Bringing Home The Lions

Written by Pritha Mitra Dasgupta | Updated: Jul 5 2011, 10:15am hrs
HESE are campaigns that have caught the attention of the Indian public and entertained them. They have ensured high brand recall and even been able to spur sales many a time. Many of these creative works have already won awards at the Goafest and other ad festivals. Now they were aiming for the big one the Cannes Lions. And they havent been disappointed.

Its been one of the best performances for India at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this year with the final score at 4 golds, 10 silvers and 10 bronzes. The 7-day festival that celebrates the most creative ideas in the communications business saw 1173 entries from India in its 58th edition, an increase of 9% over last year. With 24 metals, India is just one short of the 25-Lion high of 2009. Mudra Communications topped the table with three Silver Lions, five Bronze Lions and nine shortlisted entries. BBDO India came second and also picked up the Gold in the first ever Creative Effectiveness category. Ogilvy & Mather India stood third, followed by McCann Worldgroup at the fourth spot. And along with the big names, there were also small agencies such as Out of the Box and Sorento Healthcare Communications in this roll of honour, The Indian advertising industry is obviously celebrating. Says Madhukar Kamath, group CEO and managing director, Mudra Group, Bringing back 8 Lions and being the most awarded Indian agency is a proud moment for all of us in the Mudra Group. We have been raising the bar every year and the results are showing. This is just the beginning.

For BBDO India, winning a gold in the first edition of Creative Effectiveness Lions was certainly special. The award is both humbling and liberating. It is the biggest thing to happen to us in our three-year history, says Josy Paul, chairman and NCD, BBDO India.

It does seem that India has been able to get over last years disappointing run at Cannes when it won only 17 medals. Says Paul, Its been one of Indias best years at Cannes. But this did not reflect the nations full potential. We know there was a lot of fantastic work that won at Goafest which was expected to do well at Cannes, but did not. Hopefully that will convert into a determined will to do even better next year.

It wasnt just India that was shining at the Cannes Lions 2011. The number of entries from emerging countries were significantly up, and Asia had a strong presence this year with big increases especially from Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Malaysia and Singapore, said Philips Thomas, Festival CEO. Weve also seen a significant increase in entries from Latin America, especially Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Chile and the Central American nations. Russia has more than doubled, and there is growing confidence in the Middle East, despite its current problems, with many more entries from Bahrain, Lebanon, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The USA remains the top participating country, followed by Brazil, Germany, the UK and France, Thomas said. Altogether, the Cannes Lions 2011 edition received 28,828 entries from 90 countries, the highest ever in the history of the festival and up by 19% since last year.

Like every year, Cannes Lions 2001 too pointed the way forward for creativity in communications, and the new strapline for the festival perhaps indicated this. From the International Advertising Festival, it became International Festival of Creativity to reflect the transformation of Cannes Lions from being a celebration of creative excellence in advertising to now reflecting creative excellence in all forms of communication. As Abhijit Avasthi, national creative director, Ogilvy & Mather India, said, Cannes is a great source of inspiration for us. I think the trend is towards more integrated and digital ideas. There were many fabulous ideas but bravest and most original was perhaps the re-launch campaign for Rom chocolates in Romania. The Rom campaign by McCann Erickson Bucharest won two Grand Prix Lions, one in the Direct Lions category and the other in the Promo & Activation Lions category. In a close finish, Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam, won the Film Grand Prix for its electric Nike Write the Future spot.

In this special edition, BrandWagon showcases the winning India entries. These are the stellar campaigns from Indian agencies. Enjoy reading this Cannes special.

Chugging Up The Golden Track

The campaign: Train

The award: Film Crafts Gold Lion for best use of music

The agency: Ogilvy & Mather and Nirvana Films

The client: Ministry of Railways

The brief: The brief was to bring alive the unifying nature of the Indian Railways giant network in a warm and endearing manner. This film shows that the Indian Railways just doesnt connect people and places, but hearts too.

The execution: The inspiration was the game that everyone has played as a child that of making a human train and going from one place to the other. The twist was that the agency did it using adults forming the ever-growing train. We used the old classic Rail gaadi rail gaadi track from the 1968 movie Aashirwaad as the soundtrack of the film since it also captures the expansive spread of the Indian Railways, says Abhijit Avasthi, national creative director, Ogilvy & Mather India. The ad shows a human train making its way through the roads of India the music picking pace and adding more life to the film as it progresses. The film ends with the voiceover The Magic of India, Indian Railways.

Agency take: The Train film was released during the Commonwealth Games and everyone was absolutely delighted with it, says Avasthi. It charmed the audiences immediately. The soundtrack played a huge part in giving it a distinct flavour.

Green News For A Greener Planet

The campaign: Worlds first newspaper on 100% recycled newsprint

The award: Media Gold Lion

The agency: Lodestar UM

The client: LOreal-Garnier

The brief: In India Garnier has always advertised the products under it but not the mother brand. Garnier intended to do advertise the mother brand in India and thus this campaign.

