Havas creative director Adrian Fitz-Simon is the winner of the inaugural Cannes Grey Lions aimed at tackling ageism in advertising. Organised by the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI), the final stage of the competition saw six short-listed presentations. Fitz-Simon also happens to be the first ever Irish creative to win a gold Cannes Lion.
He won the auspicious award during his days at Chemistry.
Cannes Grey Lions was launched by IAPI to tackle ageism in Irish advertising and to salute the talented creative and strategic minds of those over 50. The IAPI Census Report 2019 showed that 47 per cent of people working in Irish advertising and media agencies are under 30 – last year the figure was 43 per cent – and only six per cent are over 50.
The Cannes Lions Festival is the Oscars of the advertising world and IAPI required their endorsement to lend credence to the initiative and they rowed in with their support. If this competition proves successful in raising the profile of the over 50s advertising talent, then it is expected to be included in the festival itself which takes place in Cannes every June.
Standard Life partnered with IAPI in this endeavour as it sits neatly with their bid to provide an alternative, more authentic approach when targeting the older generation. It is captured in their current Second Life pension campaign, created by Publicis Dublin. The new competition also allows Standard Life to support one of their key charities, Alone.
Alone is a national organisation which supports people over 60 to age at home.
Fitz-Simon responded to the brief with a strategy based on the simple idea that “Your voice can help cure loneliness”. The campaign idea aims to get the country talking, encouraging people to “Add your voice to the campaign to help cure loneliness”. At the core of the winning entry is a simple ask of a generous nation of people who love a chat.
Fitz-Simon tapped into an insight about loneliness being felt in ordinary places, even when surrounded by many people. By running the ad in public places, it can raise awareness of the loneliness older people feel in everyday situations. The use of volunteers’ voices in the print and radio executions beautifully shows the emotional benefit of volunteering.
The Cannes Grey Lions is a world first for Ireland and IAPI hopes to see it go global in 2020.