A team of nine dynamic young professionals from Sri Lanka’s marketing communications industry, were recently selected to compete at the Young Lions Competitions, which will take place at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France this June. This year’s local competition, was conducted by the IAA Sri Lanka Chapter under the auspices of Metal Factor. This is the 11th successive year that this competition has been conducted in Sri Lanka by Metal Factor who is the Sri Lanka Representative for the Cannes Lions festival.
After a rigorous evaluation process, three teams emerged victorious at the local Young Lions Competition. This year’s winners in the Media category are Sanoj Fernando and Dulanjali Gunawardane from Ogilvy Media. The PR category was won by Maheshi Dunuwilage and Chanchala Gunewardena from Bates Strategic Alliance, whilst Tara Weerasinghe and Aadhil Izath of Dentsu Grants were selected as the winners in the Print category. This year’s Young Marketer’s Competition was won by Chamindri Gunawardane and Arshad Mohideen of Softlogic Life PLC and Dilushi Prasanna from the Academy of Design was selected to attend the Roger Hatchuel Academy.
A total of 96 professionals participated in the local competition. The winning teams will now travel to France to compete on a global stage at Cannes. Heralded as the “Olympics of the advertising world”, the Young Lions Competitions and the Cannes Lions International Festival, draw the very best talent from all corners of the globe. The competitions run across multiple categories and provide youth in the industry with a once-in-a-life time opportunity to compete against each other, whilst learning and broadening their horizons at the same time.
Commenting on this year’s competition, Laila Gunasekera – President, IAA stated, “For the 11th year, Sri Lanka’s top young professionals will represent our country at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The festival and Young Lions Competitions serve as an extremely important platform for our youth - who will play a pivotal role in taking our industry forward. At the festival, our teams will receive valuable exposure and acquire new skills and insights, which they will be able to use, to infuse a fresh burst of creativity into the local industry. They will be able to learn from and interact with movers and shakers of the advertising world, who are redefining the global communications landscape. The experience will certainly have a profound impact on their professional growth. We wish them all the very best at the festival.”
Also commenting, Ranil de Silva, Founder of Metal Factor said: "We are proud to continue our tradition of sending Sri Lanka's top young professionals to compete at the Cannes Young Lions competitions. The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is the world's most prestigious advertising festivals. At the Cannes Young Lions Competitions, our teams will be able to showcase their skills and knowledge in a global competition. I have no doubt that they will make our industry and country very proud. Metal Factor was launched to help nurture and groom the industry's young talent to help shape the future of the industry. The exposure that our team members will receive will transform them as communications professionals, and give them a professional edge. They will also have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from the industry's global leaders. The insights they will gain from their time at Cannes, will enable them to contribute to the growth of Sri Lanka's marketing communications industry."
The Sri Lankan competition also drew on the expertise of the country’s leading advertising professionals, who came together to evaluate all of the submissions. This year, the Young Lions programme was judged by a panel comprising Subash Pinnapola, Caryll Van Dort, Russell Miranda, Ralston Joseph, Peter Solomon and Alyna HajiOmar.
The seven Young Lions Competitions held at Cannes are where the next generation of creative stars go head-to-head with each other, all vying for the coveted gold. The programme is only open to professionals who are 30 or under and it is designed to celebrate and unleash the potential of the industry’s young talent. Founded in 1954, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is an eight-day programme that focuses on creative inspiration, celebration, education and networking. Over 15,000 delegates from around 100 countries attend the festival, making it the only truly global meeting-place for communications professionals to connect, share and discover the latest advancements, trends and innovations in the industry. The most coveted creative accolades, The Lions, are also judged and presented at the festival.
Metal Factor the facilitator of the Young Lions Competition in Sri Lanka, was established by renowned advertising professional Ranil de Silva who set up the project as a CSR initiative to support the industry, which has personally rewarding for him. Metal Factor is the Sri Lankan representative for some of the world’s most respected festivals. By its association with these festivals, Metal Factor provides young professionals in Sri Lanka with the opportunity to gain valuable experience by participating in the various competitions. Metal Factor is committed to uplifting the standards of the marketing communications industry in Sri Lanka and is dedicated to helping Sri Lanka’s ad industry gain global acclaim.
The international Advertising Association (IAA), headquartered in New York, was founded in 1938 to champion responsible marketing. The IAA, with members in over 40 countries, is a one-of-a-kind strategic global partnership comprising advertisers, media, advertising and public relations agencies, media companies and academics. The IAA is a platform for industry issues and is dedicated to protecting and advancing freedom of commercial speech, responsible advertising, consumer choice and the education of marketing professionals. The IAA Sri Lanka Chapter is committed to providing high quality training opportunities, to help support the development of the local advertising industry, whilst ensuring its continuous evolution and progression at large.