Joe Public's Bernice Puleng Mosala & Raphael Janan Kuppasamy named SA Cannes Young Lions
They will represent South Africa at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity - Young Lions competition, taking place from 19 - 23 June, with their trip fully sponsored by Ster-Kinekor, up against other winning teams from around the world to compete for the ultimate honour of being crowned this year’s Film Young Lions.
Kuppasamy is an integrated art director and Mosala an integrated copywriter. Both were awarded scholarships to study and complete their degrees. Kuppasamy was also named The Loeries Young Creative in 2022.
A dream come true
“We’re so excited to attend the Cannes International Festival of Creativity and soak up as much knowledge and creative inspiration as we can,” says the two, adding that while they don’t quite know what to expect, they know that they will give the competition their all and hopefully make the South African advertising industry proud.”
Winning this competition is a dream come true for the duo as despite winning it in 2020, Covid meant they never got to attend the Cannes International Festival of Creativity that year.
“To be honest, we’re still in disbelief. And, after not being able to attend the last in-person event when we won in 2020, this means even more to us,” says the duo.
“We have been creative partners since 2019, and we’ve been entering the Cannes Young Lions competition together since 2020, so we’ve really learnt to play on each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Work that touches people’s lives
The duo says they love to create work that makes a difference and touches people’s lives.
“Mental health is close to both of our hearts so creating this piece was important to us. We even stayed up for the last 30 hours of the competition to make sure that everything was aligned to our vision of helping young people connect with SADAG to overcome mental health issues.
“The insight behind our idea is that young people do a lot of ‘talking’ online, but they don’t actually speak about what is bothering them.
“This led to our concept which was to showcase how much one person texts, comments and types in a day without actually saying anything about how they really feel.
“Ultimately, we wanted to communicate that for a generation that shares so much, maybe we need to share more,” they explain
A sensitive topic
For the challenge Ster-Kinekor partnered with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) and the theme focused on the prevention of teenage suicide.
Lynne Wylie, chief marketing officer of Ster-Kinekor says that while this is a sensitive topic, they were so impressed with how the teams tackled the brief.
The creative teams of two had just 48 hours from brief to film, edit and produce a 30, 45 or 60-second commercial.
SADAG wished to convey a message about safely engaging young people in communicating about mental health and suicide, thereby reducing the stigma, normalising mental health check-ins, and talking about mental health and suicide openly and without shame.
High calibre of entries
The panel of judges comprised Pete Khoury, TBWA; Clare Trafankowska, Dentsu; Bruce Murphy, ex McCann; Krystle Kemp, SADAG; and Brad Knowles, aHead Marketing Services.
“Mental health is often stigmatised and considered a taboo subject. To have this opportunity to highlight and create more awareness around mental health, as well as the help that is available to those in need, was a privilege,” says Kemp.
Kempo adds that the calibre of entries was incredible.
“As SADAG, we were blown away by the creative, relevant and hard-hitting messages the shortlisted finalists put into their entries. Getting to see the creative executions put together by young individuals who really seemed to understand the importance of mental health and awareness was so inspirational and touching.
“We are grateful to all the teams for their work, immense effort and research as the campaigns were all unique and impactful. It was an amazing opportunity to be part of this – congratulations to the winners.”
Next generation of industry creatives
The Young Lions competition gives the next generation of industry creatives the chance to prove themselves under immense pressure, answering a charity brief to produce an advert in just 48 hours, from brief to finished product, with the theme: Teen suicide shouldn’t be a secret.
Wylie says the more than 80 entries received were of a high standard in response to the brief.
“Selecting the final winner from the shortlisted entries proved to be a difficult task for the panel of judges that comprised some esteemed creative minds.”
As it turned out, she says they are delighted that Mosala and Kuppasamy’s entry was the winner. “Now we can honour the prize they should have won in 2020, together with this year’s prize!”
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