The metal chase has picked up speed at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival 2008. On the second day of the festival, India started off with four metals including the country’s first Grand Prix. On day three, Outdoor Lions added three Bronze, Media Lions brought in two Bronze, and Radio Lions added one more Bronze to the kitty.
India has won three Bronze Lions in the Outdoor Lions category. Leo Burnett won a Bronze Lion campaign for Luxor Highlighters, the three winning entries being ‘Che’, ‘Charlie’ and ‘Adolf’. As is known, the Festival rules award only one Lion to a winning campaign irrespective of the number of entries in it. The other two winners were McCann Erickson that won a Bronze for advertiser Anando Milk – entry titled ‘Building’. JWT won one more Bronze on Tuesday for GM Pens International, the winning entry being ‘Twins’.
While addressing the press, Prasoon Joshi, Executive Chairman, McCann Worldgroup, said that the jury was looking for entries that gave a new language to the medium and were done for the medium rather than being ‘adapted’ to Outdoor. HBO’s Voyeur Projection Installation has won its second Grand Prix at this year’s festival. Joshi explained that a nuance of the Outdoor medium was that there was life before and after a communication message than being followed up by content as seen in other mediums. He said, “The work has competed with life so well that it created life for the consumers who saw it, and that is what has worked in its favour.” HBO had already been awarded the Promo Lions Grand Prix.
Indian agencies had sent 296 entries this year compared to the 252 last year. India had not won a single metal in the category in 2007, and the jury explained that considering the sheer number of entries that some of the other countries had sent, this year was a good one for India. Said Joshi, “This jury comprised some really outstanding people and we are proud of the sheer standard that they have maintained for the work done.”
Another observation for this category was that the Asian market has performed much better than some of the other markets, further indicating the changing landscape of the media environment there.
The number of entries that Indian agencies have sent in this category has dropped from 46 to 36, and India has won one Bronze this year compared to the two metals it had won last year. Mudra Communications has bagged a Bronze Lion Campaign for the work it has done for Cycle Agarbatti. The two entries in this winning campaign are ‘Om Jai Jagdish’ and ‘Jai Dev’.
Speaking on the overall work, Jury President Mark Gross, Senior VP and Group Creative Director, DDB Chicago, said that the work heard from India was interesting but there may be a need to focus more on execution. He observed, “There were some brilliant ideas at the core but they got destroyed in the execution. So that may be an area of focus for creative directors.”
Juror Senthil Kumar, ECD, JWT India, added, “The idea has to be universal and you should be able to play with the power of sound for radio – that is important.” The jury members said that Cycle Agarbatti was a “wonderful spot” and that got it the Lion. They explained that the idea of using silence for incense had the ‘wow’ factor.
Gross reiterated that radio was the medium that could take the audience somewhere and that is what the work done in this category should achieve.
Indian agencies have won two Bronzes in the Media Lions category. In light of the fact that India had won nothing in this category last year, and that Indian entries have dropped from 105 to 92, the two Bronzes are seen as an indication of India faring better this year. Publicis India won a Bronze for ‘Thin Cover’ for advertiser Hewlett Packard. Ogilvy & Mather India won another for the Calcutta School of Music – entry titled ‘Bach Govette’.
Jury President Dominic Proctor, CEO Worldwide, MindShare, said that the jury had done much mining for Gold but didn’t find too much. He said, “There wasn’t too much of good stuff and there was too much of bad stuff. Media Lions are about a fuller story -- robust strategy, brilliant execution and a summary of good business results.”
Interestingly, Media Lions had media agencies in lesser number in the winning lists. Proctor explained that there were various reasons for that. He said, “It was a surprise to see that over 50 per cent entries were from creative agencies, PR agencies and other marketing consultancy firms. Creative agencies are doing a much better job in award functions than media agencies, and media agencies aren’t very good at marketing themselves – that is part of the background. Also, the lines are blurring between disciplines and we are seeing more collaboration.”
The overall impression was that scale was not a deciding factor for an entry to win, and the challenge the jury faced was to find the right balance between work done to give the worth to the client and the one-off kinds of work. HBO Voyeur interestingly saw a change of fate in the Media Lions, where the jury was of the opinion that the work was seen before and wasn’t too effective to win a Gold.
Speaking further on the Indian entries, Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar Universal, who was also on the jury, said, “One of our main flaws is that we do not present the entry very well. Media Lions have to be well-rounded in their presentation.”
On day two, India won the first Grand Prix winner of the Festival in the Direct Lions category. JWT India bagged this for the Lead India campaign. Contract won a Silver and a Bronze in the category for the Children of the World. JWT India also won a Bronze Promo Lion for the Government of Puducherry.