The India camp at Cannes is all charged up. Day one saw a Grand Prix, one Silver Lion and two Bronze Lions come India’s way. Day two saw the tally go up by six more Bronze Lions. Day three saw 11 more metals, including four Golds and two Silvers. The total tally of 21 has got a few extra beers for some of the Indian agency heads and creative directors, who were betting on India hitting at least a 20 this year.
The stakes have been upped now. With Films Lions and Integrated & Titanium Lions yet to be announced, the bets now are whether India can make it to the top five most awarded countries.
Though it is not so easy to get there, the thought has kept the Indian creative heads occupied and even amused.
Nonetheless, there is no denying that India is shining at the 55th Cannes Lions. Craig Davis said to a host of international journalists following the Press Lions press conference that the India story was to look out for at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival 2008. He said, “India has worked hard for the past few years to get here.” Fitch’s Chairman and CEO Robert Fitch, who was presiding over the Design Lions jury, echoed the sentiment, saying that there was a lot of good work that was coming from India. “They seem to know what they are doing, and getting two Golds in the first year is proof of that,” he stated.
Indian examples are also beginning to come up at the seminars and presentations at the Festival. From the work that Rajshri has done in the digital space that was spoken about at the Ogilvy Worldwide seminar to the work that Nokia has executed in the Mumbai market, India is being talked about.
At a sit down lunch thrown by Lowe Worldwide on June 18, Stephen Gatfield, CEO, Lowe Worldwide with some colleagues of his top management discussed India and how well the country was doing at the Festival this year. The case was the same at the Aegis party on June 17 as well. Even the journalists in the press lounge, in varied accents, are discussing India as one of the surprise stories of this year.
The bottomline – whether those advertising agency heads win their bet on getting into the top five most awarded countries or not, India has made its presence felt at the 55th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.