We spoke with Norman Li, Senior Planner, dentsu Z, Dentsu Creative China and Yvonne Long Senior Designer, dentsu Z, Dentsu Creative China as they prepare to take part in the Cannes Young Lions 2023 competition.
How did you get involved in Cannes Lions 2023?
For the past two years, and recommended by our agency, we’ve participated in a Spikes Asia competition where we were shortlisted for the final. For the first time, we were able to present our ideas and compete with other young talents from different markets and cultural backgrounds in the region. It was quite a joyful experience to share and be shared.
So we decided to compete to get to the global stage.
As a planner and a designer, and since joining dentsu Z team two years ago, we’ve learned to team well with each other. Both of us have just graduated from universities where we had unlimited time and passion in co-creating using our own specialties.
Have you ever been to Cannes Lions before? What are you excited about doing at the event?
This is also our second time participating in the Young Lions Competition, but the first time we will be participating in the final round of judging and meeting top creative talents from around the world in Cannes itself.
As the finalists for Cannes presentation, we are so excited as we all know that the Young Lions is quite something for young creatives and advertising professionals and we are lucky to have the opportunity to go on a global stage that represents the highest benchmark, and to see and talk to young talents around the world.
Any advice for young people hoping to qualify for the Young Lions competition next year?
Believe that you can come up with a great idea and don't doubt yourself! Every time we enter, we believe that we will definitely qualify for the final round.
In DENTSU CREATIVE in China, you specialise in Gen Z. What do you think is different about Gen Z?
First of all, in China, Gen Z care more about ecological and nature-related social issues (climate change + biodiversity + conservation of natural resources), and social issues related to equity and justice (care for vulnerable groups + gender equality + education equity). We are willing to fight for good purposes and hope brands can join in the green initiatives.
Secondly, Gen Z are willing to pay for culture. With the rise of the economy, the brands created in China are gaining popularity among young people for their designs and quality. We see more and more brands are integrating traditional Chinese cultures and young people’s favorite elements into product design, creating a new cultural craze.
Third, Gen Z love to pay for innovative technology products, such as VR, AR, naked eye 3D, intelligent interactive products, etc. We hope that brands can always keep an eye on the digital technology innovations, and use innovative technologies in campaigns to attract Gen Z. Of course, we see more evidence in Gen Z’s purchasing power, for example, virtual idol eCommerce livestreaming, pet economy and blind box comforting consumption etc., that is impacting marketing and innovation and how brands explores new approaches to communicate with Gen Z.
What do you wish brands understood about Gen Z?
For example, everyone in our dentsu Z team has his or her own characteristics, so we feel that Gen Z is not a stereotypical image portrayed in many reports in the market but a generation of contradictions in history. So brands should really live into our lives and communities.
What is your advice to marketers who want to understand Gen Z in China better?
Find the young people like us who are Gen Z and who know our own languages and niche communities. Join us and create fun things with us!