Cannes Lions: Dentsu Creative is Agency of the Year; first Indian agency to win the title

India also picks up 2 Titanium Lions, each by Dentsu Creative & Ogilvy; Leo Burnett bags Grand Prix

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jun 25, 2022 7:25 AM  | 6 min read
Cannes Lions

Ending the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2022 on a high, Dentsu Creative has been named the Agency of the Year. It is the first Indian agency to ever win the coveted title.

Amit Wadhwa, CEO India, Dentsu Creative said, “Honestly, I am speechless right now, so it is a challenge to find words and new adjectives to express how I feel. To say this is historic almost seems like an understatement. When you start the week with a Grand Prix, then add two more along the week besides a Gold, 4 Silvers and 3 Bronze, you feel it’s a dream run. Then you end with a Titanium and it is that ‘top of the world’ feeling. But guess what this is not where it ends, we are ‘The Agency of the Year!!!!!!!!’.

Also let me add that while we have won what we have, it is also amazing to see all the other agencies from India win big. What a lovely feeling!! We are undeniably proud to be associated with a campaign that takes top honours on a global platform. This indeed fuels the fire of passion and commitment in the team that has relentlessly worked on it. The entire credit goes to each one of them who has been involved, to all our present and ex-colleagues who have worked so hard on the campaign. They are the real winners.

I would also like to share my heartfelt gratitude for all the love, appreciation, and acceptance received from the entire fraternity throughout the festival. All that I can assure you is that this is just the beginning. We have miles to go, newer targets to meet, and records to beat. Wish us luck and keep watching for Dentsu Creative!!”

Ajay Gahlaut, Group Chief Creative Officer India, Dentsu Creative, “Winning the Agency of the Year is an emotion I cannot even begin to describe. When I used to watch other agencies win the title I often wondered if I ever would get that same honour. What they say is true. Dreams DO come true! I’m over the moon with the Titanium win along with the hat trick of Grand Prix and a whole lot of other metals. Not just me I think no one in the entire Indian ad industry has been part of such a huge haul of Lions ever before. And I do believe we are the first full-service Indian agency to win the title of Agency of the Year. I doff my hat to the entire team responsible for the Unfiltered History Tours. Those who are with us now and those who have moved on. Congratulations all. For now, it’s party time!”

Meanwhile, India added eight more metals to its kitty to round off the tally at 47 – its all-time best haul. Before this, India had got 40 metals in 2017. The final set of wins came in the Titanium (2), Glass (1), Sustainable Development Goals (2), and Film Lions (3).

Titanium Lions Winners

The Indian contingent won its first-ever Titanium Lions for two of its superhit campaigns this year: Dentsu Creative’s ‘The Unfiltered History Tour’ for Vice Media and Ogilvy’s ‘Shah Rukh Khan My Ad’ for Cadbury Celebarations.

While ‘The Unfiltered History Tour’ was an attempt to tell the stories of artefacts in the British Museum via the perspective of communities that they were stolen from, ‘Shah Rukh Khan My Ad’ gave many small businesses in the country an opportunity to have one of the biggest Bollywood stars, Shah Rukh Khan as their brand ambassador in an AI-generated, customised promotional campaign.

 

 

Glass: The Lion For Change Winner 

VMLY&R Mumbai won a Bronze in Glass Lions for its ‘Adeli’ campaign – an initiative by Unipads that put menstruating women in kitchens – something that is considered taboo in several parts of the country. 

 

Unipads launched a limited pop-up restaurant with the name Adeli and collaborated with women chefs, helpers, and servers going through their menstruation days to run it. The brand then invited influential community members, change-makers, activists, and other prominent names to dine at Adeli and become a part of the change. Unipads also invited hotels, restaurant chains, schools, and temples to become a part of the movement by committing to support women having their periods. 

There were two Indian shortlists in the category. 

Film Lions Winners

Out of eight shortlists in the category, three wins came for India in Film Lions. 

FCB India + FCB Chicago + Kinnect won one silver (online & viral film)  and one bronze (breakthrough on a budget) for ‘Chatpat’, a 10-year-old brand ambassador and influencer for SOS Children’s Villages India who is not only sharing his ‘gyan’ on social media but also collecting funds for the NGO by several brand collaborations. 

DDB Mudra won a bronze (media/entertainment) for its ‘Machine Gun Mouth’ campaign. A work for Battlegrounds Mobile India, the ad promoted the child-lock feature of the app via which the game can be locked after three hours of the play. The sound of the game was recreated using beatboxing. The campaign was produced by Early Man Films. 

 

Sustainable Development Goals Lions Winners 

Two wins came out of six shortlists in the category – a Grand Prix for Leo Burnett and a Silver for VMLY&R Commerce. 

Leo Burnett won the Grand Prix in Good Health & Well-Being subcategory for P&G’s ‘The Missing Chapter’. The campaign, a part of the brand’s #KeepGirlsInSchool initiative illustrated how lack of period education leads to a girl missing school, and this situation is exacerbated by the absence of timely period education in Indian textbooks. 

 

VMLY&R Commerce won the silver for Responsible Consumption & Production sub-category for Unilever’s ‘’Smart Fill’. 

 

Under the initiative, Unilever installed refill stations at select retail outlets across the country wherein people could refill any plastic container with required Unilever products to control plastic wastage and allow the consumers to get only enough products as required. The idea was based on the core thought of reusing and recycling of containers, a common practice in most Indian homes.

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