INM on sponsoring the Cannes Young Lions print category
INM on sponsoring the Cannes Young Lions print category

Independent News and Media have long believed that the most creative campaigns are the most rewarding not only for brands and also for its readers. This is why INM support creativity in print by sponsoring the Cannes Young Lions print category.

Each year, young creative’s team up to answer a brief for an Irish charity. The winning team goes on to represent Ireland at the Cannes Lions festival. As INM publish the winning creative in their titles it is very important that the chosen charity aligns to its readers. As a large cohort of INM readers are parents, CyberSafeIreland was an obvious choice for 2020.

Alex Cooney, CEO of CyberSafeIreland said; “We were both honoured and delighted to be selected as the chosen charity for the Cannes Young Lions print category in 2020. We had had very little engagement with the world of advertising up to this point and it has been a hugely beneficial and enjoyable experience for us. We have learnt so much about what makes a great ad and there is no question that the 'Digital Footprint' ad, which is so thought-provoking and clever, was an incredibly worthy winner.

We can not adequately put into words how proud we were to see this fantastic ad both in print and in our name. Huge thanks to INM, IAPI and the incredibly talented duo Helen O'Higgins, Art Director at JWT Folk, and Ben Fraser, Digital Strategist at Havas Dublin., for making it happen. You have really contributed to our Mission: to empower children and parents to be Stronger, Smarter and Safer Online."

The Winning Campaign: 'Digital Footprint'
The Winning Campaign: 'Digital Footprint'


The objective of this campaign was to raise awareness of CyberSafeIreland as a support to families trying to navigate the reality of their children’s online journey. The desired response was to encourage families to educate themselves on healthy screen time habits, by going online and accessing CyberSafeIreland’s resources.

Target Audience

The primary audience is parents.


Taking steps to find a healthy balance between our digital lives and our offline lives, is hugely beneficial but people find it a hard journey to navigate.


The ad ran in the Sunday Life magazine and saw the following results which were remarkably strong for a recently established charity. The survey showed that the ad raised concerns but in a way that is thoughtful, authentic and interesting.

  • 57% recall
  • 66% engagement score
  • 75% above the average ACTION score for industry
Helen O'Higgins and Ben Fraser share their rationale:
Helen O'Higgins and Ben Fraser share their rationale:

Knowing that this issue can make parents feel overwhelmed and left behind, and that much of the communication in this space can compound this feeling, we wanted to create space in which a positive and empowering message could breathe.

This ad focuses on a quintessential moment in the child-parent relationship, one where growth and progress is recorded and celebrated. Often featuring handprints, these pieces are found in every home and mark a tender time in a child’s journey towards adulthood.

Using this as the jumping-off point, we wanted to investigate an interesting role-reversal caused by the advent of digital media in the modern child’s life, using the concept of a digital footprint. From research, we know that 90% of the data in the world was created in the last 2 years. Here, the child’s footprint is much larger than their parent’s to communicate the gulf between the digital footprints that they are amassing over their lifetimes amid this exponential trend.

The copy takes a calm, non-judgemental approach, in accordance with the brief. Beginning by describing the simple fact conveyed by the image, we move directly to our reason to believe: that children today will upload more data to the internet than any children in history and that this should —at minimum— command the attention of parents. This is phrased with deliberate ambiguity; namely that it is not specified whether this is a positive or a negative thing. The purpose of the disparity is simply to demonstrate the scale of this issue in children’s lives.

Shaking off the ominous nature of other communications in this space, we end with an empowering call-to-action that casts the parent in the role of guide on the child’s digital journey and shows parents that all they need to do to play this role is to go to


CyberSafeIreland is a not-for-profit organisation, established in 2015, that works to empower children, parents and teachers to navigate the online world in a safe, proactive and responsible manner. We want our children to be able to embrace the opportunities for learning and enjoyment that technology can deliver, but we recognise that as parents and educators we have a responsibility to equip them with the tools to stay safe and avoid harm. CyberSafeIreland believes that everybody can play a role in keeping children safe online, including children themselves. Education is a key part of the solution and both schools and parents have a vital role to play in supporting children to be safe online.

Children’s relationships with digital screens are intensifying as technology makes it easier to stay connected online, night and day. 92% of children in Ireland between the age of 8 & 13 years own their own smart device, with 12% spending 4+ hours online daily & almost one in two children communicating online with people they don’t know!

The content children consume plays a role in their sense of self, their social awareness, their emotional well-being, and their view of the world. And while the internet is a powerful and ubiquitous resource and integral and enhancing to our lives, for all the advantages screen time brings, there are also many disadvantages too, making children vulnerable to:

  • Cyberbullying
  • Inappropriate and sexually explicit content
  • Creating a digital footprint, they may later regret but can’t erase
  • “Over 18” gaming not suitable for young boys and girls but is still highly accessible
  • Poor concentration, rising anxiety levels, and social isolation as a result of screen addiction

How much screen time is too much screen time? Battles over screen time and devices have become a depressing part of family life. Knowing how much is too much is a moving target. Parents find getting the balance right can be hard, conflicted by their belief that children’s brains need to develop a sense of active imagination, an ability to focus & an ability to deal with boredom and their kids continuous demands for digital stimulation.

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