Ada Musat and Elena Matyas are the Sharp Minds, the Romanian team which qualified in the Young Lions PR competition. After having successfully completed The Alternative School’s courses, they rightfully won their places in the worldwide competition, with the kind support of MiniPrix. More amazingly, the girls do not work in PR, but are art and copy in different agencies, having formed their team especially for The Alternative School for Creative Thinking. Now back at home, they share from their Cannes Lions week experience as young lionesses:
- What was your brief about?
Our client was Greenpeace and they needed an awareness campaign about “Eat less Meat” (inform and mobilize people), thus aiming to help the environment. The bigger picture, if people adopted the cause, was to develop sustainable agriculture (a new trend pioneered by Greenpeace to diminish climate change). A strong brief with big ambitions!
- How many other teams were there in the competition and how did the 24 hours pass?
The competition gathered 20 teams from all around the globe, all eager to do their best. We were smiling to one another, but also revealing a bit of anxiety, fears, hope and dreams. In fact we were there for a Cannes medal.
Those 24h were the most thrilling for our hearts. A roller coaster of agony and ecstasy in which we lost the confidence in ourselves, then motivated each other and reminded ourselves that we were there for a reason. There were hard times that strengthened our friendship and reshaped us again and again, as if we were in the process of becoming diamonds. In a nutshell, we felt on our own the quote ”you have to die a few times before you can really live”.
- How many creative routes did you come up with?
We’ve been through countless routes and tones of scribed papers, even waking up in the middle of the night because another idea appeared. But in the end, we let our heart decide and went with the one that we were most proud of until the end of the competition. Because it was about us, not about the prize. After this experience, I wish everyone to work in such an imagination induced rush, because it brings you to a new level of self-consciousness and teaches you how to befriend yourself in harsh moments.
- Which was the creative route you went for in the end?
We chose a cyber solution, in which we took a media channel people already love and reinvented it in a new way.
- Which were the most interesting seminars / topics you came across and why?
Simple Design presented as the key of the future. Because people are exhausted with this advertising noise, they are bored to listen to all our multiple benefits that only confuse them. Moreover, without a clear design, the idea is completely lost. An anthem to “Less is more”, that Steve Jobs would have loved had he been in the room.
“Blood, sex and storytelling” deconstructed Shakespeare’s masterpieces from a psychological point of view. They put a light on his tricks of triggering human curiosity / dependency, explained how he took notes of the audience’s reactions, hiding behind the scenes (when his texts were being performed).
And the Android talk, yes! A real robot, resembling 100% a human being came to speak in front of us, to prove that impossible is nothing and eternity is now tangible. We can all be copies of robots – this android also has a TV show in Japan.
- Which are the new ideas that have changed the way you think / how you believed the communication industry works?
Of course there were some awarded campaigns that in Romania wouldn’t have had a chance because they were so subtle, so simple, words weren’t even necessary – the brand was there only to endorse a cause, not to make noise.
Thus, the award ceremonies told me there is still a place for Romanian clients to evolve, to be educated and appreciate the “uncomplicated smart” ideas.
- If you were to summarize the experience at The Alternative School from the beginning to Cannes in under 140 characters, how would it sound?
Brain-building: non-stop creativity fitness that makes you perfectly sharp. Then, you are being polished by your heart to keep in mind only the empathetic ideas.