Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity: The Indian entries
By Catherine Gilon and Tsering Dolma, TNIE - HYDERABAD
15th June 2012 11:59 AM
A major global event, The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity convenes every year in June to celebrate the best in brand communication. Last year, there were a record 28,282 entries from around the world, after two years of declining entries following the global economic crisis, and India returned with a metal tally of 24. We talk to some of the people behind the entries this year, jury members and industry experts to get a clearer picture of where we stand and what to expect this season.
A green call: DDB Mudra
Sonal Dabral, chief creative officer, DDB Mudra, shares with us the story behind a favourite entry at Cannes. ‘‘Growing Tree was an interesting initiative we did for Prism Papyrus (an exclusive distributor for paper manufacturer Fedrigoni). They wanted an attention-grabbing idea to promote a new range of recycled papers for offices. The target audience were the corporate print buyers and sellers in Mumbai,’’ he says. The idea is simple yet engaging. ‘‘We designed a series of posters using an innovative technique based on the capillary action of ink on paper. As the ink started spreading, a tree started taking shape on each poster, literally growing in front of people’s eyes. The visual impact of a tree coming to life underlined the importance of using recycled paper. Printed below was the call to action. It was not a conventional poster idea but an art installation that communicated an important message.” Another successful campaign was for Coffee Gold, a brand of Strong Coffee. ‘‘We created a print campaign which illustrated three different stories of true mishaps that occurred around the world, due to very small human errors. These stories were used as a hook to communicate that the strong flavour of Coffee Gold helps consumers stay alert throughout the day,” concludes Dabral.
Small is beautiful:
Santhosh Padhi, co-founder, Taproot India, explains how their small, independent agency (four-year-old) has managed to win critical acclaim. “It’s a people’s industry; you don’t need a 20- torey glass building to gain prominence,’’ he says. They have sent 14 entries across different categories. And what, according to him, makes the cut?
“The idea is to break the format and to keep it innovative. For example, when Nirma Bartan introduced a lime variant, we wanted something that was wacky and also very Indian. The campaign is a quirky take on how the new variant from Nirma smells good, and shows a series of funny situations, like a country bar waiter helping a customer throw up with a pressure cooker on his head.” Referring to last year’s festival favourite, the ‘WWF’ campaign, from Germany’s Jung Von Matt, Padhi adds, ‘‘It proved that you don’t need a mega budget, just a powerful idea. The campaign showed how a PDF in your computer system won’t let you print documents.’’
RK Swamy BBDO
Ambareesh Chakraborty, creative director, RK Swamy BBDO, highlights their ‘Pillows’ campaign for luxury auto company Mercedes Benz,which has been sent to Cannes. ‘‘It shows how sleep can suddenly steal upon anyone while driving,’’ he begins. ‘‘We wanted to dramatise its stealthy appearance with the analogy of the pillows and showcase how the New Attention Assist on the Mercedes Benz will detect such a tendency to sleep and prompt the driver to take a break. It is a fitting feature for a brand that has pioneered most of the safety features in the automotive world.” Another favourite this year? “Climbing stairs, a mundane task, can become an intimidating activity for those suffering from knee pain. With Monster Wood, we wanted to show a brand (Gelixer Collagen Pep) that understands best how the afflicted person feels and has devised a remedy to fight even the most formidable knee joint pains,” he explains.
Fiery picture: O&M
Vivek Godbole, creative director, O&M, and his team are hoping that their fiery grilled chicken campaign for KFC is fiery enough for the Lions. Talking about how this unique campaign evolved, he says, “The first thing that struck us about this was that it hits you in the first bite and we wanted to capture that in the campaign.” And the task was not simple. They took to malls and captured people’s reactions after they had the spicy snack.
This photo was then used to make a sculpture of matchsticks, over 30,000 matchsticks, to be precise. ‘‘It took five people 10 days to complete one sculpture,” Godbole recalls. Backed by a professional team, the campaign turned out to be a crowd-puller and the print ads were well appreciated. Ask him whether the campaign will pull it off at Cannes and he is modest, “I think the key is to use a visual language that cuts across the world.” Another entry from them is equally hot. The Spicy pickle campaign from MTR that will compete in the Press Lions category, shows funny scenarios where characters (when tortured or when chopping onions) don’t cry. The tag line goes, ‘so spicy, you’ll run out of tears’.
Clean campaign: JWT
From the veterans comes an everyday concept that appealed to children and worked to their advantage. Senthil Kumar, national creative director, JWT, whose ‘Naaka Mukka-A Day in the Life of Chennai’, won India its first and second Gold Lion in the Film & Film Craft category at Cannes in 2009, talks about what went into this year’s entry. “Unilever wanted a demonstrative idea to show how the Rin detergent bar could erase ink spots, dirt and stains for competition detergent users,’’ he recalls. ‘‘The strategy was to engage the target audience with an unusual idea that involved children who often influence their mothers to try out new brands.” The answer was the Rin Eraser. “Designed in the shape of the Rin soap bar and armed with a special rubber ingredient to erase stains from white uniforms and writing paper, it helped the brand reach out to its potential target audience,’’ he points out. The idea became so popular that mothers were soon visiting stationery stores instead of supermarkets, asking for RIN erasers. “We are sentimental, even cloying, family-oriented, preferring to relax and escape, while Westerners are subtle, tongue-in-cheek and adventurous. Our ads reflect these characteristics, as their ads reflect theirs,’’ reflects Kumar.
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