N. Shatrujeet

27 Indian entries in Cannes shortlist; O&M leads with 12 nominations

O&M, Saatchi, Ambience, McCann, Lowe, Burnett, Rediffusion and Mudra are the agencies that have won nominations in the Press, Outdoor, Media and Direct categories

The shortlists in the Press, Outdoor, Media and Direct categories at this year's Cannes International Advertising Festival are out, and for Indian advertising, there's enough reason to cheer. A total of 27 entries from Indian agencies have made it to the shortlist stage in the four categories, with O&M India, Saatchi & Saatchi India and Ambience Publicis leading the way with 12, five and four nominations, respectively. Also in the race for Lions are McCann-Erickson India (with two shortlisted entries), Lowe, Leo Burnett India, Rediffusion | DYR and Mudra Communications (one nomination each).

Seven Indian entries have been nominated for Lions in the Press category. These include the ‘Principles of Marketing' ad for Luxor Highlighter (Lowe), the ‘Map' ad for the Hyundai Santro Xing (Saatchi India), the ‘Italian Seafood Festival' ad for Senso (Burnett India), the ‘Female Infanticide' ad for Heal Foundation (McCann), and three ads (‘Bear', ‘Duck' and ‘Kangaroo') for IAPA Adoption by Ogilvy India.

In the Outdoor category, it's virtually been a shower of nominations for India, with 17 entries ending up in the shortlist. These include eight entries from O&M (for Fevicol, Hutch, Concern India Foundation, Cancer Patients Aid Association and IBM ThinkPad), four from Saatchi (for Bharat Petroleum and Ariel), three from Ambience (for Sil Red Chilli Sauce and Impotencecure.org), and one each from McCann (Sweetex) and Mudra (Femina).

India's prospects in the Media Lions category hinge on two entries that have made it to the shortlist. While the first is an entry from Ambience promoting HIV awareness for People's Health Organisation, the second is an entry from Rediffusion for cellular service brand AirTel. In the Direct category, a lone Indian entry is in contention for a Lion - an entry titled ‘Locked Box' for IBM, created by Ogilvy India.

The 27 nominations that India has won this year in the Press, Outdoor, Media and Direct categories are just a shade short of the 32 nominations it had last year in the four categories. At the 2003 Festival, 29 Indian entries were shortlisted in the Press and Outdoor categories alone, while three entries were nominated in Lions Direct. This year, in comparison, 24 pieces of Indian advertising have been deemed worthy of being nominated in Press and Outdoor (which is down five from last year), while only one Indian entry finds itself in the Direct shortlist (two less than last year). However, compensating for the drop in nominations in Press, Outdoor and Direct, two Indian entries have made it to the Media shortlist this year - last year, India had no nominations in the category.

The marginal drop in nominations, however, cannot be construed as a damper for India's hopes - after all, it's the number of Lions won that ultimately counts. Last year, it may be recalled, India claimed a total of six Lions (three gold, two silver and one bronze), four in the Press and Outdoor categories, and two in Direct. What remains to be seen is how many of the 27 nominations does India convert into metal at Cannes 2004.

The results for the four categories should be out shortly. Till then, it's all the best to the eight Indian agencies that have toiled their way into this year's shortlist… © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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