The execution: A 45-day campaign from World Earth Day to World Environment Day sought ideas to help build a greener planet. For every idea received, Garnier bought 10 kg of used newspaper. And on June 5 - World Environment Day The Times of India reused old newspapers to create a 100% recycled newspaper. Altogether 50 tons of used newsprint, equivalent to 1,200 trees, was recycled. A multi-media campaign was designed urging the youth to participate. The minister for environment and forests, Jairam Ramesh, agreed to become the editor for the day and adopted six of the 5013 ideas received.

Agency take: Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar UM, I think there are two reasons because of which this campaign caught the attention of the jury. Firstly, converting a newspaper eco-friendly was a huge logistical challenge. But we tackled that. But the larger reason that worked in the favour of this campaign was the youth connect exercise. And together it became an integrated idea.

Of Buds And Blooms

The brief: The idea was to emphasise the many activities at the pre-school in an engaging manner while highlighting the new tagline Love blossoms here. The client wanted a brochure that expands on its philosophy of love.

The execution: For the brochure, the agency created illustrations of flowers in bloom, which on closer inspection turns out to be children dancing, playing, taking part in festivals, etc. The idea fitted beautifully with the tagline and the brochure soon became a collectors item.

Agency take: The innocence of the idea speaks for itself. It is pure and extremely simple. The work is labour of love and I think the jury felt the same. And of course the execution / large scale format were simply brilliant!, says Viral Pandya, chief creative officer, Out of the Box.

Foam And Froth

The brief: How to get Indian men to shave more often was the issue here with the aim to involve the one audience that the target group will listen to: Women.

The execution: The movement started on Facebook and Bollywood actresses joined the debate. Gillette simultaneously dropped the price of Mach 3 razor. A mass shaving event and publicity stunt was organised, which saw over 10,000 men getting shaved by women in a mall activation programme, thus entering the Guinness Book of Records. Following the campaign, Mach 3 sales went up by 500%. The campaign generated $3 million-worth of free coverage, getting 7,63,000 hits on Google.

Agency take: The award is significant because it settles the whole debate about creativity and effectiveness, says Josy Paul, Josy Paul, chairman and NCD, BBDO India. It links the two so brilliantly and has the power to convert the biggest cynics of creative award shows into its greatest advocates. I must add here that the award belongs to all our client partners Mediacom, Weber Shandwick, Encompass and GRIPS.

In His Own Voice

The brief: To make readers aware of audiobookindia.coms grand collection of famous autobiographies. The idea was to create posters and point-of-sales material for bookstores, trade fairs and literary events that audiobookindia.com would participate in.

The execution: Since autobiographies are stories told by the greats in their own voice, the agency created a strikingly simple campaign that became the best possible product demonstration for the category by inserting a bookmark between the lips of these greats, as one would do so between the pages of a book.

Agency take: Winning always makes you feel good, a two-year-old independent agency topping the table at Cannes with a gold and a silver on its first year, says Santosh Padhi, co-founder and chief creative officer, Taproot India. We continue to perform well this year as well, we are grateful that we have been a massive contributor to the Indian tally at Cannes and our two years of existence.

Sour Indeed

The brief: To demonstrate the exceedingly sour taste of Sour Marbels.

The execution: The agency exaggerated the sourness by saying it was so sour that you'd rather not live with its aftertaste. This was brought alive using the brand's trademark illustration style in a ridiculously humourous manner.

Agency take: The Sour Marbels work was hugely appreciated for its wit and illustration style not only offline but also on the internet, says Abhijit Avasthi, national creative director,Ogilvy & Mather India. The executions in both were very fresh and inspired. The magic in the Sour Marbels campaign came from the illustration style.

Cool Quotient

The brief: To promote Electrolux freezers multi airflow systemthat preserves food perfectly.

The execution: The agency created graphic posters that separated every layer of a particular food to show how the freezer freezes every part almost individually. The style used is simple and inspired by information graphics. The multi airflow system was a success during the summer months when this activity was conducted. Electrolux registered a 45% increase in enquiries and increased its share of the freezer market by a factor of 3, says the brand. In fact, this campaign is set to be released by Electrolux in other countries to promote sales of deep freezers.

Agency take: This in-store poster campaign for Electrolux Refrigerators is classic example of how a great how a design idea can vividly demonstrate a product benefit, says Bobby Pawar, national creative director, Mudra.

Farewell To Goodbyes

The brief: It was the relaunch of the Bharti Airtel brand using concepts like 3G and video calling.

The execution: A man and a woman are never apart, even after they say their goodbyes. The commercial is a launch spot for 3G video calls.

