Cannes Lion, International Festival of Creativity has release its shortlist of 15 female creative experts chosen from different parts of the world to participant at this year’s ‘See It Be It’ category of the Cannes exclusive programme.
The seven-day festival plays host the largest gathering of worldwide advertising professionals, designers, digital innovators, PR experts and marketers from about 100 countries around the world.
The ‘See It Be It’ category was introduced in 2014 when Cannes organisers noticed the disparity in the attendance and participation of female middle and senior level creative’s managers at the festival. This could only mean that fewer women were involved in the creation process across creative agencies globally.
In a bid to increase the ratio of women leaders in creative departments in agencies worldwide, Cannes selects a group of 15 women every year to take part in series of main stage seminars, get involved in behind-the-scenes jury room access to learn what goes into stand-out campaigns and benefit from specially designed workshops with awarded senior creatives.
These ladies will also have one-to-one mentoring with a host of the most respected industry leaders and a range of networking opportunities
Madonna Badger, the 2017 See It Be It Ambassador commented that “The talented and confident 15 women that were chosen for this year’s Cannes Lion See It Be It program represent various creative positions inside and out of agencies, large and small. They are also leaders who are actively effecting change in their communities. One of our goals this year will be to creatively strategize a format for past and present See It, Be It participants to become a trusted support system for creative women globally. I am so honoured and excited to get to know all of these remarkable women.”
Below is a list of this year’s participants;
Copy Group Head, Insight Publicis, Nigeria
Adebola is Copy Group Head at Insight Publicis, Nigeria’s leading advertising agency. Where she has worked for over 9 years and is an expert in creating award winning campaigns for top clients such as Heineken, GSK, MTN and Tecno Mobile etc.
When she’s not writing copy to help her clients get amazing marketing results, she loves volunteering as a mentor for teenage girls with her group Women Educating Girls, you can also find her interviewing unsung Nigerian heroines and writing inspirational articles for an online and offline magazine set to inspire, inform and empower Nigerian women to live a more purposeful life.
Adebola is the only African among this year’s participants.
Executive Creative Director North, Synergy Dentsu, Islamabad
Atiya says a story saved her. She was at a cross roads in her life and was about to quit college, Chelsea college of Arts and Design, London; she remembered a story her mother told her as a child. On a perilous journey a magical voice tells the travellers, “Don’t turn back or you will turn into stone, don’t turn back!” If she had turned back and chosen a life of comfort back home rather than being a single parent to a 10-month-old baby and a full time student, I would have turned into stone – not pushing myself. This is the power of an impactful story, and that’s what I want to master.
With so many doubts lulling one to sleep at night, I dragged myself to a graduation and lived to tell the tale. My fears made me fearless and that’s what I applied in my career. Advertising is what I know yet I know nothing and that’s the most exciting thing about life. There is so much more to learn, to explore and to be amazed with. As a mother of two kids, I made it this far, but I am not there yet
Creative Content Director, Happiness (an FCB alliance), Belgium
Barbara Dzikanowice is Creative Content Director at Happiness Brussels, an FCB-alliance based in Belgium. Journalist by degree, writer by passion, Barbara acts as sort of an editor-in-chief, helping clients tell genuinely interesting and inspiring stories through their own channels and platforms. Barbara started working in advertising only three years ago, after winning the copywriting competition ‘Sell the Jobless’ hosted by the ACC, the Belgian Association of Communication Companies. Having won the Minister of Media Award, she worked for several Belgian newspapers and magazines. Apart from having a sharp pen, she is an entrepreneur and co-founded YoungDogs Belgium: a network helping Belgian young creatives make a name for themselves in the advertising industry.
Deborah Vasques Soares
Senior Creative Copywriter, LewLara TBWA, Brazil
Deborah Vasques Soares began her career at Filadélfia in Belo Horizonte, the third biggest city in Brazil. There she was able to work with a very special client, Inhotim, Contemporary Art Museum, and won her first award at One Show. From then to now, Vasques has worked at DM9DDB, Africa and Mccann and had some other lucky shots at Clio, Cannes Lions, NY Festivals, Archive and others. After three years living in Rio de Janeiro, Deborah moved to São Paulo and is currently working as senior creative copywriter at LewLara TBWA.
Creative Concept/Copywriter, LA RED GmbH, Germany
Hannah Johnson is a creative at LA RED, one of the top creative digital agencies in Germany. Born in the UK, she studied at Warwick and won a scholarship to the US university, Cornell. After starting in banking, she founded her own business in London, launching the first content customisable news website and magazine for students, before starting her advertising career in Hamburg, Germany. Beginning as a strategic mind at TBWA\ The Disruption Consultancy, she then moved on to become a creative at Leagas Delaney. Since then she has won a number of creative awards for her work including the Deutsche Digital Award, Golden Award of Montreux, ADC, and GWA Effie, and has worked for clients like Jägermeister, SKODA, Wella, NIVEA and Tagesschau. In her spare time Hannah likes to hit the punch bag at Muay Thai.
Jaki Jo Hannan
Senior Art Producer, AMV BBDO, UK
Jaki Jo Hannan, better known as JJ, is Australian by birth and British by residence. In 2008, she won the D&AD New Blood Yellow Pencil for illustration that launched her into the advertising industry where she started her career at AMV BBDO in London. Eight years on and she’s a lead member of a valued team, having worked her way up from intern to integrated creative Senior Art Producer. JJ plays an intrinsic role in the creative process, working closely with in-house creative teams to help them visualize their ideas and bring them to life. Throughout her career, she has been recognised as ‘One To Watch’; she’s featured in Design Week’s ‘Rising Star’ and Creative Review’s ‘Emerging Talent Portfolio’. Being passionate about her industry has opened her up to opportunities in the Omnicom Group such as the Omniwomen events that celebrate the social, political and economic achievement of women around the world, encouraging equality and female leadership. Jaki Jo aspires to be a curator of female talent across various creative disciplines, sharing and showcasing their achievements and innovations. She aspires to create female only exhibitions and panels that showcase women’s extraordinary creative range, and she will continue to push the 50/50 movement seeking gender equality in the work place and inspire women to pursue their dreams and full potential.
