Cannes: India has made a mark in the two most prestigious categories at the Cannes ad festival: the Film Lions, and the Titanium and Integrated Lions. JWT India may not have swung the coveted Titanium trophy for the Lead India campaign for Bennett & Coleman, but it did win the heavyweight Integrated Lion in the T&I category. This is our first ever Integrated, though this category was introduced in Cannes just a few years ago. The Lead India campaign already has the distinction of winning the Grand Prix in Direct Lions, India’s first Grand Prix at Cannes.
India won a Film Lion with Ogilvy & Mather India winning Silver Lion for Neo Sports ‘Gas’ entry. The commercial with the tagline ‘Get Used to Tension’ was for the upcoming cricket series for Neo Sports. This becomes the fourth Silver Lion India has won at Cannes, though a Gold in Film still eludes us.
Craig Davis, chief creative officer worldwide- JWT, London, UK along with others such as Ted Horton, executive creative director, Big Red Group Australia, judged the Film Lions. Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and national creative director, O&M, told Mint that Rs.If Neo Sport got a Silver Lion (and not Gold), then Craig Davis’ jury must have been sleeping.’’
About the Gas campaign from India, Jury member Ted Horton, executive creative director, Big Red Group, Melbourne, Australia said that it was one campaign that had the jury on the edge of their seats. “No clichés here. It was superbly done.”
In all, the best showing ever from the India front at Cannes, with the country bagging 23 Lions across categories totally, and with agencies JWT India and Leo Burnett India leading the Lion run. In addition, JWT India won second place as ‘Agency of the Year’ in Direct.
In the Titanium and Integrated berth, the Titanium Grand Prix went to Projector Tokyo for its work on the Uniqlo campaign and the Integrated Grand Prix went to the Halo 3 campaign ‘Believe’ entered by McCann WorldGroup San Francisco.
JWT India’s Lead India campaign which won an Integrated but missed the Grand Prix, was commended by the judges as a brilliant idea. Nick Law, chief creative officer, North America - R/GA, also a jury member said , “Here’s an example of something that may not have been planned but when opportunity arose, the Times of India went for it all the way. This was the most epic campaign that we saw.”
Said Mark Tutssel, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide and jury president said , “India versus India became a movement that spread like wildfire amongst a billion people. It displays the power of an idea.”
In the Film Lions category, there were two Grand Prixs--Gorilla spot done for advertiser Cadbury, from Fallon London and XBOX 360-Halo campaign done by McCann WorldGroup San Francisco. The advertising agency of the year 2008 in the film category was BBDO New York in the first position, followed by ALMAPBBDO San Paulo and DDB London. Craig Davis explained his reasons for awarding two Grand Prix. “It was fantastic work in both spaces. We felt that instead of trying to force a decision to put down another piece of extraordinary work, it was better to celebrate both pieces. It was hard to eliminate extraordinary work.”
The Gorilla campaign shows a gorilla playing the drum solo of the Phil Collins track ‘In the air tonight.’ The ad debuted during Big Brother UK Final in the end of 2007, and has seen innumerable downloads and runs on YouTube.
Davis says, “If we talk about the Gorilla ad, it’s a courageous piece. It defies the conventions of confectionary advertising. If I asked all of you to write a commercial for chocolate, the ads would probably be similar, and would show the product. This ad is more about pleasure, which is what chocolate is about and is a great piece of entertainment.”
Tutssel said that Halo3, which won Grand Prix , was a future facing idea that turned gaming on its head. “This is the level where you feel giddy.” He said, “Both the Grand Prix entries represents ground breaking thinking and embraces everything new. It’s a glimpse into the future.”