There were 28 professional cubs from all over China with the appetite to swallow each other up for the grand prize – a trip to compete with the best of Young Lions at Cannes.
Hunting time began at 10:00 am. These little cubs were told to hunt for the best creative ideas for the bigger lions – us. The menu covered the infamous Press, Media, Cyber, Film, Marketing and Design categories. These little cats were given 2 hours before they presented the feast to the bigger Lions.
Hours later they returned. Each was given 3 minutes to dish out their hunts to us. All the big cats started savaging the returns like Gordon Ramsey on Top Chefs.
You can almost imagine that the creative review ended with a blood bath. The bigger cats were looking for fresh thinking, energy, and most importantly, the clarity of their presentations. And eventually, six little ones stood out slightly above the pack while the rest were sent back to their respective jungles on a plane.
During the judging, I learnt that young Chinese creative people are holding themselves back by not looking, visiting and working around the world much. They are narrowing their sources of inspiration unnecessarily. One of the challenges could be the language. Chinese young talent should aim to be proficient in English to help them go beyond. Otherwise they can only be inspired by Chinese language ideas.
My parting speech to the Young Lions : “…Sending you boys and girls to Cannes is just as similar as sending a team of astronauts to the moon. And remember that it’s not a Disney trip. It’s a trip for new discovery and challenges. The journey is not going to be easy but it’s worth it. ‘Cos out there in that “Space”, is where you get the “best view” of the world. Enjoy. And Good Luck.”