MONDAY 29 JUN 2015 10:21 AM


By Paul Foster, senior director, creative content at Getty Images

Cannes Lions is renowned as one of the most important events in the advertising calendar. On top of celebrating the year that has passed, the event also provides a platform to gaze into the future of where creativity might be heading. But when I speak about the future, I don’t mean trends for 2016, but rather the young creatives who will be behind the next big campaigns. Without businesses taking the time to nurture young talent we leave the future of our industry to chance. So, how is Cannes Lions fuelling new talent and what can businesses learn?

For every creative business to progress there needs to be a continual development of young talent to rise through the ranks. To inspire this new generation, mentoring is invaluable and without it their creative ambition will struggle to bloom. With the right guidance, young talent can tap into the pool of knowledge that their seniors have built up over the years, to learn, become inspired and ultimately spark their interest into a skill and a high flying career.

Cannes Young Lions provides an opportunity for young creatives that can’t be found anywhere else. Firstly, Cannes Lions brings together the industry’s best speakers and work from around the world. Secondly, it’s the chance to connect with peers from across the globe, who can offer a different creative perspective. It’s a rare opportunity that can only happen here at Cannes.

While learning from the master is the first step, we can’t expect this fresh and newfound talent to show itself if we don’t give it a place to shine. Internships, work placements and competitions give young talent their break into the industry and real life critique. The Young Lions give up-and-coming creatives a chance to demonstrate their thinking in front of the Cannes jury, made up of some of the greatest names in the media and advertising world. The competition encourages them to use their imagination to fill briefs in an innovative way or try something that hasn’t been done before. Throughout this time the Young Lions are nurtured and learn ‘on-the-job’ with the support of their seniors – helping them to push through and overcome challenges to find the perfect idea.

The Young Lions is not only a great opportunity to showcase existing talent at a creative business, but also provides a platform to take a young person’s career to the next level. Here at Getty Images, we employed a previous Young Lion. M’Elena Holder, who earlier this year won the competition and created a print ad for the non-profit Every Mother Counts and has now designed the posters for the Young Lions competition in 2015.  The motivation M’Elena was given when she was a Young Lion is embossed on the posters she has created for this year’s entrants.

Instead of just taking home a better knowledge of the creative communications industry at this year’s festival, why not take inspiration from the Young Lions and think about how to nurture future creative talent at your own company. By inspiring new talents today, we can secure a great creative future for our industry.