Young Lions’ Addie Gillespie and Jon Murray



Who: Addie Gillespie, 29 and Jon Murray, 27, Vancouver

Why they’re a big deal: Last June, these young copywriters at TBWA Vancouver found themselves frantically (and resourcefully) chasing down help from two Costa Ricans on a beach in Cannes. Their plane had been late and they had missed the brief for the Young Lions competition. ‘It was crazy because literally as soon as we got off the plane the competition began for us,’ recalls Gillespie.

So how did they get there in the first place? By impressing the Canadian Young Lions judges with their print campaign for literacy organization Frontier College. They created what looked like the typical perfume ad from a women’s magazine – but if you couldn’t read the text, you would never know that it was actually for literacy.

While their ad for Amnesty International didn’t place at Cannes, these Canadian winners took home some valuable lessons: ‘Get more sleep before you get a brief!’ for example, says Gillespie. And they are now applying their knowledge from the ‘Advertising Olympics,’ as they call it, to their work at TBWA with clients such as the Vancouver Film Festival and B.C. Lotteries.

Who do you admire in the industry?

Murray: It’s all the usual suspects whose work we respect. I like Wieden+Kennedy for striking out on their own and having the balls to do it in Portland and not feeling like they had to do it in New York. People that are trying to push things and experiment. Even though Droga5 kind of just failed with their Honeyshed project, at least they took a stab at it and are trying some different things.

What do you commonly see done in marketing circles that makes you mad?

Gillespie: Trying to latch onto the ‘hype thing,’ or the marketing speak, like ‘social marketing, we’ve got to get in on that!’ And it doesn’t matter what their process is, but they want to follow the trend and say ‘get me on Facebook.’ Well, what’s that going to do for your brand?

How can print stay relevant for the next generation?

Murray: With the internet, so much information is written by people who aren’t necessarily experts and don’t know what they’re talking about, a lot of ‘Joe’s blog’ and that kind of crap, whereas magazines can pay skilled writers to really uncover and go in-depth.

Gillespie: Bring back a professionalism to it.

Jump to:


PepsiCo’s Adam Fox and Phoebe Alix

L’Oreal Brandstorm’s Nicholas Niro

L’Oreal Brandstorm’s Jean-Philippe Roby

QMAC’s Chloe Agache and Amanda Kwok

QMAC and Campbell’s Aaron Nemoy and Jennifer Zakoor