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Cannes 2019: #timeTo Make Changes

Cannes 2019: #timeTo Make Changes

Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith

June 16, 2019

Havas Lynx' Young Lions' winning pitch aims to eliminate sexual harassment from the workplace.

"As an Englishman and Scot – it’s an extremely gratifying feeling to put the rivalry aside and represent the entire island together as best we can."

John McPartland, Deputy Creative Director and Zack Gardner, Copywriter at Havas Lynx won the chance to compete at Cannes this year with their pitch that puts workplace harassment front and center of daily life in the ad world. The duo will represent the UK in the Print category at the Cannes Young Lions global competition this week.

 

Finish this sentence: Creativity is…whatever it needs to be.

How did you two decide to partner up for the Young Lions Competition?

McPartland: Zack had entered last year at another agency, coming runner up. So he had unfinished business. He pestered me into neglecting my family for the weekend to join him and get the job done!

How did you learn about the competition?

Gardner: We both know previous winners and people that have taken part in Young Lions competition over the last few years, so when the opportunity came around again this year the temptation was too much.

Tell us about the assignment. What led you to your insight?

McPartland: timeTo is an organization aimed at eliminating sexual harassment from the advertising industry.

The brief was to encourage and target advertising and marketing agencies to sign up to the timeTo sexual harassment code of conduct.

We had to think of a way of compelling change. And in doing so we realized that decision makers in agencies suggest and demand changes every day.

That’s why we presented true examples of everyday sexual harassment as advertising film scripts, we annotated the amends that would have to be made to bring about a healthier and less hostile story.

The end line of “do you approve these changes” forces the audience to think critically about their own agencies while empowering them to take action at the same time.

How did you feel when you heard you won and will be representing the UK in Cannes for the Young Lions competition?

McPartland: Well, I was midway security at Johannesburg Airport and had to give up my phone before I could finish reading the email.

Gardner: I was bleary-eyed and on a stag party. But once we both properly processed the news, we were obviously hugely surprised, hugely delighted and hugely proud.

McPartland: As an Englishman and Scot – it’s an extremely gratifying feeling to put the rivalry aside and represent the entire island together as best we can.

"It’s a case of 'best idea wins' and the results are bound to be very, very cool."

Why do you think you won?

Gardner: We spoke directly to our audience and told true stories in a creative, relevant, and engaging way that was targeted to them.

And then we actually asked them to do something.

How did you get into advertising?

McPartland: I’ve always wanted to work in the creative industry. I knew I wanted to go to art school and from there found myself working through different disciplines from product design to graphic design. I then stumbled into advertising and haven’t looked back.

Gardner: I had a more convoluted path. After studying Law in Aberdeen I took some time off to work, travel and figure out exactly what I wanted to do – eventually deciding to pursue something creative but with a commercial aspect. Writing for advertising followed pretty swiftly after that. My first break came after winning a placement competition with The Gate Films in 2016. That led to a full-time role before joining Havas Lynx team a couple of summers later.

This is your first time competing at the Cannes Young Lions competition and attending the Cannes festival, what are you most excited about?

Gardner: When it comes to the competition, what we loved about the UK regional competition and what we hope will be even more the case in Cannes, is the pure concept creation every team will get to do. You only have 24 hours, so there’s no time for hand wringing, or feedback, or amends, or testing, or re-briefing, or “key stakeholder engagement”.

McPartland: It’ll be incredibly interesting to see where a group of people from a vast variety of backgrounds take a single brief. It’s a case of ‘best idea wins’ and the results are bound to be very, very cool.

Gardner: More generally, we’re going with our eyes and ears open. We are eager to meet as many people as possible and take away as much as we possibly can from this fantastic opportunity.

How are you preparing for the competition at the global level?

Creating global campaigns is exactly what we do at Havas Lynx every day. So we figure, if we keep working as hard as we can at our day jobs, then come competition time, we can’t be better prepared.

When heading to Cannes, what’s the one thing you will make sure to pack?

Gardner: A Cannes opener….ba dum cha!

What do you hope to learn while there?

McPartland: Cannes is host to the most creative advertising minds in the world. So we’re approaching the festival more from an ‘open to learning anything’, rather than a ‘hoping to learn something’ perspective. And we can’t wait!

What excites you about the advertising industry?

Gardner: We are lucky to work in an industry that attracts the brightest and best people across every role. The talent in the room at any given point is staggering. It’s a privilege to be a part of it and experience such high caliber work and people.

