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B+G Young Lions Winners

Cannes Young Lions 2020/21

Tea, tantrums + the road to 2021

Sacha Noyes (Junior Planner) and Jessie De Boe (Art Director) tell us about the ups and downs of competing in the IAPI Cannes Young Lions competition.


At the start, we were distracted. We were given a brief which asked us to use the power of the young to force the Irish Government to pay attention to mental health. We spent too much time and energy down rabbit holes driven by us wanting to make people aware of the horribly unfair situations. When you’re given just 48 hours to solve a problem of this magnitude, distraction isn’t welcome at the party.


Between countless cups of tea, trips to Tesco, and texts of support the rabbit holes were filled and we nailed down our problem. We were on a mission to ensure Ireland placed a higher value on young people’s happiness. While adults are concerned about the economic growth of a country, younger people have started to realise that prioritising mental health is the first line of defense for a nation – 78% of them would choose a healthy mind over a healthy body (The Digital Fairy, 2019). This balance between economic and emotional prosperity is more important than ever, especially during the current challenges that COVID-19 is presenting.

So, we started looking at what’s worked in Ireland, at what flicked the switch to give other groups hope for change. The Marriage Referendum, Repeal the 8th – and now the climate crisis. They’ve all rallied young people together and united them to strive for a better future. It was on the tip of our tongues.

We decided to use this positive energy the youth have for making our country better, supported by the theory behind “Nothing About Us Without Us!” Our idea changes the voting age to under 18 and hosts The World’s First Digital Happiness Referendum.  

Debating (+ Deliveroo)

From here we crafted – we debated over signs and symbols, over the Irish constitution, over the voting age. Then we got Deliveroo. Then back to work. 

Which channels make sense? Can you ask your 12-year old cousin if she understands that? Okay, will you ask your 18-year old sister? 

Do you like this pink or that pink? They’re the same pink – I think. 

Which sounds better, ‘at’ or ‘in’? You need to be taking away words not adding them. 

Tea? Yes. 

Press send? YES.

Done (for now)

Then COVID-19 came and canvassing the judges went out the window. Clipboards, high-vis jackets and talking as fast as you can before the door slams doesn’t have the same dramatic effect via Zoom. But it turns out the presentation was a walk in the park compared to the 48 hours we spent leaving trails of tea cups and tears throughout the halls of Boys+Girls in Portobello. 

In the end we were told we delivered a positive solution to an issue normally tackled with guilt-tripping and sad stories and that despite our initial distractions, our idea was strong enough to tackle all the rabbit holes. And so we were lucky enough to be crowned the Cannes Young Lions for the Digital Category and we will go on to represent Ireland in June 2021. Thanks to A Lust For Life being a charity which has such passion and vision, the potential for activating our idea is very real. And, luckily, because our idea lives on digital, not even COVID-19 can stop it.