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Cannes 2010: Indian Media entries good on ideas, but not on results

By Prajjal Saha , afaqs!, Cannes | In Advertising | June 23, 2010
Leo Burnett is the only Indian agency to have bagged a Media Lion - a bronze; though there were six other shortlists

Leo Burnett India has bagged a Bronze Lion in the Media category. The jury seems to have liked the idea, as well as the execution, behind the Tide Dirt Magnets campaign - where magnetized sample packs and iron fillings were used to provide readers an interactive experience of pulling away stains from garments. The campaign was channelised through in-store merchandising and print.

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The campaign could have performed even better, had it not lost out on scale. The jury president, Laura Desmond, Global CEO, Starcom Mediavest Group, says, "The campaign reached out to only 40,000 readers, which is very small for a country like India."

"The campaign was based on a simple insight about what people needed to do, when there is a stain on their shorts, which was compellingly executed in a magazine format. But the scale could not be compared at a national level," she says.

Voicing a similar opinion, Ravi Kiran, CEO, Starcom Mediavest Group, South Asia, who was also part of the jury says, "Indian entries were good on ideas, but poor on results. We need to move from exposure to delivery of brand results."

Kiran adds that while the world has moved to a paid, earned and owned media model; India is still stuck with the paid one.

He also says that while local nuances could be part of the idea, people should use international formats for presentation. He was referring to entries, which had used a Bollywood song as the backdrop or a Punjabi-Hindi mixed voiceover for the presentation.

This year, the innovative use of social media has grabbed the jury members' attention at Cannes. Most of the Grand Prix winners have used social media very effectively to multiply the effect of their respective campaigns. Even in Media, the Grand Prix winner - EOS Photochains by Leo Burnett Sydney -- had tried a similar route to launch the Canon DSLR camera.

Canon tried a new way to connect photographers with the brand through a social media chain. Desmond says, "The Canon EOS campaign was able to hit every single measure at such a high level in a very complex category."

Since its launch, 94 photos were uploaded everyday, which means four photos an hour. On an average, people spent 12 minutes on the website and around 20,000 photos were uploaded from around Australia. Besides, Canon EOS has risen to a record 67 per cent market share in Australia since launch.

Desmond acknowledged that the innovative use of social media garnered more votes or appreciation, as something news always grabs the attention of the jury members. However, for the Grand Prix, she adds, it is always great ideas told well, with compelling insight and great results.