Indian adland picks its favourites from Cannes Lions' first shortlist

Womb Pain Stories from the Glass: Lions for Change category got the most thumbs up from the industry

e4m by Mansi Sharma
Updated: Jun 15, 2021 10:01 AM
cannes lions

While India has had a bleak start at Cannes Lions this year with no entries from the country getting featured in its first shortlists, the creative industry is nevertheless excited about some powerful campaigns this year. The Indian ad world has shared with exchnage4media.com their favourite shortlists from the Glass, Titanium, and Innovation category.

DDB Mudra Group CCO Rahul Mathew is placing his bets on“The Uncensored Library” created by the German arm of his agency for Reporters Without Borders for Titanium Lions.

He quips, “I’ve seen this piece of work through many stages of its development since it’s a piece from our Germany office. I thought the Uncensored Playlist would be hard to beat, but the Uncensored Library has pushed it many notches up. The use of Minecraft is genius. And the crafting of the idea is enviable. I would lock myself in a library (if one is open) in disappointment if this didn’t win.”

For Innovation Category, his favourite is the “Purple Hive Project” created by Thinkerbelle Melbourne for Bega B Honey. “I had judged this piece of work at Spikes as well. And it’s a great example of creativity and innovation coming together to make protecting the environment a more sustainable act.”

In the Glass: Lions for Change Category, Matthews is rooting for #WombPainStories to win. The campaign is created by AMV BBDO London for Essity’s Bodyform/Libresse.

 “I think this comes from being a huge fan of the brand. I simply love the work that Libresse does. Right from 'Bloodnormal' to 'viva la vulva' to the shortlisted womb stories, it has completely changed the way we look at feminine hygiene as a category and periods as a conversation.”

However, he feels that the campaign might become a victim of its own consistency. “Some juries may find their regular presence in this category reason enough to give a new conversation a chance.”  

Dentsu Webchutney NCD PG Aditya, who is a part of the Brand Experience & Activation Lions Shortlist Jury at Cannes Lions this year, has also shared his favourite campaigns from the shortlists thus far. 

He says, “I was fortunate enough to review a lot of the work that made it to the Glass & Titanium shortlist at Cannes, through the One Show jury earlier in April/May -- where they had also been entered.” 

In Glass, even his bets are on Womb Pain Stories. “I have a feeling it’s going to be the ‘Fearless Girl’ of 2021,” he says. Another favourite of his is 'True Name' by MasterCard created by McCann New York: “True Name is the most relevant interpretation of MasterCard’s ‘Priceless’ philosophy I’ve seen till-date.”

He adds, “‘Please Arrest Me’ is also a very compelling piece, and it’s quite telling that this campaign about changing an Indian law was born out of Singapore. Both reassuring & unnerving.” The campaign is created by Ogilvy Singapore for RIT foundation and is shortlisted in the Glass category.

However, he is a little surprised at “Buy With Your Time” making it to the Titanium shortlist. “I recall a previous jury I was part of feeling that it was a little insincere that IKEA, a brand that is globally moving towards championing sustainability, was celebrating an idea that’s all about driving long distances. But it goes to show how different jury sentiments can be across festivals.” 

Industry veteran and Nihilent Ltd & Hypercollective Global CCO KV Sridhar (Pops) has two favourites in the Glass Category -- “Glass Ceiling Breaker” by BBH New York for Chief & National Women's History Museum and “Blame No More” by TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg for Hype Magazine. 

He says, “There is a lot of good and insightful work in the Glass category this year but these two stand out for their great execution. While the “Glass Ceiling Breaker” is extremely topical and in a very demonstrative way talks about breaking stereotypes associated with the minorities, “Blame No More” represents the real picture about the trend of victim blaming that is prevalent all across the world. The latter has been dramatically shot and really jolts the viewer in thinking about the issue.”

In the Titanium category, he supports the #WombPainStories along with Nike’s “You Can’t Stop Sport” campaign, created by Wieden+Kennedy Portland.

Talking about the two he said, “'The Womb Pain Stories'  is a brilliantly shot and executed campaign, without going crass or overboard about the issue. It touched me at a deeper level. On the other hand, I am hugely impressed by the craft that has gone behind making Nike's “You Can’t Stop Sport” campaign. Brilliantly written and executed, especially keeping in mind the current times.”

Pops, however, feels that the Innovation category doesn’t have many striking shortlists this time as most of the ideas are not really capable of altering the world or contributing better to shared human emotions and experiences by solving complex problems. Though, his favourites amongst the lot are “NOTPLA” by Superunion London and “Untouchables” by Leo Burnett Mexico city for Eva Clinic. 

He elaborates,“'Notpla' is an interesting idea. Though I don’t know how it could be scaled up for the future, but it is definitely the need of the hour to reduce the burden of plastic waste.”

Speaking about “Untouchables", he said, “Though it seems like a deeply cultural issue, the campaign shows how it's relevant to women across the world. Most of the women are not comfortable in checking their breasts, let a doctor or family member help them. The innovation is not only useful but is also presented quite nicely.”

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