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Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Cannes Lions: Young Lions Creativity Awards Assignment Excites AAAN President


The President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) and Founder /Chief Executive Officer, X3M Ideas, Steve Babaeko, has been selected by the organisers of the prestigious Cannes Lions Advertising Festival to function as a member of the jury for the 2021 Edition of its Young Lions Creativity Awards slated for this month (March). 

Steve Babaeko who is arguably the most capped Nigerian international Advertising jury, having featured at the New York Advertising Festival (three times), Lisbon Advertising Festival, Cristal Festivals among others, said he is excited and most impressed by his current selection by the Cannes Festivals as the role has the propensity to positively influence the younger and future generation of advertising practitioners. 

Reacting to his selection, the AAAN President told our correspondent, “I am extremely passionate about capacity building for generation next. As President of AAAN one of the cornerstones of our agenda is to develop young practitioners so they can be even greater than us. That is why being on the young lions jury is a huge opportunity for me and our crop of young practitioners in Nigeria”.

Citing Amanda Banfield, Vice President Snacking and Marketing Services, Mondelez Europe, Babaeko noted that leaders in the industry must ,"Get clearer on what's constant, what's changing, and what shifts we need to make as leaders in our organizations”, adding that this continuous re-assessment is key is  in a bid to pave the way and move the industry forward.
“Industry leaders as mentors and influencers must bring our mentees to speed to ensure a future for our industry”, Steve warned.  

This is not the first time Babaeko will be taking on assignments for Cannes Lions. In June of 2019, he was under the global advertising klieg light as he was invited by the organizers of the global advertising event to make a global presentation on the theme: “Telling the Authentic African Story”.  

The AAAN President was selected by Adweek, a frontline American media conglomerate and the gatekeeper of the global marketing practice, as one of 2019 Adweek’s Creative 100, a group of distinguished practitioners  otherwise described as “Most Fascinating People in Marketing, Media and Culture for the year.”

Expatiating on his new assignment Babaeko said the Young Lions Competitions is where the next generation of creative stars go head-to-head. “If you're under 30 the Young Lions competitions is one of the best places at the festival to celebrate your creativity on a global stage”. 

“Anyone aged between18-30 can enter. You might be a student, working as a creative in an agency, a brand marketer, a coder, an artist etc.  Everyone is welcome providing you are born on or after March 5, 1989”.

The competitions are designed to navigate participants through the New Creator's Toolkit and such that he or she will discover powerful tools to succeed in his\her creative journey.  These include Ideas & inspiration, putting skills into practice, Career advice, Brand perspectives and Trends & insights among others. 

Participants will learn to answer creative briefs in a fast-paced, competitive environment. Working in a team of two in just 24 hours! They would also have the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of a prestigious jury, over 450 fellow competitors and the international Festival community.

According to the organizers, the Gold winners will be celebrated at the Cannes Lions Award Show with Gold winners collecting their awards on stage and claiming a complete Cannes Lions pass and accommodation for next year's festival.

Apart from Nigeria’s X3M Ideas’ Founder/CEO, other members of the jury include Asawin Phanichwatana, Deputy Chief Creative Officer, GREYnJ UNITED, Bangkok, Thailand; Beryl Chung Creative Director, MediaMonks, Netherlands; Ciro Sarmiento, Chief Creative Officer, Weber Shandwick, USA; Franki Goodwin, Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi, UK and Geet Rathi, Creative Director / Design Director, TBWA Mumbai, India among other.

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