Inside the Noah’s Ark of advertising

In this guest posting, Australia’s Media Young Lions team Eb Yusuf and Maura Tuohy recount their first Cannes

Bonjour from Cannes. Being here is a little bit like the world cup of advertising – the Aussie camaraderie is off the hook. Thanks to the power of Twitter, we all got together on the first day, jet-lagged & scruffy, cheering on our Socceroos at the only Irish pub in town. Not all of us knew each other, but by the end of the game, we were all friends.

We Young Lions feel a bit like mini Socceroos (except we hope we can actually win) because every Aussie here is rooting for us to take the Young Lions gold medal; no matter which agency they’re from.

Before we get the brief, everyone offers their pearls of wisdom & it feels really great to have the support of our countrymen.

We arrive at the briefing session and like the Noah’s Ark of advertising, every country is paired off, two by two. Denmark is all brawn… but do they have the brains to match? Austria is trying to psych us out, but we ignore them and try to get in the zone. Then Romania tell us that they’ve been star-struck by Australia’s own Jonathan Pease (they’ve been downloading Australia’s Next Top Model off the internet) and we try to come up with an evil plan where we convince him to seduce them so they miss their presentation…

We soon dismiss this strategy and get on with the task at hand. We’ve got 24 hours to come up with an idea to inspire world peace!

We decide on an approach and smash it out in Keynote, which fortunately, we are now experts in thanks to (Cannes Lions’ Australian representative) News Ltd’s intensive training before we left.

Once we’ve submitted our presentation, we head to a local restaurant to write out our notes. Unfortunately for us, we chose the only restaurant in town with an unhealthy Abba obsession… Will this seriously hinder our presentation? Only time will tell.

We  are eagerly awaiting the results while we write this.

We want to give special shout outs to a few people while we wait:

  • Garth Agius, News Ltd, Sydney – For prioritising the Young Lions competition & giving us lots of training & advice on our journey here.
  • Peter Horgan, OMD, Sydney – The Australian representative on the judging panel. Apart from checking in with us regularly, he kept us up to date via text message on the soccer results when we were running late to the pub. Not happy with Kewell’s red card.
  • Travis Johnson, UM, Sydney – Aside from preparing us for the most challenging questions we could possibly be asked, Trav proved time & time again that he is the best French speaker in the room
  • John Du Vernet (JD), Tongue, Sydney – For entertaining us through the most boring seminar we’ve ever been to & for offering to lend an ear if we needed any advice.
  • Steve Harris, The Brand Agency, Perth – For being the most outrageous Aussie in the crew.

It’s been a great start to the week. There’s so much more to come… Even Zoolander is going to be here!

Cross your fingers for us!

  • Eb Yusuf is a strategist at OMD and Maura Tuohy is a client services manager at Universal McCann

John Du Vernet and Jonathan Pease’s video diary (via AdNews):


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