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HUL’s winning duo bring home India’s first Cannes Young Lions

Lakmè brand manager Samyukta Iyer and senior brand executive on Vaseline, Janvi Parekh won the Young Lions Marketers Competition at a grueling three day show.

Their job was to create a campaign, from scratch. A tough and challenging brief was issued to the teams on 18th June late afternoon. They were given a little over 24 hours to create a campaign brief and a presentation. Every team had to work at their country designated work stations alongside other competitors.

The campaign the team from HUL created involved a commercial brand initiative tied with a larger cause led by World Food Programme, the client in this case.

The winning campaign

Iyer and Parekh began with a simple statistic. One in every three starving children in the world is Indian. They created a campaign around HUL's food brand Kissan called 'Yellow Lunch Box.' All a mother had to do while packing her child's lunch is prepare a little extra food. She would pack the extra food in the yellow lunch box. Her child would carry this yellow lunch box alongside his/her own lunch box. Kissan would create yellow stands across schools in urban India. The kid would deposit the yellow lunch box at the stand.

The dabbawala would pick up these yellow lunchboxes and deposit it at the nearest underprivileged school in order to feed a hungry child there and get back the dabba to the privileged kid before he/she leaves school. It’s a sustainable, repeatable model – makes the brand, Kissan stand really tall since it ensures that kids stay at school, don’t drop out because of hunger, avoid unemployment and eventually end the poverty cycle which was the brief by the World Food Programme – Zero Hunger Campaign and Eliminating Hunger in our lifetime.

On 20th June, each country was allotted 15 minutes to present their ideas to a three member jury - Head of Kechum PR, Head of Y&R Planning, Head of Brand Strategy at Instagram, Facebook. And the duo were a hit. During the presentation, the judges went into extra time over the allotted 15 minutes to ask more questions about the campaign and suggested the scalable idea not be confined to the competition alone.

The results were announced on 21st June and the Lever women won India its first ever-Young Lions Metal - a silver in 61years. Argentina took home the gold and Finland, the bronze.

“Winning the India-round was huge as the competition was tough and they were selecting just one team amongst 62 to represent the country at Cannes. At the Young Marketers Competition at Cannes, when I walked to my workstation and saw the India flag on the wall is when realisation dawned that I was not participating or competing for myself but for the country. I felt for once what sportspersons feel. Winning India’s first ever Young Lions medal was a test on insight mining, concept crafting and proposition presentation. It called for the right rigour of magic and logic.” said Samyukta.

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