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Cannes Lions 2011: Direct disappointment deepens

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Cannes Lions 2011: Direct disappointment deepens

Direct Lions would always be the category in which India had won its first, and so far its only, Grand Prix. After a growth trend in the first three years, Indian agencies have drawn a blank in the category last year, and now this year as well.

A strong contender from India in Direct Lions was Mudra’s Silent Anthem for Reliance Media Works. Contract Advertising’s work on JK Tyres was another favourite. Most creative heads were disappointed with the no show.

Mudra Communication’s Chief Creative Officer, Bobby Pawar, said, “It was very disappointing that Indian agencies won nothing in the category, because we thought there were some strong entries there. But disappointment only makes you stronger and work harder.”

American Rom wins again
McCann Erickson Bucharest’s work for Kandia Dulce titled ‘American Rom’ that had won a Grand Prix earlier on Day One for Promo Lions, was awarded a second Grand Prix in Direct and once again the jury member pointed out the boldness of the idea that directly connected with the heart as one of the things that worked for this category. Jury President Alexander Schill, Global Chief Creative Officer, Serviceplan Group, said, “We were looking at something that directly hits the heart of the consumer, an emotional piece that grabs you. And I had given each of the jury members a golden bullet that worked as a reminder of what we were looking for, every time we saw a piece of work.”

He admitted that there was a lot of work where agencies had done everything right. But the end of it, the jury was looking for the emotional connect, and though it was a keenly contested Grand Prix, they were happy with the Grand Prix finally given out.

Schill further said, “It was the boldness of the idea, and very creative single pieces of work that brought life to that idea that did it for American Rom.”

Indian work lacked scale, technology, idea
Raj Nair, Regional Creative Director, Mumbai & South, Contract Advertising, was the jury member from India for this category. Speaking to exchange4media on why Indian entries did not convert to any metals, Nair explained, “There were so many entries that integrated technology brilliantly. American Rom did not use it, but many others made the grade simply by integrating technology with the delivery mechanism and finally connecting well with the consumer both from relevance and emotional viewpoint.”

He said that the mass of work in the category had enough instances where there was fantastic use of technology and cases of “good old fashioned” creative ideas.

He observed, “It is unfortunate that we did not win anything in the category this year, having won a Grand Prix in it two years back, but somewhere the work from India was lacking either in scale or on technology or on idea.”

Speaking specifically on why Silent Anthem did not make it, Nair said, “The jury couldn’t understand why such a big deal was made of the National Anthem. Even though it was explained to them how the Anthem was played before movies in a cinema hall and there is a captive audience there, it was not an idea that appealed to an international jury.”

Nair pointed out that while Silent Anthem was a good case for another category, such as PR, in Direct, for a country like India, 40,000 suggestions was not seen large enough as a response.


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Prior to joining Madison PR in 2012 Chaudhary was Group President Corporate Communications at Reliance Industries Limited.