"As an Englishman and Scot – it’s an extremely gratifying feeling to put the rivalry aside and represent the entire island together as best we can."

John McPartland, Deputy Creative Director and Zack Gardner, Copywriter at Havas Lynx won the chance to compete at Cannes this year with their pitch that puts workplace harassment front and center of daily life in the ad world. The duo will represent the UK in the Print category at the Cannes Young Lions global competition this week.

 

Finish this sentence: Creativity is…whatever it needs to be.

How did you two decide to partner up for the Young Lions Competition?

McPartland: Zack had entered last year at another agency, coming runner up. So he had unfinished business. He pestered me into neglecting my family for the weekend to join him and get the job done!

How did you learn about the competition?

Gardner: We both know previous winners and people that have taken part in Young Lions competition over the last few years, so when the opportunity came around again this year the temptation was too much.

Tell us about the assignment. What led you to your insight?

McPartland: timeTo is an organization aimed at eliminating sexual harassment from the advertising industry.

The brief was to encourage and target advertising and marketing agencies to sign up to the timeTo sexual harassment code of conduct.

We had to think of a way of compelling change. And in doing so we realized that decision makers in agencies suggest and demand changes every day.

That’s why we presented true examples of everyday sexual harassment as advertising film scripts, we annotated the amends that would have to be made to bring about a healthier and less hostile story.

The end line of “do you approve these changes” forces the audience to think critically about their own agencies while empowering them to take action at the same time.

How did you feel when you heard you won and will be representing the UK in Cannes for the Young Lions competition?

McPartland: Well, I was midway security at Johannesburg Airport and had to give up my phone before I could finish reading the email.

Gardner: I was bleary-eyed and on a stag party. But once we both properly processed the news, we were obviously hugely surprised, hugely delighted and hugely proud.

McPartland: As an Englishman and Scot – it’s an extremely gratifying feeling to put the rivalry aside and represent the entire island together as best we can.

"It’s a case of 'best idea wins' and the results are bound to be very, very cool."

Why do you think you won?

Gardner: We spoke directly to our audience and told true stories in a creative, relevant, and engaging way that was targeted to them.

And then we actually asked them to do something.

How did you get into advertising?

McPartland: I’ve always wanted to work in the creative industry. I knew I wanted to go to art school and from there found myself working through different disciplines from product design to graphic design. I then stumbled into advertising and haven’t looked back.

Gardner: I had a more convoluted path. After studying Law in Aberdeen I took some time off to work, travel and figure out exactly what I wanted to do – eventually deciding to pursue something creative but with a commercial aspect. Writing for advertising followed pretty swiftly after that. My first break came after winning a placement competition with The Gate Films in 2016. That led to a full-time role before joining Havas Lynx team a couple of summers later.

This is your first time competing at the Cannes Young Lions competition and attending the Cannes festival, what are you most excited about?

Gardner: When it comes to the competition, what we loved about the UK regional competition and what we hope will be even more the case in Cannes, is the pure concept creation every team will get to do. You only have 24 hours, so there’s no time for hand wringing, or feedback, or amends, or testing, or re-briefing, or “key stakeholder engagement”.

McPartland: It’ll be incredibly interesting to see where a group of people from a vast variety of backgrounds take a single brief. It’s a case of ‘best idea wins’ and the results are bound to be very, very cool.

Gardner: More generally, we’re going with our eyes and ears open. We are eager to meet as many people as possible and take away as much as we possibly can from this fantastic opportunity.

How are you preparing for the competition at the global level?

Creating global campaigns is exactly what we do at Havas Lynx every day. So we figure, if we keep working as hard as we can at our day jobs, then come competition time, we can’t be better prepared.

When heading to Cannes, what’s the one thing you will make sure to pack?

Gardner: A Cannes opener….ba dum cha!

What do you hope to learn while there?

McPartland: Cannes is host to the most creative advertising minds in the world. So we’re approaching the festival more from an ‘open to learning anything’, rather than a ‘hoping to learn something’ perspective. And we can’t wait!

What excites you about the advertising industry?

Gardner: We are lucky to work in an industry that attracts the brightest and best people across every role. The talent in the room at any given point is staggering. It’s a privilege to be a part of it and experience such high caliber work and people.

Danielle Smith is the Communications Manager of Havas Group. She’s believes every meal can be tacos if you have tortillas and the heart to try.

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