You got the guts to be a young gun?

We've spoken about the Young Guns 2001 awards here earlier , and now Michael Kean gives us the run-down on the why and how he helped found the new award which will be hosted in Australia this October. ....

Dabitch: You restrict to age - not to "years practicing advertising". So theoretically, you could be straight out of school or ten years in the biz and still participate?

Michael Kean: For this years Award, we have restricted entries to age, i.e.. 18 - 30 years olds only. However, for the 2002 award, we might be including a division which will be as you say a "years practicing advertising" division. It will allow anyone, whether 20 or 50 years old, to enter if they have had less than 3 years' experience.

Dabitch: You said earlier that "YoungGuns emerged from the desire of young advertising professionals to have a global award forum catering solely for their needs, where inexperience and high fees are not barriers to entry. Where your work will be judged by people of the same generation who are already recognized by the industry as successful."

Attacking high fee's and the old catch 22 that unknowns rarely win then? What "criteria" did the judges have to fill?

Michael Kean: Well, in order to survive this year and run the award next year, we have set the entry fees at the absolute lowest level we possibly can. Remember, our entry fees are the lowest (by far) for any International Advertising Award.

From the response we had initially, we knew we had a good product in YoungGuns. However, in order for people to want to enter, we had to establish some credibility. Being our first year, the only way to do this was through our judges. We picked the 20 hottest young (yet highly regarded & credible) creatives from around the world. We pitched the idea of YoungGuns to a few key members, i.e.. Dave Droga and once we had the big guns on board, the rest just seemed to follow.

Dabitch: who founded this award?

Michael Kean: The three founders of YoungGuns are Michael Kean, Jason Williams & Kristian Barnes. We're young creatives ourselves. Maybe we might enter.......??

Dabitch: *Laughing* You should! I know I am! Was there a "personal" reason to create this award? Or the firm belief that young ones need more exposure?

Michael Kean: The three of us have all entered the big shows, paid a fortune and heard nothing back. YoungGuns is all about giving something back to the creative community, whether this be feedback to award entries, the Creative Hub on the website etc. We have a very strong belief that young creatives need more exposure, but it is also about giving them the confidence to do great things creatively and recognition for their talents. All you have to do is look at the winners lists from Cannes & D&AD etc. to see how young creatives are being neglected.

Dabitch: Oh yes, I can completely agree with that one. Any other juicy tidbits you'd like to share?

Michael Kean: Staying on the topic of giving something back to young creatives, the 'Creative Brief' section on the website posts live briefs from some of our sponsors, giving anyone who wants to have a go, the opportunity to build their portfolio, get work published, win great prizes and even job placements globally. ,

Dabitch: Oh dear, I nearly forgot the most important - Where's the award party? :-)

Michael Kean: The Award night is on October 19th in Sydney Australia. We promise a party so different to the normal boring crap you see at Award Ceremonies etc. There will be no sit-down dinner, no black tie. The rest I can't really give away too much at this stage.

Dabitch: How will the winners and finalized work be exhibited?

Michael Kean: Same as above, can't give away too much at this stage, but not your normal crap.

Dabitch: I'm there dude. So should the rest of you all be - point your browser to Young Guns 2001 and give me a run for my money. (I already entered.) Deal? May the best ad win. Thanks Michael for the chat.

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