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Young Lions Aotearoa 2023 - Winners Announced

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The Commercial Communications Council and Stuff are excited to announce the winners of the Young Lions Aotearoa 2023 competition. The announcement took place at Shed10 on the back of this year's AXIS Speaks event which saw creative heavyweight speakers including Susan Credle – FCB Global, Nils Leonard – Uncommon, Rydr Tracy – Creatable, and NZ’s very own Ray Edwards – Collider inspire a room of 600+ creatives from across the industry.

The competition, which ran from March 9th to 12th, challenged young creatives with briefs centred around one of UnLtd’s charities, Springboard, which is based in the Rodney District and focuses on helping young people at risk. They do this through a number of wrap-around services and have become an integral part of the community that they operate within. Print participants were challenged to come up with an A3 DPS to recruit 1000 donors each committed to investing $10 per month, while media participants were asked to craft an innovative creative media approach to get people to visit Sheepworld, a Springboard-owned enterprise, which in turn support young people at risk.

Both teams were given 72 hours to respond to the brief, and media teams were also then shortlisted, those shortlisted were required to give a 10-minute presentation on their response including answering questions from the panel of judges. Comms Council CEO Simon Lendrum was thrilled with the competition's participation and the level of talent on display. "It’s been great to be able to revive the Young Lions competition in Aotearoa. It’s the best competition for emerging talent in the world, and we’re very proud to have been able to bring it back. The quality of all entrants was humbling and inspiring in equal measure." he said.

Loren Smith and Amber Garrett of MBM won the media category by proposing media partnerships at launch to drive awareness at scale. Their response utilised a kid's version of the Allbirds sneaker as a media channel for both Springboard and Sheepworld, connecting through parents, school leaders and PTA’s. This approach would result in awareness reaching 500K parents in New Zealand, ongoing sales and revenue for Springboard & Sheepworld, and over 500 Sheepworld visits during the July school holidays.

In the Media category, we congratulate Jesse Knight and Tara Ryan from MBM for their incredible work and for winning silver. We also congratulate Jeanie Patterson and Frances Nadan from Essence Mediacom for winning the bronze in the Media category. Both teams' attention to detail and dedication to their craft is truly inspiring, and we have no doubt that they will continue to do great things.

Lauren Brokenshire and Matthew Aitken of FCB Aotearoa won the print category by proposing to turn one automatic subscription payment into a donation towards Kiwi kids' future. Using clever copywriting, their idea centred around spoilers for different movies, series, or documentaries, to then encourage the reader to cancel their subscription and instead use that money to join Springboard. This approach was designed to encourage people to join the 1000@10 club and would result in significant engagement from the public.

In the Print category, we congratulate Hayley Tubb and Phaedra Starling from DDB Aotearoa for their amazing work and for winning silver. We also congratulate Camille Gagnon and Hugo Smith from ColensoBBDO for winning the bronze award in the Print category. Their responses to the brief were remarkable, showcasing their talent, creativity and ability to think outside the box.

The winning teams will now represent Aotearoa at the Young Lions Global Competition in Cannes this June, where they will compete against their international counterparts for the global crown. We can't wait to see what the future holds for these talented young creatives.