Agency take: Says Adrian Miller, chief creative officer, JWT Delhi, The biggest challenge was selling the concept like that, which is quite different for Indian television. It's a beautifully crafted film that has the right blend of music and a simple interesting idea. And that is the reason why I think it caught the attention of the jury at Cannes Lions this year.

Close Encounters

The brief: Being a low involvement category, Gillette Mach3 Turbo Sensitive razor had to connect with the target audience by creating excitement about the category and product.

The execution: A consumer insight revealed that 72% of women found the act of shaving their men sexy. So the agency created ShaveSutra shaving positions inspired by the ancient text of the Kamasutra. ShaveSutra was released in the form of instructional videos and CDs and distributed in cafes and on the net. ShaveSutra was activated on-ground in over 25 cities as part of the Shave India Movement. This was further fuelled by mass media engagement programmes such as mall activation where thousands of couples showed off their very own positions, the live event (where 150 women shaved their men together) and celebrity involvement.

Agency take: "BBDO India had a fantastic run this year. We won four shiny metals and 14 nominations. This was mostly on real transformational work on big brands with market changing results.says Josy Paul, chairman and NCD, BBDO India.

To Hell And Back

The brief: The brief was to find a way to talk about depression and convey that it can be combated with the right advice and guidance, without pushing up the defenses of the target audience.

The execution: To people suffering from depression, it can seem overwhelming. These posters put up in colleges and hangouts of young adults use a graphic representation to convey the power of advice and counselling when it comes to dwarfing the problems of depression. Following the campaign, there was a 21% increase in calls for help in one month.

Agency take: Advertising is an art form that serves the needs of a business or a cause, says Bobby Pawar, national creative director, Mudra. The craft matters, because the more evocative the expression, the stronger the response you will get. The Dwarf Depression campaign captures the state of mind of each sufferer thorough a unique illustration style and a simple visual idea.

Soft And Downy

The brief:To show the benefit of the fabric softener in an innovative way.

The execution: Some people may actually enjoy that stiff starchy feeling of clean laundry coming fresh from the dryer, but for everyone else, this Downy Fabric Softener campaign suggests that this particular product can get your garments unbelievably soft.

A knit sweater, corduroy slacks and denim jeans are each featured in a different print, pinched quite seriously along the arm or leg of each article. A close look at the individual ads shows that the sleeves have actually been threaded through the eye of a needle. Grey Worldwide has used this feature of these items of clothing to demonstrate just how soft and versatile these textiles can become, once the promoted product of this Downy Fabric Softener campaign has been used in the washing machine.

Agency take: Jishnu Sen, president and CEO, Grey Group India, said it was thrilling to have the worlds best recognise Greys work.

The Globetrotters Invite

The brief: The challenge is to constantly remind people day by day, every day of the year, that there are still places on the earth that they havent seen, explored and enjoyed. The brief was simple - to make 2011 a year when people lock up their houses and head out.

The execution: The agency decided to approach Yatra.com's clients with a new idea - travel not for a week or a month, but for the whole year. Shown with a calendar of 365 immigration stamps, the message was simple: For the next 365 days, go out and explore places most people havent even heard of. Since the concept was so cool, people wanted to hang the calendar on their walls.

Agency take: Nirmalya Sen, MD, TBWAIndia, said it was heartening to win in a category that celebrates craft. I thank yatra.com for putting money into this brilliant idea!

View From The Top

The brief: The brief was to position the Onida i21 mobile as an intelligent tool, smarter than the average mobile. One of the features that made this difference was voice-activated dialling, which became the creative springboard.

CLIENT take: This work was good, but I personally believe that Onida has seen even better creative work over the years, that delivered better business results as well, but did not win any awards. Like in the film world, awards, nominations, etc., tend to operate with a logic of their own!, says Krishnamurthy Sriram, vice-president, corporate strategy, Mirc Electronics (Onida).

Tongue Twisters

The brief: Tata Sky had introduced Truchoice, a unique package allowing viewers to pay only for the language channels they understand. The campaign had to make consumers realize that they were paying for channels they dont even watch, and therefore switch to Tata Sky.

The execution: In the middle of a programme on a language channel on the ETV Network, the channel aired content in a different language. A message followed reminding viewers not to pay for channels that they dont watch. This was aired on 12 leading language channels creating 42 similar situations of 'language mixing'.

Agency take: Making it happen across 12 languages was not only a tough idea to come up with but convincing a network and executing it seamlessly was a challenge in itself, says Ajit Verghese, MD, Maxus South Asia. It probably won because of its use of content as advertising than just placement or integra-tions, besides the simplicity in execution.

Sound Of Silence

The campaign: Silent National Anthem

The award: PR Silver Lion for best use of broadcast, Promo and Activation Bronze Lion for Best Use of Broadcast in a Promotional Campaign, Promo and Activation Bronze Lion for Corporate Image & Information, Films Bronze Lion

The agency : Mudra Communications

The client:Reliance Media Works-Big Cinemas

The brief: Big Cinemas wanted to start a social conversation around an issue language that often divides the nation.

