The first set of Lion ‘takers’ have been announced at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival 2007. These are the Promo Lions and Direct Lions.
Promo Lions had 31 entries in all from India, of which three made it to the shortlist. From this, JWT Mumbai has won a Promo Lion for the advertiser, The Vegetarian Society. The winning entry is titled ‘Nodding Bull’.
The Promo Lions Jury comprised 19 members, including Jury President, Brazil’s Geraldo Rocha Azevado (President, Integrated Solutions, Neogama BBH). India’s Srikant Sastri, Managing Director, Solution Integrated Marketing, was also a member of this jury. According to Azevado, JWT’s ability to capture the brand DNA of ‘The Vegetarian Society’ worked in the favour of this entry.
Since this is a new category, Cannes Lions does not award any metal in particular here, which means that there is no Gold, Silver or Bronze for Promo Lions. Festival CEO, Philip Thomas, informed that he saw this changing by next year. He said, “We should have over 1,000 entries next year and when that happens, we can begin awarding specific metals. Until then, we will just award Promo Lions.” The number of entries this year was 786.
On India’s performance, Sastri is of the opinion that the category has seen very low participation. He said, “I have not seen any of the independent organisations like Encompass, Wizcraft or others that also delve in the promo domain send any entries. Only advertising agency affiliates have, and as a result a lot of good work has not even been entered. The quality of the entries otherwise was good, definitely above average, but we can do a lot better.”
Where Sastri believes there should have been more entries in the awards, Ashish Bhasin, Director – IMAG, Lintas India, who represented India in the Direct Lions jury, said that there should be more focus on quality of entries sent and their presentation than on the quantity.
The Direct Lions jury consisted of 31 members, including Jury President UK’s Rory Sutherland (Vice Chairman, Ogilvy Group UK).
In this category, India had sent as many as 80 entries, but only eight made it to the shortlist. Of this, only two have won a Bronze. Everest Brand Solutions has won a Bronze for The Soundsmiths, for an entry titled ‘Demo CD’, while O&M Bangalore has won a Bronze for advertiser Hutch, entry titled ‘Incidents’.
Jury President Sutherland informed that the jury was generous in awarding the Bronze this year, but decided to be stricter with the Silver and the Gold. He explained, “Overall, the quality of entries is very good this year, and the category itself is seeing growth. If you see the 10 Golds, each has something different to offer. When the standards are improving like this, it becomes difficult for even the best ones to stand out, which is why you will see that there is a decrease in the number of Golds and Silvers awarded this year in comparison to last year.”
On the Indian entries specifically, Bhasin said, “I think 80 per cent of the works entered were not really great ideas in comparison to some of the work entered from other countries. It is one thing to make a menu card, but what we should be really looking at is creating loyalty programmes or something on that scale that can really make a difference to a brand. Even the 20 per cent that had great ideas backing them were not presented well, and that matters when there are 1,700 entries to be judged in three days. I think as a country, we should focus on these details – pay attention to the quality of an entry rather than the numbers.”