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Cannes 2009: Three nominations for India in Film Lions

By Prajjal Saha , afaqs!, Cannes | In Advertising | June 26, 2009
The Nakka Mukka campaign for the Times of India, Chennai edition, by JWT India has got two nominations, while the Max IPL campaign has got one. However, Vodafone's Zoozoo campaign failed to impress the jury, though it was a phenomenon in India

India has got three nominations this year in the Film Lions category at the International Advertising Festival, Cannes.

The Nakka Mukka campaign for the Times of India, Chennai edition, which is based on a day in the life of Chennai, has got two nominations - one in the Publications and Media sub-category, and one for the Best Use of Music.

& #BANNER1 & #The TV commercial, created by JWT Chennai, is a satire on a day in the life of Chennai. It traces the journey of an actor-cum-politician and the ups and downs of his life in a day. It's a 24-hour biography, and a cut out character has been used as a metaphor for this person. It highlights the dirty party-hopping track that most actor/politicians employ every day.

The film opens on a shot of Chennai at the break of dawn and captures the hustle-bustle, traffic jams and hectic activity in the city. Along with this begins the journey of an actor and politician's life. His movies do well in the cinema city and he becomes a star, winning lots of adulation and fan following. The star grows into an actor-turned-director, and then rises as a political star. Finally, some wrong moves lead to his downfall. His fans turn against him and he ends up as a scarecrow in a field.

The background score, Naaka Mukka, tells the story and gives an extremely vivid description of the city. The song also topped the charts in Indian music channels. The agency claims that the song became very popular, almost like Chennai's 'anthem'. This justifies it being nominated for the Best Use of Music award.

It may be recalled that an Indian entry, the 'Happydent' film, bagged a silver for the Best Use of Music at Cannes last year.

The second film nominated from India was the IPL Season 2 film launched by Max. The film was created by TBWA India. The idea was to position the Indian Premier League as the singular event that brings together the diversity of India, which is aired on Max. This is illustrated by billions of people doing the same thing in synchrony.

The film shows different people from different parts of India doing exactly the same thing at the same time. For example - a group of people with newspapers turning pages in synchronisation; cooks in a restaurant in Mumbai twirling 'rumali rotis' at the same time; a classroom full of kids, all raising their little fingers together to ask for permission to visit the washroom; or 500 people at the Victoria Terminus station calling out for a taxi together.

The IPL film has also been nominated in the Publications and Media sub-category.

Interestingly, the Zoozoo films by Vodafone, which became quite a phenomenon during the IPL, failed to even get a nomination. This is quite surprising because it was both a genuine and a good work, and had created enough buzz for itself as well as the brand.

The hopes were very high on this television commercial. Tomorrow, when the press gets to interact with the jury, we can know why the films failed to impress the jury. Probably the jury found it similar to some other work done somewhere in the past. Even then, the entry deserved a note of appreciation.

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