, World Food Day.

The marketing teams will have 10 minutes to present their ideas to a judging panel on Friday.

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