Young Lions winners: successful creatives must understand technology

BalticBest producer conducted an interview with Cannes Young Lions Digital Competition 2021 winners – graphic designer Klemen Vodopivec and copywriter Lucija Lepšina from Agencija 101 in Slovenia.
Would you have invested in Elon Musk, Nelson Mandela or Barack Obama when they were young? To support their development and get a chance to meet them in person when they are on top of their career. And maybe even sell your right for a meeting at 100x the cost of your initial investment?
That is the idea of this year’s Cannes Young Lions Digital Competition in short:
In exchange for a donation to a specific young leader, you get an NFT (non-fungible token) which holds a value a reserved future meet up with a young leader who through the years became the next big name in the world. In such a way, your donation becomes an investment.
Zoom in and read the detailed project description from the image below.
Balticbest producer Hando Sinisalu sat down with Lucija Lepšina and Klemen Vodopivec in Ljubljana and talked about how the agencies need to change.
Why the jury awarded the Gold to you, did they explain the decision?
Lucija: Our idea was well-rounded. NFT is very trendy and some other teams used NFT as well. But technology alone cannot be the idea. Our idea was strong and we used relevant and innovative technology to support the idea, that was our strength.
Agency owners complain that young talented people prefer startups over agencies to work for. Agencies are not attractive employers anymore.
Klemen: I am not working for an agency, but would like to join. I like the idea of having creative people and a creative community around me. You are who you hang out with.
Lucija: I like working in the agency because every day I can be creative, I have new creative challenges. In a startup, you work only with one product and it’s boring for me. I like to work with different clients.
One reason why young people avoid the agencies is that our generation wants to have more work-life balance, mental health is important. In agency work, these things can suffer.
Ad agency job is not meaningful – you just sell stuff. Many startups have a broader meaning, their products help to improve the World.
But for me, it’s not a problem. We all sell something, everyone sells. I just want to be the most creative I can possibly be.
What would you improve in a current ad agency model?
Lucija: I miss the collaboration between the client and the agency. The traditional briefing model is not collaborative, its old fashioned. Sometimes you even feel that clients hate you. But do we work together as a team?
The workload is an issue: if I had fewer brands, I could dive deeper into clients’ problems and become more proactive.
I think the agency has to be more proactive and offer ideas to the clients even without the brief. Like Messi’s contract with Barcelona expiring – we could create interesting marketing ideas for our clients based on such events. But it requires better collaboration, constant contact with clients.
I think the future agency model needs more collaborative ways of working with the clients.
You are a copywriter, but your Cannes-winning idea requires a deep understanding of new technology. What skill set is needed to be a successful creative person?
Lucija: Everyone in creative business must know the trends and possibilities of the digital world. I cannot create ideas if I do not understand technology – how can it be even possible?
As an idea generator, I need to know everything. I really learn a lot, watch YouTube videos, read articles, talk to the experts.
Klemen: About the NFT we heard from a friend of mine. After that, we watched YouTube videos, learned a lot. This year at Cannes Lions Gary V was talking about the NFTs. For us, there was nothing new. We already knew that and our winning campaign was based on NFTs.