The U.S. Representative of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and largest cinema advertising platform, National CineMedia has launched the 2024 U.S. Young Lions competition. Registration is open now through February 2 for advertising, marketing and communications industry professionals aged 30 or under. The categories for the 2024 competition are Digital, Film, Media, PR, and Print and the competition runs from February 8-20. The winners in each of the five categories become TEAM USA and head to Cannes, France to compete on a global stage at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June.
The 2024 Young Lions competition opens the door to up-and-coming creatives, with an intense focus on smart, strategic, original ideas across disciplines. It is the most prestigious competition in the U.S. for today’s rising stars in the creative, media, PR and digital industries. In 2024, NCM aims to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion by continuing its Young Lions campaign, Represent!, to strengthen participation and further elevate young professionals who benefit from this program.
“In 2024 we are doubling down on our growth strategy for the Young Lions competition,” shares Amy Tunick, Chief Marketing Officer at NCM. “Last year we saw a 16% increase in applicants and this year we are building upon our success and driving deeper engagement with the Young Lions community, comprised of past and current participants, jurors and sponsors. We are pleased to announce new programming and networking opportunities, along with many new industry partners who are committed to lifting up the next generation of creative leaders.”
Thanks to the support of the Young Lions sponsors, each competition winner will receive an invaluable Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity experience including travel, hotel accommodations, festival passes and exclusive programming. This year Monotype, a global leader in type and technology, joins as the official Print Category sponsor. Returning category sponsors include Digitas (Digital); Pereira & O’Dell (Film); UM (Media); and Weber Shandwick (PR).
To expand upon the growing industry support for Young Lions, NCM is launching two new programs to support the competitors’ career development. The first is the Young Lions Mentorship Program which offers relevant programming exclusively to the U.S. Young Lions community from a mix of industry partners. Each participating company will have top executives lead bespoke virtual workshops focusing on a range of relevant topics:
Atlantic New York: Big Work. Small Agency.
ATTN: Winning in the Attention Era
The Coca-Cola Company: Setting a Global Design Standard – The Coca-Cola Manifesto
Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR): Finding Fascination, Everywhere
McKinney: More is More. How to Keep Ideas Flowing When the Creative Well Feels Dry
Monotype: Typographies: Understanding What Typography Means – to Everyone
Mother: The Relationship between Frustration & Creativity
Spotify: There Is No Bad Brief
The Creative Ladder: How to Accept Criticism Without Sacrificing Your Best Ideas
The Milken Institute: Non-Profits: The Best Kept Secret in the Job Market
The second new program being launched by NCM is TEAM USA Advisors, comprised of five senior level industry executives – one per competition category – who will share their expertise and guide the Young Lions winners as they prepare to compete on a global stage in Cannes. In 2023, U.S. Young Lions Film Category winners Catarina Barcala, art director at MullenLowe, and Palak Kapadia, copywriter at Amazon, went on to score a Bronze medal for TEAM USA in the global Young Lions competition. In an effort to deliver another strong showing in 2024, TEAM USA Advisors will prepare the winners with insights on the nuances of the Cannes Lions festival, what the global jury looks for, how to deliver on a brief within a 48-hour period, the importance of live presentation skills and more. Senior advertising, marketing, communications and digital executives interested in joining this inaugural program can apply through February 20.
Also new in 2024, NCM has brought on the first ever Travel Sponsor of the U.S. Young Lions competition. Delta Air Lines will support the journey of these competitors with roundtrip flights, both domestically for U.S. finalists and internationally for TEAM USA winners who will compete at the global festival in France this June.
“Our partnership with U.S. Young Lions competition joins Delta’s passion for connecting the world with the opportunity to support the next set of emerging professionals in the advertising, marketing and communications industries, said Shannon Womack, Managing Director, Lifecycle Marketing at Delta Air Lines. “As the winners embark on their journeys to showcase their work on a larger stage, Delta will be by their side as a proud travel partner.”
For more information about the Cannes Lions Young Lions Competition, visit: https://www.ncm.com/cannes-lions