Marketing blueprint

Young Lions Croatia – What to expect and how to prepare

Ivana Turković, Head of Content and Social Media
24 hours. Two creatives. Endless amounts of coffee and good energy. That’s right, we’re talking about the Young Lions competition held in Zagreb, gathering young talents from the world of marketing, digital and creativity in one place.

What are Young Lions?

Young Lions is a competition where creatives, isolated from the outside world, have complete freedom to free their creativity and come up with the best solution for the client. Creatives under 30 years old can choose one of the competition categories: Design, Digital, Marketers, Media, Print, and PR.

It’s worth noting that the Young Lions competition has a humanitarian focus. Participants work on tasks assigned by non-profit organizations and after the competition, the teams present their solutions to the client. The client, along with an expert jury, chooses the best solution.

Young Lions is a big challenge for everyone involved. It helps participants develop their creativity and problem-solving skills under time pressure. It also boosts communication abilities and encourages confident decision-making. What’s unique about Young Lions is that winning opens up new opportunities. The winning team gets to show their talent at the Cannes Young Lions creativity competition.

ForgeBIT at the Young Lions Competition 2023

Someone mentioned creativity? We don’t miss that one! Not one, but two ForgeBIT creative teams decided to take on the challenge at the 2023 Young Lions competition – Marta and Filip, and Marko and Ivana. Here’s how it went for them!

As they hadn’t faced this challenge before, it added a new level of excitement for both teams. Excitement filled the office weeks before the competition and the amount of questions crossing their mind is hard to count! What to expect? How to prepare? Is it true that we can’t talk to anyone? What will we eat?

The truth is, we didn’t know what to expect, we couldn’t get ready and food was our last concern. Since we work in an agency, we’re used to preparing thoroughly for projects, doing lots of research and planning carefully. That’s why Young Lions was a unique challenge for us – stepping out of our comfort zone, but worth every second!

What does the Young Lions competition look like?

We gathered in front of the ZICER building in the early morning and patiently waited to enter with many other enthusiastic creatives. We were relaxed and excited at the same time. Once inside, we headed to the client presentation and briefing. Pens were scribbling, fingers were typing and heads were already brainstorming ideas during the briefing itself, which was thorough and answered all our questions. It was time to start the countdown of 24 hours until the end of the competition.

The spaces at ZICER were spacious and each team could find a corner that suited them best. The atmosphere was relaxed from the beginning. The atmosphere was perfect for brainstorming creative ideas – there was a bit of pressure, but you could feel the positive energy of everyone working hard.

At first, 24 hours seemed like too much time to complete the task, but the reality was different. Our tables were full of scribbled papers and ideas were coming and going. This might not sound like a problem, but… we had too many ideas that we had to sift through and organize. The whole process was extremely enjoyable, primarily because we genuinely enjoy being creative, whether it’s a competition or not. Of course, it’s also important who you’re working with. A well-coordinated team and people who understand each other will enjoy working on the idea together much more.

The 20 hours at ZICER were like a rollercoaster – there were ups and downs, but we felt successful in the end. Will we do it again? Definitely this year, and with even more people this time.

Here are a few tips for those coming to Young Lions for the first time

  1. Choose a partner you’ve worked with on a creative concept before – familiar minds think alike.
  2. Eat and drink – you need the energy.
  3. Take enough time to come up with several good ideas – you’ll likely discard the first one since someone else might have thought of it already.
  4. Focus on the theme and give the project a new dimension.
  5. Think a little crazy – you can always tone down the idea if needed.
  6. Have a great time.
  7. If you don’t win, try again next year. (We obviously follow our own advice)
  • What are Young Lions?
  • ForgeBIT at the Young Lions Competition 2023
  • What does the Young Lions competition look like?
  • Here are a few tips for those coming to Young Lions for the first time:

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