N. Shatrujeet

O&M, Burnett claim three Bronze Lions for India in Press and Outdoor

India has claimed three bronze Lions in the Press and Outdoor categories. Ogilvy India has accounted for two of these, while Burnett India has claimed the third award

Three pieces of Indian advertising have ended up winning Bronze Lions in the Press and Outdoor categories at this year's Cannes International Advertising Festival. O&M India has accounted for two of these, while Leo Burnett India has claimed the third award. (Preliminary reports received early yesterday evening had suggested that India had picked up four Bronze Lions, but information received by agencyfaqs! subsequently confirms three awards.)

The winning entries from O&M comprise a two-ad campaign for Hutch (‘Man walking' and ‘Lady with pram') and an ad for Concern India Foundation, while Burnett India's bronze-winning entry is the ‘Italian Seafood Festival' ad for Senso Restaurant. While the winners from Ogilvy were in the Outdoor category, Burnett struck metal in the Press category. An interesting aside: all three winning entries were created by the Delhi offices of the two agencies.

It may be recalled that India had a total of 24 nominations in the Press and Outdoor categories this year - seven nominations in Press, and 17 shortlisted entries in Outdoor. Ogilvy alone had 11 nominations in the two categories put together, followed by Saatchi & Saatchi India (five nominations), Ambience Publicis (three nominations), McCann-Erickson India (two in the shortlist), Lowe, Burnett and Mudra Communications (one nomination each). While Ogilvy successfully converted two of the 11 shortlisted entries into Lions, Burnett hit pay dirt with its lone shortlisted entry.

For Ogilvy India - which has made winning Lions something of an annual regimen - the two Lions this year come in the wake of the three Lions (one Gold and two Silvers) it won last year in the Press and Outdoor categories. For Burnett, however, this year's Bronze Lion comes after a seemingly interminable wait. The agency had been making it to the shortlist stage at Cannes with unfailing regularity, but hadn't managed converting a nomination into metal since the ‘battery-operated toy' film for Forte India claimed a Bronze Lion back in year 2000.

Small wonder the mood at Burnett India is celebratory. "It's a really good feeling… the knowledge that the conversion has happened and we've won a Lion," said KV Sridhar, national creative director, Leo Burnett India, speaking to agencyfaqs! from Cannes. Alluding to the agency's wait for a Lion, he added, "We were coming very close to Lions in the past, but not winning any. This time we've won, and I think this win will act as an inspiration and make Burnett do a lot more good work this year. But for now, we are going to celebrate by throwing a small party."

While both O&M India and Burnett India are toasting their respective successes, the overall results for India have had a slightly sobering effect, at least locally. The reasons are not hard to find. This time last year, the Indian ad industry was beside itself with joy, having claimed six Lions in the Press, Outdoor and Direct categories. Of these, three were Gold Lions, two were Silver Lions and one was a Bronze. Compare that with what India has achieved so far this time round (three Bronze Lions in Press and Outdoor, and none in the Media and Direct categories), and the sense of disappointment springs sharply into focus.

A fact that Burnett's Sridhar touches upon when he says as a country, India could have done better. In the same breath, he adds, "But never mind. As long as winning becomes a habit for us, as long as there is consistency in our presence at Cannes, it's fine. After all, winning at Cannes is not easy, and winning a Gold Lion year after year is never going to be easy. But we have to stick at it."

With the Media, Direct, Press and Outdoor categories behind us, the attention now shifts to the all-important and fiercely competitive Film category. While India has never had a tradition of posting a serious challenge in Film, select Indian entries have usually figured in the Film shortlist. And some - Fevicol's ‘cliffhanger' and ‘bus' commercials, Ericsson's famous ‘one black coffee' ad, and the afore-mentioned ‘battery-operated toy' film for Forte India - have even ended up winning metal.

Very shortly, we'll know if any commercials from India are in the running for Lions this year. So stay tuned… © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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