Thirteen Sri Lankans take wing to CannesLions

A team of 13 young Sri Lankans from the local marketing communications industry have been selected to represent the country at the numerous programmes designed to develop the youth in our industry which is said to take place this June at the Cannes Lions international festival of creativity in Cannes, France.This year marks the 10th year that Sri Lanka has had an active partnership with the Cannes Lions under the auspices of Metal Factor in Sri Lanka.

Six teams emerged victories at the local Young Lions competition, which had an excess of 74 participants, and was organized by Metal Factor in collaboration with the International Advertising Association (IAA), the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4As) and the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM). The winning local teams will now prepare to compete against the best teams in the world at the Cannes Lions competition in their respective categories. Hailed as the “Olympics of the advertising industry”, the Cannes Lions competitions attract the industry’s top talent, who will come together to compete on a global stage.

The Sri Lankan teams will go on to compete in Cyber, Design, Media, Print, Film and Young Marketers categories of the Young Lions Competitions at Cannes. After a rigorous judging and evaluation process at the local competitions, Udara Dharmasena and Havishmi Sivananthan from Neo Ogilvy won the title in the Cyber category, Amrit Paulraj and Falul Hallaj from Leo Burnett Sri Lanka secured the top spot in the Design category, whilst Achala Ramanayeka and Kumarini Rajakaruna from Dentsu Grant won in the placement in the Media category. Jayana Silva and Aysha Musthafa from Leo Burnett Sri Lanka were chosen to be contenders in the Print category and Kaushalya Kathireson and Sahil Gunesekera from Shift Integrated won the title in the Film category. In the Young Marketer competition conducted in partnership with the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing, Umeshinie Kurukulasuriya and Ashani Ratnayake from Nestle Lanka won the Young Marketers competition.This year an under graduate from the University of Moratuwa Samangi Wadinambi Arachchi was selected from students from across section of tertiary institutes attended the Roger Hatchuel Academy.

Commenting on this year’s competition, Ranil de Silva –the Sri Lankan Representative of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity stated: “This year, we celebrate 10 years of adding immense value to the Sri Lankan marketing communications industry.We will have a wide cross section of representation at the festival this year which will definitely enhance the depth and breadth of our professionals in the industry. I have been advised by the juries that the performance by each team was very impressive and the titles were hard fought.I am extremely proud of these thirteen young professionals who will now represent their companies and our country at the 64th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Since 2008, Metal Factor has provided opportunities for nearly 100 young professionals to gain international exposure at some of the world’s most renowned advertising festivals. These Sri Lankan professionals will carry the flag for Sri Lanka when they compete against the best young professionals in the world.I do hope they will bring home a Lion.They will also have an opportunity to learn, network, expand their horizons and gain valuable new insights from the greatest and biggest festival of advertising. At the Cannes Lions festival industry leaders and movers and shakers from creative industries who are redefining the global communications landscape will be sharing their perspectives. The experience will certainly have a remarkable impact on the professional growth of our young professionals.

The Sri Lankan level of the competition also brought together top leaders from the advertising fraternity, who reviewed and judged the work that was submitted by each of the competing teams. The young Lion competition were chaired by Laila Gunasekera – Martenstyn–Vice President,Dentsu Grant, Sri Lanka, Surani Perera – Manager Brand Planning, Leo Burnett, Sri Lankalead the Roger Hatchuel academy selection process and Sean Pompeus – Director Client Service, Mullen Lowe Sri Lanka chaired the young Marketer competition in Sri Lanka.

Founded in 1954, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is an eight-day programme that focuses on creative inspiration, celebration, education and networking. Over 15,000 delegates from around 100 countries attend the festival, making it the only truly global meeting-place for communications professionals to connect, share and discover the latest advancements, trends and innovations in the industry. The most coveted creative accolades, The Lions, are also judged and presented at the festival. Over 40,000 submissions in 23 categories are rigorously reviewed by respected industry professional sbefore the highly coveted awards are presented.

Metal Factor is established by a renowned advertising professional Ranil de Silva which he spearheads as a CSR initiative for an industry which has rewarded him immensely. Metal Factor represents in Sri Lanka some of the world’s most respected festivals. Metal Factor via these festivals provides young professionals with the opportunity to gain immense experience by participating in the various competitions. Metal Factor is committed to uplifting the standards of the marketing communications industry in Sri Lanka and is dedicated to help Sri Lanka’s Ad industry to gain global acclaim.