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Cannes Lions 2010: The quality of work has to improve – Ravi Kiran, CEO, SMG, South Asia - Media Lions jury member

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Cannes Lions 2010: The quality of work has to improve – Ravi Kiran, CEO, SMG, South Asia - Media Lions jury member

This year was a tough one for Media Lions. There were lesser number of awards handed out, and India managed to get only one Bronze Lion – a considerable fall from the eight Lions last year. Ravi Kiran, CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group, South Asia, who was also a member of the Media Lions 2010 jury, explains more on what needs to be done to keep the metal count ticking.

The three criteria that the jury was looking at was simple – human truth, immersive and interactive brand experience, and thirdly, business building results. Kiran said, “When you enter Cannes Lions, you are given three areas to focus on – strategy, creative execution and results. When you send a ton of entries that don’t have strong or any results, what do you expect? But that is not the big debate.”

Ravi Kiran then pointed out that most importantly, where was the simple human truth or the insight. He said, “In many cases we saw, and not just from India, the general quality of work, was mediocre. Probably reflective of a bad year – maybe what that did was it differentiated the really good work from the really bad. The Golds, if you see, is really fantastic work, and it has come from all kinds of markets. But it does look like clients did not take risks or agencies were doing other things than doing great breaking work.”

There have been no trends in Media Lions per se in terms of which markets or networks may have got it right for this category. The jury came down from 1,932 to 212, and that roughly means one out of nine got in, and there were 89 shortlist entries, of which seven were from India. The proportions were not very different, but the question was whether those seven were strong enough to get a metal.

Ravi Kiran explained that the category in which India had got a Bronze was a weak category anyway, and did not get any of the bigger metals. The key points for him were – how do you look at work that is worth celebrating, and once you have zeroed on that, how do you write them and present it in the right manner and in the right context?

He added that the packaging of work was bad. He asked, “Why would you put Dhan Tana from ‘Kaminey’ in your presentation. It is not entertaining. It is a global jury, and it has to be in a way that they can understand the work and focus on the work rather than be distracted by a loud track. Why would you want to put Sardarji jokes for a global jury – will they get it?”

Ravi Kiran has spoken extensively on the kind of work that should be sent to Cannes, and the way the entries should be packaged. Read the complete interview in the exhaustive coverage of the festival in the Cannes Lions special print edition and Pitch.


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