Aurora Magazine

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Pakistan’s impressive Young Lions

Updated Jul 15, 2019 10:22am
Wajiha Arshad and Lynette Rodrigues from HBL represented Pakistan at Cannes Young Lions in June 2019.

Pakistan was represented at the 2019 Global Young Lions Competition on June 15, in Cannes, France by Habib Bank Limited (HBL) employees Wajiha Arshad, Brand Manager – Corporate, International & Research, and Lynette Rodrigues, Brand Manager – Product Marketing.

Twenty-six teams, including HBL, from around the world were asked to develop a creative campaign within 24 hours for Room to Read – an international nonprofit that aims to end illiteracy among children. The jury consisted of representatives from global Ketchum (public relations firm), The Clorox Company and Netflix.

Hilary McKean, Partner and President, Marketing and Complementary Businesses, Ketchum, stated that the judges were looking for ideas that would create awareness about child illiteracy and raise funds at the same time. The panel was so blown away by the incredible ideas the participating teams came up with in such a short period of time that they believe that Room to Read now has sufficient ideas to help them achieve their goal of “reaching 40 million children by 2024.”

Speaking to PR Newswire, Julie Sims, Senior Director, Marketing and Communications, Room to Read, said, “We are so grateful for all of their hard work, energy and dedication they have thrown into the competition and to our brand, and we are so excited to bring them to life.”

The Gold Lion went to Belgium for their campaign “#GiveHerACupOfLetters”, the Silver to Puerto Rico for “Read this Whopper”, and the Bronze to South Korea for “Have you seen that?”.

However, the jury informed Team HBL that their brief was good enough to give them a tough time in narrowing down the winners. Following the Young Lions Competition, both girls look forward to passing on their wisdom and described the experience as “truly inspiring.”

The duo received this opportunity as a result of winning the Young Marketers Competition (YMC), held in Pakistan for the first time on April 10 – 11, 2019 as part of Cannes Lions Roar and organized by the Pakistan Advertisers Society (PAS), in association with Jang Media Group. Teams of two were instructed to create a brief for a charity, and Team HBL’s brief for their assigned NGO (the Initiator Human Development Foundation) amazed the judges enough for the girls to win an all-expense paid trip to Cannes Lions.

“The first thrilling moment for us was when we found out that the jury had shortlisted not 10 teams as planned, but five teams, due to a lack of time, and ours was amongst the top five,” says Rodrigues. “Participating helped to connect us with mentors from all over the creative industry, gave us an exposure to both the client and agency side, and has helped broaden our horizons”.

Arshad adds: “The challenge was not just to develop a campaign but also to link the NGO’s purpose with a product that your brand (HBL) would introduce to further the motives of the NGO; winning the competition not only gave us the opportunity to live the life of a celebrity for a day, but also brought to light the fact that marketing is no more the realm of FMCGs.”