Though the number of entries from India in the Direct category went up from 69 last year to 105 this year; only four entries have managed to get to the finals, in comparison to last year's seven.
Two of McCann's public service campaigns have been nominated in the sub-categories, Dimensional Mailing and Ambient & Print Collateral.
The first nomination is for the campaign, Enslaved Children, for an anti-child labour initiative, Bachpan Bachao Andolan; while the other is for the campaign, Legend Abused, for the NGO, Friends for Education.
For the Enslaved Children campaign, McCann designed real carpets, which had the image of child labourers working as carpet weavers. The agency held an exhibition of these carpets and got celebrities to visit the exhibition to support the cause.
In the second campaign, Legend Abused, McCann created a print ad, showing the dilapidated state of poet Mirza Ghalib's house, defaced by abuses and swear words.
The other nominations for India came in for Bates 141's Stolen Signature campaign for India Anti-Virus; and Grey Worldwide's AIDS Mask campaign for Ojus Medical Institute. The Bates campaign has been selected in the Flat Mailing category, while Grey's entry is in Ambient & Print Collateral.
For the Stolen Signature campaign, Bates sent out direct mailers through courier to people who had just purchased a computer. As the consumer signed the counterfoil to acknowledge the receipt of the mail, a carbon paper inside the envelope also copied the customer's signature, which pledged that he is aware that his signature can be easily duplicated and he is, thus, keen to sign on India Anti-Virus.
In the AIDS Mask campaign, Grey distributed masks during the peak of the swine flu scare, bearing the message, '126 people succumb to swine flu and wear a mask; 25 million have died of AIDS. Do you use condoms?'
Till date, 2008 has been the best year for India in the Direct Lions category, when three Indian entries were awarded. This included The Times of India's Lead India campaign, which won India's first Grand Prix.
The winners for Direct Lions will be announced tomorrow by the jury, which also includes Ramesh Iyengar, CMD, Select Direct Marketing Communications.
Watch this space for more.