Young Lions Health Awards launched

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CANNES: Lions Health together with UNICEF and Unilever have launched the Young Lions Health Award, an new competition for young creatives and marketers that aims to improve challenges facing global health systems in developing countries. 

“For UNICEF, one of the key challenges for children to survive and thrive is creating the awareness that health is not just about supplies or specific initiatives – but about creating a more sustainable system that reaches every child with basic, lifesaving health services,” said Lions Festival ceo Philip Thomas.

“Effective health systems are not just about providing medicines, doctors, and facilities, they are also about communicating with those communities and educating families about the importance of seeking care and support.”

To date, he said, communications around child health have been fragmented and divided into silos, such as sanitation, HIV and vaccination, preventing an integrated approach in generating awareness and support.

“The Young Lions Award calls on the young creative industry to develop a compelling campaign that would help address this challenge.”

UNICEF will utilise the winning campaign as the basis for engaging the general public to advocate and mobilise support for better, child-focused health systems. Communication and marketing professionals, under the age of 30, are invited to submit their campaign concepts online commencing on 25 February.

“As organisers of a global annual awards and festival for creative excellence in pharma and healthcare and wellness, it was a natural move to introduce an award that will help propel and showcase young industry talent,” said Thomas.

He said he was delighted to have the support of both UNICEF and Unilever whose involvement meant that beyond recognising talent, the competition served a higher purpose in generating awareness of the need to strengthen health systems in the developing world.

Gérard Bocquenet, director of fundraising & partnerships at UNICEF, said: “The Cannes Lions-UNICEF-Unilever partnership is precisely the type of bold and innovative initiative required to leverage public engagement to create lasting – and life-saving – change for the most excluded and vulnerable children.

“The Young Lions initiative is a great opportunity for UNICEF to tap into an unparalleled source of creative communication ideas to raise support to help UNICEF strengthen health systems in the developing world.”

Keith Weed, Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer, said: “At Unilever, we believe business has a role to play in addressing today’s global development challenges and are actively involved in several areas that align with our business.

“This partnership provides an innovative platform to generate awareness about the millions of people in developing countries who are dying from preventable diseases as result of conditions such as poor hygiene, lack of access to proper sanitation, and the absence of safe and affordable drinking water — and the necessary solutions needed to help create a sustainable future for generations to come.”

Entries will be judged by a dedicated jury made up of respected industry members:

  • Andrew Spurgeon, Executive Creative Director, Langland
  • Ashley Schofield, Executive Creative Director, CDM Princeton
  • Claudia Gonzalez Romo, Chief of Public Advocacy, UNICEF
  • June Laffey, Executive Creative Director, McCann Health Sydney
  • Keith Weed, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Unilever
  • Dr Mickey Chopra, Chief of Health and Associate Director of Programmes, UNICEF
  • Rob Rogers, Chief Creative Officer and co-CEO, the Americas, Sudler
  • Shaheed Peera, Executive Creative Director EU, Publicis Life Brands Resolute

The new festival will take place in Cannes on 19-20 June, immediately before the big Cannes Lions Festival on Sunday 21 June to Saturday 27 June.

  • Further information on how to enter, along with key dates and the creative brief can be found here.

Competition dates

Announcement of brief: 17 February
Entries open: 25 February
Entries close: 27 March
Judging: 13 April-30 April
Award presentation: 19 June

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