The execution: The Silent National Anthem started in Big Cinemas theatres and spilled over into the consciousness of a nation. In the run-up to Republic Day, the agency shared the Silent National Anthem with journalists, media owners, Bollywood stars and opinion leaders. Leading TV channels covered the film and ran it free of cost for a few days. There were 38 articles in newspapers and magazines, besides thousands of blog mentions and tweets, including those by Bollywood stars and opinion leaders. The Creative Review UK, named it the third most viraled campaign in the world.

Agency take: This was probably one of the most talked about, if not the most talked about and viraled Indian campaign in the last few months, says Bobby Pawar, national creative director, Mudra. Whats probably different about it is that it isnt a TV commercial; it is a piece of film content. And it addresses a national need in a uniquely emotional way. The impact it has had can be measured in the applause, the tears, the media coverage and ultimately the awards it has earned for the brand Big Cinemas.

Homing In

The campaign: Blueprint

The award: Press Bronze Lion

The agency: Mudra Communications

The client: Union Bank of India (home loans)

The brief: The brief was to target real hot prospects, who were looking for bigger homes. The ad itself was the blueprints of the houses.

The execution: The campaign for Union Bank of Indias home loans consisted of tiny ads in the real estate classifieds section of leading newspapers. Each classified ad featured a small blueprint of a small flat and asked the reader if he wanted a bigger home.

Agency take: This is possibly Indias first Cannes Lion for classified ads, says Bobby Pawar, national creative director, Mudra. Just goes to prove that sometimes the biggest ideas arent, well, big.

In Full Combat

The campaign: Osama/Bush, Batman/Joker

The award:Outdoor Bronze Lion

The agency:Sorento Healthcare Communications, Mumbai

The client:Wockhardt (osteoarthritis therapy)

The brief: To promote an arthritis therapy to doctors, this campaign was created for Wockhardt for its brand Sammy.

The execution: Illustrated exquisitely, the concepts brought together arch rivals - Osama bin Laden and George Bush in one ad , and Batman and Joker in the second, for a good cause to promote an arthritis therapy to doctors.

Apocalypse Now

The campaign: Nuclear-Sea Level

The award:Outdoor Bronze Lion

The agency:BBDO India

The client:White Collar Hippies

The brief: To stand out in a cluttered travel market

The execution: Instead of highlighting destinations which would be the norm for travel brands, this campaign stressed on the fact that life is short. The two campaigns picked up two situations of catastrophesa nuclear war and globalwarming that could the bring the world to an end, and urged viewers to travel the world before it vanishes.

Agency take: Our ideas were local, but they seem to have an inherent universal soul that connected with the jury members from around the world, says Josy Paul, chairman and NCD, BBDO India.

For Your Ears Only

The campaign: Terminator-A few good men

The award:Radio Bronze Lion

The agency : McCann Erickson

The client:Mirc Electronics- Onida DVD players

The brief: The brief was to communicate the benefit of scratch disk playability in an engaging way on the radio medium.

The execution: The radio spot from plays a distorted tune in the beginning that hooks the listener. The brand message is then echoed through a voice over saying Fun to listen to, it will be lousy to watch. Only Onida DVD players play all discs, including the scratched ones. It sounds like a DJ mixing a scratch of a popular movie dialogue, with repeats of words like a disc is stuck. The message is conveyed in a very simple yet impactful way.

CLIENT take: Of course, we are delighted to be Cannes award winners but these two campaigns (for the DVD player and the i21 Mobile together accounted for less than 1% of our advertising and promotional spends last year, so we have to set our sights on getting great creative quality in the larger campaigns that we spend big monies on, said Krishnamurthy Sriram, VP, Corporate Strategy, Mirc Electronics (Onida).

Natures Bounty

The campaign: Disappearing Discounts

The award:Design Bronze Lion

The agency : Mudra Communications

The client:RI Ayurveda Research Labs

The brief: The objective was to maximize participation during the last few days of the brands periodic clearance sale.

The execution: The agency decided to create coupons that were hard to ignore.

The die cut coupons were fashioned out of leaves and petals. Owing to the continuous loss of moisture, the text would inevitably become unreadable in about 48 hours, rendering the coupons useless. The coupons effectively let customers know that an offer was slipping out of their hands with every passing second. While doing so,

they also advertised what made the range of cosmetics special in the first place - the fact that they were made from fresh, natural ingredients, with minimal use of artificial preservatives. The company recorded its highest-ever sales of near-expiry stock, in less than 5 days.

Agency take: Solutions not ads. Thats the mindset that created this campaign, says Bobby Pawar, national creative director, Mudra. It is a great way to underline the natural aspect of the brand while pushing the promotion.