Cannes Lions 2021: Two Canadian teams win Young Lions Bronze

Entrants from John St., Cossette and Coca-Cola won for ideas to support youth leaders.


Ahead of Cannes Lions kicking off its virtual festivities next week, the festival announced the winners in this year’s Young Lions competition, with two Canadian teams each picking up a Bronze in this year’s global competition.

Open to those in the industry under the age of 30, the Young Lions competition gives teams 24 hours (48 for the Film category) to respond to a brief with a creative idea in a specific medium.

In the Print category (ad pictured above), a Bronze went to the team of Anton Mwewa, senior art director at John St., and Kay Benedek, associate creative director at Cossette.

The team responded to a brief from One Young World, a global forum for young leaders, which asked for a campaign showing people why funding and supporting young leaders is important.

The Canadian entry – titled “No Country For Old Men” – looked south of the border for their example. While Joe Biden’s election as president in the U.S. elicited a sigh of relief for many, the duo realized he is “only a few months away” from the average life expectancy in the U.S. – an awkward, but realistic fact that illustrates that “we may need the next generation of leaders sooner than we think.”

In the Young Marketers competition, another Bronze went to Galen Howe, senior manager of North American channel strategy, and Kristina Komhyr, customer marketing manager, both at Coca-Cola.

Their brief was to find a way to expand and create credibility for One Young World Academy, an online education platform created by One Young World as part of a digital pandemic pivot for its annual conference.

The team’s idea was called “Teach The World to Lead,” taking inspiration from Coca-Cola’s own iconic “Hilltop” ad and its message of inspiring optimism throughout the world. To disrupt the young target, the idea would place some of the most challenging issues facing the world today on the label of Coke bottles in the same script used for the logo. Underneath it would say, “the problems are all around us, but the answers are inside… the label.”

Inviting the drinker to peel back the label for the solution would result in them seeing themselves reflected by a mirror coating, with the phrase “We see a leader” next to a call-to-action for One Young World. The team also built in a CSR element: for every student that enrolled, Coca-Cola would sponsor another who would not be able to afford to attend and begin building a global network of young leaders one sip at a time.