The Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival 2007 announced the Films Lions on the final day on June 23. Indian agencies had 77 entries in Films Lions, of which five entries made to the shortlist. The results have turned out to be not so bad after all for India, given that in the last two years, India had not won a single Lion in this category. This year India has in all three metals.
McCann Erickson bagged a Silver and a Bronze for Happy Dent. The agency had only two entries in the shortlist – one in the sub-category Sweet Foods and Snacks, entry titled ‘Happy Dent Palace’, which has won the Silver, and the second in the sub-category ‘Best Use of Music’, entry titled ‘Happy Dent Palace’, which has won the Bronze.
Interestingly, production house Code Red Films submitted an entry without any advertising agency for the Eye Bank Association of India in the category ‘Fund Raising and Appeals’, and this entry titled ‘Hostel’ has won India a Bronze.
The 22-member jury was chaired by Jury President Bob Scarpelli, Chairman and CCO, DDB Worldwide. Contract’s Chief Creative Officer, Ravi Deshpande, was also on this jury.
When asked about what kept Happy Dent from the coveted Gold, Scarpelli replied, “The device of teeth shining enough to throw light has been done and on that basis, the ad didn’t have enough votes to win a Gold Lion.”
What about Code Red? The jurors couldn’t recall of any precedent where in a production house could’ve entered a work and the work won a Lion too. In that sense, Code Red’s experience with Hostel was a learning. Deshpande said, “I am not too sure if it is such a good idea to not allow an ad to compete just because it has not come from an advertising agency. This is a simple idea, brilliantly done and hence, a great piece of communication.”
Desphande is not in a hurry to predict whether or not it would become a trend to accept and judge entries that have not come from any advertising agencies but from a production house at a platform like Cannes Lions. He said, “You do not know what agency you are judging when you are judging a work, and we just assume that all the legitimate requisites are met.”
A win like this is unusual where no advertising agency is included, but according to festival officials, it is at the same time encouraging for allied bodies of advertising to submit their ideas and communication.