Associate Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather, USA
Kara Coyle is an Associate Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather splitting her time between the New York and Chicago offices. She began her career writing as the voice of Gatorade, channeling her inner 14-year-old athlete. Since then she has worked on clients as diverse as eco-chic home cleaning products to down-and-dirty MRO suppliers. Today, she spends the majority of her time on the Morton Salt account, pro bono initiatives, and feebly hobbling towards writing a novel.
Regional Creative Director, Octagon, Singapore
Lizi has been quoted to have the ‘creative enthusiasm of a school bus on the way to the zoo’. And boy is it contagious. Her belief in creative collaborations means she builds world-class world with expert artists from around the globe.
Awarded Top 20 Women to watch in Asia and recognised this year by Campaign as a Women leading change across the Creative industry. Lizi uses her creativity to earn attention, tell authentic stories and believes in the power of generous ideas.
Lizi leads SheSays Singapore, a community built to support more women into the creative and digital industry. She Co-Founded SisuGirls to build grit in young girls through sport and adventure – mainly skateboarding and true stories of real women.
Creative Director, Noble Graphics TBWA, Bulgaria
Maria Milusheva is a Creative Director slash mom slash bookworm slash worst-cook-ever. She has major experience in developing full-blooded advertising campaigns for clients such as BMW, Carlsberg, FOX, Jeep, Cinemania Film Fest, WWF, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, etc. Maria’s passion for problem-solving ideas has earned her a bevy of creative awards, most of which for her work at Noble Graphics /TBWA – a three times Creative Agency of the Year at the annual FARA festival.
Director, Video & Mobile, AOL, Canada
As Director of video and mobile products at AOL Canada, Marla oversees the strategy for all video and mobile solutions that include AOL and Microsoft advertising in Canada. Prior to her role at AOL, Marla helped build the mobile department at Olive Media and held roles at Microsoft Advertising, Postmedia Network and MyScreen. Marla is a thought leader and innovator in the digital industry. She was named to the esteemed list of Top 30 Under 30 by Marketing Magazine in 2012, awarded a Gold Young Lions Award in Canada in 2013 along with a Gold National Advertising Award in Media in 2014, and named Mobile Marketer’s Women to Watch in 2016
Creative Supervisor, OgilvyOne Worldwide, Mumbai, India
Sakshi has always wanted to write. But more than that, she’s always wanted to make a difference. In 2010, she gave up her job as an Innovation Manager and went back to being a student, at an advertising school. She joined Ogilvy in 2013 and has since worked on some truly iconic brands including Dove, Coca-Cola, Marriott International and more recently, a global youth programme called Love Matters.
Sakshi hopes to start a platform for Indian women in advertising that focuses on equal representation of women in leadership positions, and discusses the role the industry can play in fighting a deeply entrenched patriarchal society.
That apart, she is also trying to simplify the complex interpretations of gender bias in India through an art initiative – The Seesaw Project, which she founded last year.
Creative Director, McCann Erickson, Japan
Satoko became interested in overseas advertising at around the end of her 20s and began seriously studying English from there. In 2000, she moved to the U.S. to attend the Miami Ad School. The work that she created there won the Grand Prix at the YoungGuns International Award, which recognizes work by creative talents under the age of 30. After graduating, she gained experience working as a creative at various agencies in Europe and Asia. Having lived and worked overseas for five years, she returned to Japan in 2005.
Satoko has successfully worked for many FMCG brands over the wide range of product categories at Ogilvy & Mather and BBH and then joined McCann Erickson 2012. In 2015 and 2016, she won Grand Prix at ACC CM Festival in Japan, another Grand Prix at Adfest, and the wood pencil at D&AD
Senior Graphic Designer, Livity / Founder & Director, Knit Aid, UK
Shahnaz Ahmed is Senior Designer at Livity, a youth-led creative network in London. From designing the Red Noses for Comic Relief raising millions of pounds for charity, to creating award-winning work promoting sexual health, she now helps lead some of the most successful campaigns that benefit young people.
During her maternity leave, she founded Knit Aid – a global social movement that empowers refugees through the craft of knitting, and uses creativity to bring refugees and communities together.
Being one of few women, and often the only ethnic minority woman, in creative teams throughout her career, she is determined to change the creative landscape to make it a more female-led and diverse industry.
Copywriter / Creative, Freelance (formerly Clemenger BBDO Melbourne), Australia
No man is an island. This woman is, though. A solo mum. A solo copywriter. Seeking other independent women to form an archipelago.
Shannon left the corporate world in favour of freelancing after having her son in 2016. While writing from home in PJs has its perks, she’s determined to make agency life work with her life again. Because, well, why shouldn’t it?
Senior Copywriter, AKQA, USA
Tahirah Edwards-Byfield is a Senior Copywriter at AKQA. She’s a multidisciplinary creative, who believes great ideas, storytelling and creative thought can be applied to any type of technology, product or service. Her recent work includes global campaign work for Amazon, Google and Nike. She loves words, dance-breaks, and making things that move people.