The 55th year of the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival is turning out to be the best year that India had ever had. Eleven more Lions were added to India’s metal count on June 18, taking the total tally to 21. In the Press Lions, India has won two Golds, two Silvers and three Bronzes. Design Lions, which have been introduced this year, also added two Golds and a Bronze Lion to India’s kitty. The country has won its first ever Cyber Lion, even though a Bronze.
As the India camp at Cannes was hoping, Press Lions 2008 have brought another windfall of Lions for the Indian advertising agencies. India has won two Gold Lions – Leo Burnett for Luxor with three winning entries titled ‘Che’, ‘Charlie’ and ‘Hitler’; and Contract Advertising for Aadhar, an entry titled ‘Family Name’.
Leo Burnett has also won a Silver Lion for P&G’s Tide detergent. The three winning entries are ‘Lip Stick’, ‘Ketchup’ and ‘Ice Cream’. JWT India, too, has bagged a Silver Lion for the work that they have done for GM Pen Internationals.
Leo Burnett has another Bronze Lion Campaign for Luxor. The two entries there are ‘Blue’ and ‘Pink’. Grey Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi also have opened their Cannes Lions 2008 count. Both agencies have won a Bronze each for Ministry of Tourism and Cox & Kings, respectively. Cox & Kings win is a campaign Lion and the winning entries are ‘Eiffel Tower’, ‘Statue of Liberty’ and ‘London Bridge’.
Jury President Craig Davis, Chief Creative Officer, JWT Worldwide, had to answer quite a few questions on why markets like the US and the UK didn’t win much at the Press Lions. Davis said, “There wasn’t much good work from those markets and that is not the way to look at the awards to begin with.” Speaking further on India’s performance so far, he said, “India has done well because they have really been trying hard for the last few years now and the results are showing.”
On the winning copies in particular, he said that both the Gold Lions from India were “copywriting at its best”. He observed, “Both are tremendously strong pieces of work. Luxor was immaculately put together and the visual treatment was stunning. The Aadhar entry was a unanimously voted Gold. It had a resounding enthusiasm from the jury.”
Press Lions jury member Priti Nair, NCD, Grey Worldwide, explained that there was no mention from, or impact on, the jury around the controversy that surrounded Luxor in India after the Abby Awards 2008 at the GoaFest. She said, “The client had defended the entry and had said that they paid for it anyways. But the topic didn’t come up at the judging – it was just the quality of work that was seen.”
The Design Lions category, which is in its inaugural year, saw an excited jury speak on the work that was entered, and on the difference that a category like this made to advertising. Participation of 54 countries ranging from the US and the UK to Pakistan and Peru was seen as a good start to the category.
India has nabbed two Golds for this category, too. Leo Burnett has hit again over here with Luxor Posters, while JWT India, too, has hit one with ‘Burden’ for Care Foundation. JWT India has also won a Bronze Lion campaign for Mw.com. The four winning entries are ‘50 Cent’, ‘Jim Morrison’, ‘Bob Marley’ and ‘Madonna’.
Jury President, Robert Fitch, Chairman and CEO, Fitch said that the jury was simply looking for mould breaking work. Jury member Sudhir Sharma, Founder Director and Principle Designer, Elephant Strategy+Design, pointed out two problems from the Indian entries. First, the number Indian entries sent were not enough, and second, the Indian design agencies were missing from the competition.
Jury President Colleen DeCourcy, Chief Digital Officer, TBWA\Worldwide, New York, USA, explained that this was a transitional year for the jury and the category. It was a good year for Indian advertising fraternity, too, as despite the reduction in Indian entries from 36 to 19 this year, India has won its first ever Cyber Lion. Leo Burnett has bagged a Bronze Lion campaign for Luxor Highlighters. The two winning entries are ‘Pop Up’ and ‘Highlight what is important’.
Speaking on the win, Karl Gomes, ECD – Digital, Arc Worldwide said, “We were looking for work that was simple and would move the people. Both the entries of this campaign had that. They used the medium than just treat it as an online ad unit.”
DeCourcy explained that the basic thought process behind judging was based on how persuasive an entry was, and once that was done, the next work was to judge on craft and the execution. “We wanted to be forward facing and try to present something that can be held up as a great example. The ideas that won were simple and connected with real people engaging with it.”