Cannes Lions 2019: FCB gets India its only gold; DDB Mudra bags bronze on Day 5

FCB’s Open Door Project and DDB Mudra’s Project Free Period score in the Sustainable Development Goals category

e4m by Christina Moniz
Published: Jun 22, 2019 8:54 AM  | 3 min read

India struck gold on the final day of the 66th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity as FCB bagged a Gold Lion for its work on the Open Door Project for The Millennium School in the Sustainable Development Goals category. This is the only gold for India this year. The other award of the day – a bronze - was picked up by DDB Mudra for Stayfree’s Project Free Period, in the same category. The two metals take India’s tally at Cannes to 18 metals.

The Open Door Project by FCB for The Millennium Schools is a path-breaking initiative to induce more private schools to create space for underprivileged kids, giving them an education they would otherwise miss. The institute also unveiled a special film called ‘Bhukkad- the hungry one’ created by FCB’s CCO Swati Bhattacharya at the launch of the initiative. The film sensitively portrays the hunger for learning in the child of a sex worker. The campaign had earlier won a bronze in the Brand Experience and Activation category.

Speaking about the big gold win for FCB, Rohit Ohri, Group Chairman & CEO, FCB India, said, “This Gold Lion is true testimony to FCB's creative transformation journey. I'm proud and humbled to have the honour to win India's only Gold Lion of Cannes 2019. WARC Creative 100 named us the Number 1 creative agency in India. It was a flaming debut for FCB. This Gold Lion win reaffirms that we deserve to be there and will stay there, hopefully, for a long, long time to come.” 

Sharing her happiness over the victory, Swati Bhattacharya, CCO, FCB Ulka, said, "To address the biggest problems of our world using creativity as a tool is the most heartening joy for us at FCB. The open door project is a simple idea that can solve India's biggest problem- education"

Shantanu Prakash, Founder, The Open Door Project, said, "I am very happy that The Open Door Project has received this amazing honour of winning a Gold at Cannes! This will allow the mission of the project to get the international attention it deserves. The project seeks to eradicate illiteracy in India by opening the doors of hundreds and thousands of schools to children from under-privileged class and community. This award will go a long way in getting the message of the Open Door Project to our supporters and other likeminded people and shines a spotlight on what we need to do, to bring literacy and education to the young generation of India."

Sanitary napkin and feminine hygiene brand Stayfree and DDB Mudra together created and conceptualized Project Free Period, focusing on the empowerment of women in the sex trade. A vocational training programme was created to impart life skills to these women to transform three days of their period to three days of learning.

Speaking about the agency’s win in the Sustainable Development Goals category, Rahul Mathew, National Creative Director, DDB Mudra Group, said, “Since 2018, we’ve been working on making Project Free Period a more sustainable initiative. And we believe we now have an executable blueprint that can be replicated anywhere. We’re glad the jury could see the larger impact that we have managed.”

Three Indian entries had made the shortlist in the Sustainable Development Goals category – two for DDB Mudra’s Project Free Period and one for FCB Ulka’s The Open Door Project.

The Open Door Project 


Project Free Period 

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