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Young Shark Winner 2023

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Róisín O' Mahony

Creative at Boys + Girls agency in Dublin

Róisín is this year's winner of our annual competition for young advertising creatives. For the winner, there's the glory of being named Young Shark of the year, plus she'll receive one of our famous Sharks' head trophies to prove it. Róisín will also be our guest at the festival in Kinsale at the end of September where she will get the opportunity to attend some of the networking events, and meet and converse with a number of leading international creatives who make up the Shark Awards juries’

For those who were not so lucky this time, there’ll be another brief next year (unless of course you’re over 26 next year, in which case remember the words of Brigitte Bardot - “It’s sad to grow old but nice to ripen”).

I was so excited to sink my teeth into this really original brief. It gave me the opportunity to play in my favourite genre; dark humour. I try to always come at briefs from an unexpected angle, so I thought about how this imaginary product could help, not only those in terrible pain, but death itself! Thank you Dan for your lovely words. I’m so honoured and grateful to be chosen as this year’s winner. I’ve never been this happy to touch a shark’s head!

'The Grim Reaper ReBrand'

Dan Cole (judge): ‘Of all the entries, this really demonstrated a clever use of humour and frankly, made me smile each time I read it. A strong, simple idea and well written. It also managed to bring a lovely human side to that old familiar ‘face of death’ - old Grim Reaper even became quite likeable. If a product like this ever did exist, it would need the brains of someone like Róisín to handle it expertly. Congrats.’

Judge - Dan Cole - ECD Havas London

Dan has worked as a creative for over 20 years, at agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, DDB, Grey and is now ECD at Havas London. Dan most recently helping create the Buddy the Elf Christmas ad for ASDA. An ad that his mum and kids are actually proud of. Along the way he’s picked up a bunch of shiny bits at Cannes, D&AD and more, for everything from butter to business banking, including a recent John Webster award for Bose at the British Arrows

2023 Shortlist

Dallas Rodgers & Marcus Howard (runners-up) Catherine Hayes & Leah Anderson Griffin (runners-up)
Maria Hopwood & Donya Pandkhahi William Baxter

Dan Cole: ‘Congratulations to all the entrants of this year’s Young Sharks. A tough brief has thrown up some really wild approaches. Got to admit I was quite relieved to see that many chose to embrace humour for what was quite a challenging subject – I was settling down for quite a dark few nights otherwise. The shortlisted ideas were ones that really made me think about the subject in new ways and I could see standing up against the flak the product might her. They also showed that rare ability to make a real leap from the brief ‘

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