India put forth a stellar performance at the 63rd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Indian agencies managed to secure a total of 19 metals and 8 wins in the Pharma, Health & Wellness Lions category this year. In 2015, India got the lowest metal tally, in the last five years with 13 Lions and 2 Lion Health wins.
This year, Medulla Communications from India created history at Cannes Lions; it has bagged the ‘Healthcare Agency of the Year’ for the first time in history for any Indian agency. Out of 58 entries in the Cannes Lions Pharma category, the agency took home seven Lions. Medulla bagged 2 Gold Lions for its work “Last Words” in the Education and Awareness category (Integrated Campaign and Digital: Online Video) for its client Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC).
“The way the Indian contingent is reacting is heart-warming; it really is a victory for India. I hope Indian agencies can be winners at all award shows. I think this is a great start for India and I hope we have opened the way for Indian advertising agencies to win big this year at Cannes,” expressed Amit Akali, Managing Director & Creative Head, What’s Your Problem.
The agency also won 2 Silver Lions for its campaigns for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and IAPC. Medulla Communications further won 1 Bronze Lion for its campaign “Slums (Housing Colonies) for Worms” for GSK and 2 Bronze metals were bagged for “ADHD Symptom Stamps” campaign for Johnson & Johnson. Medulla Communications was India’s lone entrant to the Pharma Lions shortlists.
“This is a dream come true for all for us, after we came third last year with no planning or working towards it, we really owed it to ourselves to work towards becoming the number 1 agency. So it was actually a focused effort; and studying last year’s winner, it seemed impossible, but it isn’t,” said Praful Akali, Founder & Managing Director, Medulla Communications.
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The Glass Lion category was introduced in Cannes last year to reward outstanding efforts challenging gender biases. In 2015, BBDO India had won the Glass Grand Prix for their campaign ‘Touch the Pickle’. This year, GroupM's Mindshare bagged the Grand Prix in the Glass Lions category for its campaign ‘The 6-Pack Band’, a branded content initiative for Hindustan Unilever’s Brooke Bond Red Label. Both the brand and the agency have earned several accolades for creating India’s first transgender pop band.
Elated at the high-profile win, Prasanth Kumar, Mindshare, CEO South Asia said, “This is an epic win for India, and a bold move in marketing. We are very excited and see it as a big win for India.”
Amin Lakhani, Head, Mindshare Fulcrum expressed his excitement, “This is spectacular win! It’s one of our content days product and we are super delighted to see this winning as the Grand Prix at Cannes.”
BBDO Mumbai bagged 1 Glass Lion for Procter & Gamble India’s ‘Dads#SharetheLoad’ case study. The campaign highlighted the inequality which existed in most Indian household, where it is believed that household chores are a woman’s job. Because, they never saw their dads helping out at home, as a result, they end up passing on this inequality to their children.
Commenting on the win, Josy Paul Chairman & Chief Creative Officer BBDO said, “We are thrilled to win the Glass Lion two years in a row, Dads#Share the load is a big transformational brand idea, that’s turned into a global movement for change. With the Ariel and P&G team, we are not just trying to write a script, we are trying to re-script society,”
The same campaign went on to win 4 Bronze Lions at Cannes 2016.
Ogilvy & Mather got 1 Glass Lion for its campaign ‘Beauty Tips by Reshma’ for the client Make Love Not Scars.’. The campaign also won a Gold in the Film Lions category.
The three-video series called 'Beauty Tips by Reshma', a campaign to ban the open sale of acid, sees Mumbai-based acid-attack victim Reshma walk viewers through her makeup routine. The videos managed to garner more than 1.2 million views within a week since their release.
“I am thrilled for the young people in the O&M team who are doing great things for causes which are important to India,” said Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather, India and S Asia.
Rajiv Rao, NCD, Ogilvy India stated, “I’m really happy for the award that we won today for our campaign ‘Beauty Tips by Reshma’. We are very happy that it has won a Glass Lion for the creative of the work, and something that has done so well in India, where we’ve actually got the government to stop the sale of acid. So it’s a campaign that has really worked well, is very powerful and something that we are very proud of.”
In the Radio Lions category, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi, Mumbai’s entries titled Woman and Man for Thomas Cook’s ‘Holiday packages for senior citizens’ were judged a Silver Lion campaign in Travel & Transport subcategory. Another Silver Lion was also awarded to the same campaign for its work titled ‘Never too old’ in Casting & Performance sub-category.
McCann World Group India bagged 1Silver and 1 Bronze Lion for Maharashtra Dyslexia Association’s campaign ‘The Dancing Letters’. J.Walter Thompson won 1 Silver Lion for Indian Red Cross Society in the Design Category.
In Media Lions, Rediffusion Y&R's 'Dipper Condoms' campaign for Tata Motors has bagged a Silver Lion under the Public Health & Safety sub-category. For the Health & Wellness category, the same campaign also bagged a Bronze Lion. Tata Motors wanted to promote safe sex among Indian truck drivers. They wanted to reach out to truck drivers in remote, media and internet dark locations, in a language they understood best. The company created a brand called ‘Dipper’ and was distributed at health clinics, service centres, highway eateries, petrol pumps, without a single media money spent in order to promote the initiative.
Early Man Films’ work for ‘Ambuja Khali’ film for Ambuja Cement for 1 Bronze Lion in the Film Craft category. The campaign is done by Publicis Ambience.
This communication from Ambuja Cement broke the internet, with people widely appreciating this unique creative approach ever made by any cement brand in India. Featuring WWE Heavyweight Champion Great Khali, the agency took a humorous and light hearted approach to highlight the story of Khali’s life, how the strength which gave him recognition was turning to be his biggest problem.
Contract Advertising, Gurgaon, bagged a Bronze for Truecaller’s Nokia campaign in the Radio Lions category.
PHD India won a Bronze Lion for Hindustan Unilever's 'Lo Kar Lo Baat' campaign for Active Wheel Detergent, under the Use of Mobile sub-category in Media Lions category. The campaign looked to facilitate talk time between married couples who could not otherwise afford it.
Leo Burnett India got 1 Bronze Lion in the Promo & Activation category under Cars & Automotive Product & Services category. The agency won the award for its work done for Bajaj Automobile - Bajaj V. The campaign includes an inspiring documentary that brings together untold stories of valour, respect and pride - shared by the war veterans, who served aboard the invincible INS Vikrant, India's first aircraft carrier.
In the print and publishing Lions category, J. Walter Thompson bagged the only Bronze Lion from a total of 11 shortlists from India. All three entries titled Fisherwoman, Mechanic and Milkman for ‘Night Kills Day’ campaign by J. Walter Thompson for Sleep Apnoea India were awarded a Bronze Lion campaign.
India failed to secure a metal in the following categories- Mobile, Outdoor, PR, Product Design, Titanium, Digital Craft, Direct, Integrated, Music and Innovation.