Cannes: JWT India won a Grand Prix (the highest prize) in the Direct Lions category at Cannes 2008 for its ‘Lead India’ campaign for The Times of India, published by Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd.
At a press conference to announce awards in this category, Marcio Salem, president and creative director of Brazilian advertising agency Salem and the head of the Direct Lions jury, said the campaign “went beyond the line”.
Promo Lions jury president Jochum, chief creative officer, BBDO Stuttgart and Berlin (Photo by: Anushree Chandran / Mint )
JWT India also won the second place in the Agency of the Year award in the Direct Lions category for the same campaign. Spain’s Shackleton Madrid won a Gold Lion in the category.
JWT India’s associate Contract Advertising India also won a Silver Lion in the Direct Lions category for its campaign for Children of the World, a non-profit.
“As jury members, we were looking for big ideas with beautiful and great execution. The first day, some of the jury members called me and said that they have seen some unusual work from India, and they didn’t quite know how to judge it. The Lead India campaign started as a direct response ad in a newspaper, and became a movement. We communicate to move people. This campaign moved an entire country,” said Salem.
“I think it was the campaign’s objectives, and the ambition behind it that helped it stand apart,” said Agnello Dias, chief creative officer, JWT. Indian entries, however, fared badly in the Promo Lions category with only one of them, again by JWT India, for the government of Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry) winning a Bronze Lion.
“The entry was for a yoga festival in Pondicherry. It was an ambient idea. We got regular people to do yoga while they were going about their daily jobs. It was a fresh idea and a very different way of looking at a yoga festival,” said Dias.
The Grand Prix in this category went to HBO Voyeur Integrated Campaign (for HBO’s multimedia offering on the lives of people living in eight fictional apartments in New York) entered by BBDO New York. Promos for the programme were screened on the side of a New York building.
This entry also won a Gold Lion and a Silver Lion in the Promo Lions category.
“The Voyeur Integrated campaign is definitely a masterpiece. We were looking for outstanding campaigns, strong idea-driven work that helps to energize brands. This one fitted the bill,” said Armin Jochum, chief creative officer of BBDO Stuttgart and Berlin, and the head of the Promo Lions jury.
Roshan Abbas, founder of event management company Encompass Events Pvt. Ltd, who was on the jury for Promo Lions, said India’s poor showing in the category can partially be attributed to limited budgets presented by Indian advertisers.
“Ideas need the backing of clients, in terms of trust and budgets. It’s not easy to get an idea past clients in India,” he added.