The picturesque town of Cannes in France saw the who’s who of the global advertising fraternity descending for the Cannes Lions 2013 from June 16 to 22.
Though the day the Festival kicked off seemed a little slow, the subsequent days moved at a breathless pace, chock-a-block with sessions, discussions, networking, press conferences, meetings and declaration of either shortlists or winners in different categories.
Indian camaraderie and visibility increased with each passing day, and “How has India done today?” became a familiar question on every Indian’s lips, regardless of which agency or organisation he/ she belonged to. Even as the Indian camp became a little less optimistic with each shortlist/ awards announcement, the Outdoor Lions results finally gave India some reason to smile, while the Press lions and Design Lions results brought more cheer.
Yes, we do need to get our act straight in Cyber, Mobile, Radio, Titanium & Integrated and Branded Content & Entertainment, and Media Lions. But the jump from 17 metals last year to 33 metals this year is no mean feat.
An instance of this camaraderie came to the fore when DDB Mudra’s Mandy (Mandeep Malhotra) handed over the Indian Flag to Taproot’s Paddy (Santosh Padhi) and cheered him on as he went on stage to collect his Press Gold Lion, celebrating the victory like his own, jubilant on taking the Tricolour to the Cannes stage.
While Taproot India was the biggest contributor to India’s wins kitty with four Gold Lions, one Silver and one bronze, Ogilvy and McCann were the Indian agencies that had the highest number of shortlisted entries.
Key takeways from Cannes Lions 2013:
• The Power of an Idea: The ‘Power of One Idea’ that came and conquered was evident this year with McCann Erickson Melbourne’s ‘Dumb ways to die’ was the most awarded campaign at Cannes 2013. The campaign won the agency five Grand Prix Lions, among numerous other metals. Ogilvy Brazil’s wildly successful ‘Dove- real beauty’, which won the Titanium Grand Prix, was the most celebrated award at Cannes, and Taproot’s campaign for The Times of India fetched four Gold Lions and one Silver Lion – the highest number of Gold Lions for India so far. The earlier two campaigns have been winning accolades and recognition across all international forums.
Watch the ‘Dumb ways to die’ campaign here…
• Quality versus Quantity: Quality of entries versus the sheer number of entries was another fact that stood out this year.
• The idea transcends mediums: While there is a lot of buzz that is happening around digital campaigns, it isn’t about the medium that makes the work stand out and people take notice, but again the power of that one idea that works like wild fire across that medium, ‘Dove – real beauty’ is an example of this the campaign, which went viral. The campaign brought about a change in the way women feel about themselves across the globe – no mean feat for any brand to achieve.
Watch ‘Dove – Real Beauty’ campaign here…
• The social do-gooders ruled: The overarching theme of Cannes Lions 2013 seemed to be doing social good and mind you, social good with a measurable impact – with a 21 per cent reduction in railway accidents due to the much celebrated ‘Dumb ways to die campaign’, Dove’s ‘real beauty’ and Taproot’s Farmers Suicide campaign done for Times of India.
• The power of doing good and communicating it well: An increasing number of brands seemed to have woken up to the fact that the effective way to get deeply entrenched in a consumer’s life is by doing social good. Social good not for the heck of it, but genuinely. With digital media shaping the way, it is only brands that are true to their promise and genuine in their communication that are able to connect with consumers who can see through any pretence or falsehood in a matter of seconds with the powerful tool of social media today.
Of course, with the good, comes the bad, and after much celebration, the rounds of ‘scam work’ did the rounds. Such news made the headlines, but did they dampen the spirits? No.