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Cannes Lions 2007: Bad luck and poor presentation mar India’s chances at Outdoor & Media Lions

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Cannes Lions 2007: Bad luck and poor presentation mar India’s chances at Outdoor & Media Lions

In addition to the Radio category, the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival (IAF) 2007 announced the winners in the Outdoor and Media categories as well on day three of the festival. Even as India had won in both these categories last year and the entry this year was better in Media Lions, and slightly lower in Outdoor Lions, Indian agencies were not awarded a single metal in these categories.

In Media Lions, India had 105 entries this year compared to 53 entries last year. India took home three Lions last year. Even though seven entries made it to the shortlist, not one bagged a Lion. The 26-member Media jury was led by Jury President David Verklin, CEO, Carat Americas. Vikram Sakhuja, COO, GroupM, South Asia, was also a member of this jury.

Verklin said that the jury was looking at points like consumer insight, clear and obvious strategy, execution, results and inspiration to peers, clients and the next generation of media professionals, while awarding the metals. He also informed that the sub-category that managed no win was Travel and Entertainment.

On India’s performance, Sakhuja identified some points that led to the poor show. He said, “The media entries would score on points like a great idea, clarity in strategy, audacity of the scale, and then being able to communicate and present it well. I think the entries missed on one or more of these points. Some even came very close but did not make it.”

The two entries that came very close but lost out were O&M’s work for Hutch titled ‘Incidents’, and JWT’s work for Monte Carlo titled ‘Rip Off’. Another entry that was discussed a little was that of Rediffusion DY&R’s ‘Live Ants’.

Is India’s work in the field deteriorating? “Not at all. We have not entered enough. Media agencies have not entered enough and I think a reason is that creative agencies have been to Cannes a lot longer than media. To draw an analogy, it is like Filmfare and Oscars --- you know Oscars are there but you really prepare for the local awards and most media agencies are operating like that. Where we send hundreds of entries to local awards, we send only six to 10 here,” replied Sakhuja,

For Media Lions, Sakhuja believes a mindset change is required to make a difference. However, in Outdoor, Jury President said that it was a little bad luck also for India.

For Outdoor Lions, India had entered 252 pieces of work; last year this number was at 275. India won four Lions last year. Of the 252, 14 entries made it to the shortlist. This year’s jury had 13 members, including Jury President Jean-Remy Von Matt, Founder and Chairman, Jung Von Matt. Like Radio, there was no Indian professional in this jury.

Matt stated that OOH was not just out-of-home, it was the oldest media. But that does not mean that it is an outdated media, and the jury made a conscious attempt to award ‘young’ Lions than the older ones. When asked on what went wrong with the India entries, Matt said, “Any work that was either not simple enough, innovative enough or surprising enough did not make it.”

The general feel was that outdoor, which had an element of interactivity in addition to the other mentioned points, managed a Lion. However, Matt was quick to point, “You cannot really generalise or point out the reasons because of which something won. Some entries in fact have just lost by a few votes.”

The shortlisted entries that he pointed at, which were close to getting a Lion, included Leo Burnett’s work for Maneland Lodge, Rediffusion DY&R’s work for Xerox, and Ogilvy’s work for Sanctuary. “I did think some of this work would win. I really think it was bit of bad luck for India too,” said Matt.


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