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Vietnam Young Lions 2016 – A Look Back To Move Forward

Cannes Lions is the world’s championship of Creativity, the utmost prestigious and credible Festival of Creativity in the world. Within Cannes Lions’ activities, the Young Lions Competitions give the opportunities for young talents under 30 years old to compete against the best of the best from each nation.

Vietnam Young Lions 2016 – A Look Back To Move Forward

In October 2015, AIM Academy was appointed as the official representative for Cannes Lions in Vietnam, following the continuous dedication and success of organizing Vietnam Young Spikes and promoting Spikes Asia as well as Asian Marketing Effectiveness and Strategy Awards (AMES). See more information on the network of official representatives of Lions Festivals at respective countries:

In 2016, AIM Academy takes over and revives Vietnam Young Lions, which lost its momentum for more than a year. Vietnam Young Lions 2106 has become the most awaited national competition to seek for the brightest talents within Marketing – Communications Industry to represent Vietnam in the global Young Lions Competitions, Cannes Lions. The competition received remarkable success with huge attention from the whole Marketing – Communications industry with more than 100 registered teams for both Film and Marketers Categories and the attendance of more than 400 practitioners in the Awards Night on 4 May 2016 at the Opera House, including leading media supporters such as Yeah1, Nhip Cau Dau Tu, Le Media, BrandsVietnam…The Jury Board was formed by the most prestigious professionals in the industry, recognized for their achievements, admired for their passion and trusted for their integrity. By uncovering brilliant thinking, the competition excites, moves and motivates the young talents to develop their skills and stay hungry for global exposure so that one day, they could imprint a Vietnam’s creative mark in the global scene.

After the Awards Night, there was a concern regarding the final outcome of the Film category. To ensure the integrity and transparency of the competition, the Organizer had a detailed discussion with the involved parties and the Film Jury Board. Finally, with full consent of the Jury Board, AIM Academy had announced an official Press Release on 10 May 2016 to disqualify the Film Gold winning team due to the fact that the team did not fully abide to the rules and guidelines of the competition (utilizing the help from another party to export the video file). This prompt action had further proven that the organizer followed strictly Cannes Lions’ guidelines with fairness and integrity throughout the process.

However, after this official Press Release, there had been a further discussion, questioning the discrepancies between the 2016 competition and the previous Vietnam Young Lions as well as the global Young Lions competitions.

AIM Academy would like to take this opportunity to share the official feedback from Mr. Terry Savage – Chairman of Cannes Lions.

Concern number 1: Confined or not Confined?

Someyoung Vietnamese professionals have concerned that this year the competition returned with a different format and did not fully follow Cannes Lions’ guidelines: no more portfolio submission and confinement of contestants during the competition; instead this year, all contestants can freely register and after receiving the brief, they have the freedom to work anywhere and submit the work online, leading to possible cheating and dishonesty.

Mr. Terry Savage stated: “It is not required to lock people in a room, and it does not happen in Cannes even. Throughout the years, the Young Lions competition at Cannes Lions has become a true platform for every talented and creative young professional from all over the world to go head-to-head with one another for the titles of Young Lions champion. Hence, to support the freedom of young creatives, we as the organizer would constantly strive to give contestants the best conditions to work within 24 hours or 48 hours by putting trust in each team’s self-respect and dignity. We also call for every contestant’s voluntary actions to produce the work independently on their own.”

Concern number 2: NGO brief or Commercial brief?

A number of young professionals have come to a conclusion that this year Vietnam Young Lions Competition has gone against the goodwill spirit of main Cannes Young Lions by giving out a commercial brief, not of a non-profit, non-government organization (NGO) and charity organization like in Cannes.

Mr. Terry Savage stated, “With the Young Lions competition, we have always been working closely with all the representatives from around the world. Different representatives may propose different methods to seek for the brightest talents in their countries. The most important thing is that each of the activities carried out by the representative, from the brief to the mechanics of the competition and the organization process, was always approved by Cannes Lions before officially conducted in the respective country. AIM Academy is no exception and they have always been following strictly the guidance from Cannes Lions.”

Concern number 3: The contestants’ personal information and some of the submission was shared by AIM Academy after the competition?

Be true to yourself. Challenge your limits. Compete against the world. I should say that advertising is the best job in the world. Life is too short to worry about other teams’ results.

Let’s be prepared with pencil, paper and original ideas. Then fly to the world.

Our mission is to elevate the standards of the Marketing and Communications industry in Vietnam. We confirm that during the period of the competition, the organizer guarantees the secrecy of all personal information from the contestants, except for the official press release regarding the final contestant list (only with team names, full names and/or company’s names, not the contact information). In addition, according to Cannes Lions’ guidelines for Young Lions Competitions, the Organizer has the rights to publish none, all or only selected submissions right after the result announcement,

We further confirm that as of this date (18 May 2016), we have only published to the public the top winning works for Film Category.

We appreciate the attention of the public and the opportunity for us to clarify any misunderstanding if there is. To maintain the proper information flow, we encourage that all interactions between the public and AIM Academy should be within the official communication channels:


The Vietnam creative industry is growing and we all have a lot of rooms to learn and to upgrade our standards. In the quest to put our mark in the creative map of the world, the crucial practice is to focus on the learning spirit and the motivation to grow beyond your limits. Moving forward, the big days are coming – the days when our national teams represent Vietnam in the primary competition in France, from 18 – 25 June 2016. The teams are rigorously preparing for their challenge at the global Young Lions Competitions. Let’s give them our full support, as Ms Masako Okamura – Chairwoman of the Film Jury also gave us her words in this matter: