of the Media Lions jury, David Verklin of Carat, USA, categorically said that this year, more Media Lions were awarded than ever before in the history of Cannes.
Unfortunately, not one fell into India's lap, despite seven nominations.
Three Indian entries came close to winning a lion. These are O&M's 'Incidents' for the Hutch Sangakara Theatre Festival, JWT's 'Rip-off' for Monte Carlo Jeans, and the 'Live Ants' campaign done by Rediffusion DY&R.
Vikram Sakhuja, COO, Group M India, who was a member of the Media Lions jury, said that the 'Incident' campaign done by O&M came very close to winning and was considered seriously, but it lost out on the parameter of scale. The objective of this initiative - to promote a festival, and that too in one town - was too limited in scale.
Sangakara Theatre Festival
Talking about the decisions for this year's Media Lions, Verklin, the jury president, stated that the decisions were based on five fundamental parameters - consumer insight, clear and obvious strategy, brilliant execution, innovation and result. The result criterion, he clarified, could mean a growth in sales, which was certainly first in the priority, or an increase in brand awareness.
The other important basis on which the ads were judged was the inspirational quotient in them. This was further categorised into three. First, the ad had to be an inspiration for media people, who would say, "Oh! I could have done that". Second, it had to be an inspiration for the client, who would say, "Wow! I want that kind of work". And third, the ad should be an inspiration for the next generation of media professionals.
Talking about the Indian entries this year, Sakhuja said that a majority of the Indian entries lacked proper presentation. Secondly, among the finalists, there was lack of audacity of scale, clear strategy, and powerful ideas.
When asked about the 'Living Ants' campaign, he said the work failed to convince the jury on its result. The biggest flaw was the use of ants to sell a food item, which wasn't accepted very well.
On the JWT 'Rip-Off' campaign for Monte Carlo Jeans, Sakhuja said that the idea could have been a clear win had it appeared in a magazine instead of in the store.
There was a bit of disappointment among the Indian delegates here in Cannes because, last year, India had managed to bag three lions in this category. Interestingly, most of the entries for the Media Lions were from creative agencies rather than media agencies.
Indian agencies also did not have any luck in the Outdoor category, which had 14 Indian finalists. Regarding the Indian entries, the jury said that they were good, but the others were better.
The jury said that in the new scheme of things, technology was considered while judging the entries, but not at the cost of the idea. A member of the Outdoor jury said, "We were looking at ideas first, and then at how technology was used to facilitate the idea."
Overall, except for two silvers in the Radio category, and a nomination for the Cyber Lions, India did not have much luck on the third day of the International Advertising Festival, Cannes.