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Writer: Noor Fathima Warsia - Tuesday, Jun 21,2011 11:46 AM
Cannes Lions 2011: India scores two Bronze in Promo Lions, courtesy Mudra

It was no surprise for many that the first Lion to come to India in 2011 was Mudra’s ‘Silent Anthem’ for Reliance Media Works. Mudra has been aggressive on awards, and the investment done in ‘Silent Anthem’ is clearly beginning to pay off.

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2011 began the Lions count on Day Two with the Promo and Activation category. Of the seven entries that had made it to this category, both Mudra entries have won a Bronze Lion each – one in the Best Use of Broadcast in a Promotional Campaign subcategory and second in the Corporate Image & Information subcategory.

The other contenders in Promo and Activation Lions from India were BBDO and Creativeland Asia.

A bold risk = Grand Prix

The Grand Prix in the category was awarded to McCann Erickson Bucharest for the entry ‘American Rom’ for chocolate bar makers Kandia Dulce.

For the judges, the Grand Prix was a unanimous win for the boldness of the idea, the risk factor of the entry and the sheer creative panache with which the idea was handled. The other entry competing for the Grand Prix was DDB Singapore’s entry titled ‘Music Fitting Rooms’ for Starhub PTE.

Speaking on the overall work, Jury President Warren Brown, Creative Founder, BMF, said, “We saw some very good work, but it looks like some people are beginning to mistake great technology implementation to be a great creative idea. The American Rom proved everyone wrong. The idea was based on simple consumer insight and it played on the human psyche of patriotism or pride for a nation. By the end of the day, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that that was the work we wanted to crown with the Grand Prix.”

India was Good, Could be Much Better
Mudra Communications is the only winner from India in the category and are “happy” with the win. Speaking to exchange4media, Mudra Communications’ Chief Creative Officer, Bobby Pawar, stated, “We are happy with the win, but we could be happier. We have worked hard and put the work out, and now let’s see what it does. It is good to have begun the count, let’s see what’s next.”

Brian Tellis, Chairman, FountainHead, who was the Jury member from India in this category, told exchange4media that the one thing that worked for Silent Anthem was that in a market as multicultural and multilingual as India, somewhere the idea would have cut through markets and target audiences, and it did manage to touch a chord.

On why Shave Sutra, which was another strong contender in the category, did not win, Tellis said, “Quite honestly, I think the thought behind it was lost on the jury. They did not seem to understand the connection with Kamasutra, which is considered near sacred in India, and the thought of the different positions of shaving.”

On a broader note, Tellis pointed out that while there was tremendous good work that companies specialising in this beat were doing, but this work was not making it to Cannes Lions. Tellis said, “In India, as opposed to the international advertising industry, there are companies that specialise in promos and activation, the so-called experiential marketing companies, and I don’t believe they are even aware of this category. The perception back home is that Cannes Lions is above the line, which is an area we should address.”

Tellis stated that in the Indian market, there were enough cases where the above the line and below the line agencies were not even speaking to each other and that was another area that the industry could look at to see how platforms like Cannes Lions could also benefit experiential marketing agencies. He said, “At the end of the day, winning a Cannes Lion would create aspiration and that can play a positive role for the domain. I intend to go back, and as President of EEMA, also explore ways in which we can work with the Bombay Ad Club or the Advertising Agencies Association of India to be able to work some way of creating more awareness around platforms like these.”

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