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A look back at India’s 18-metal haul at Cannes Lions 2024; its lowest since 2019

The Indian contingent only managed to win two Gold Lions.

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity came to a close last week and the Indian contingent, forget a roar, barely managed a purr.

It won a total of 18 metals, its lowest tally since 2019 when it had won the same number of Lions. There was no Grand Prix for any Indian agency. The shiniest of Lions were two yellow metals, one for McCann Worldwide and the other for Leo Burnett.

The Publicis-owned Leo Burnett emerged as the most successful Indian representative with a total of 45 points followed by McCann Worldwide at 28. Ogilvy stood third with 23 points.

India tally at end of day five
India tally at end of day five

Shortlists earn you one point. A Bronze gets you three points. Seven points for a Silver Lion, and a Gold will get you 15 points. You lose the shortlist point if it wins a Lion.

In 2023, Leo Burnett earned a single Gold, six Silver, and four Bronze Lions. McCann Worldgroup had no metals, while Ogilvy took home a Grand Prix and a Silver Lion. The Indian agencies last year had won 25 metals.

Seeing the less-than-a-year-old ad agency TGTHR score more points and a Silver (Glass: Lions For Change) than Dentsu Creative - it won three Bronze Lions in 2023 and the Agency of the Year and a gamut of Grand Prix and Gold Lions in 2022 - was an interesting sight. Dentsu old hand Aalap Desai is the founder of TGTHR.

Another interesting and eyebrow-raising event was Wieden+Kennedy India claiming idea credit for Jindal Steel and Power’s Cannes Lions winning ad film. It, more than India’s performance, caught people’s attention and set their tongues wagging. 

A look back at India’s 18-metal haul at Cannes Lions 2024; its lowest since 2019

India, this year, sent 826 entries and scored 57 shortlists.

The most shortlisted campaign belonged to McCann Worldgroup’s Fit My Feet for Buckaroo Footwear with eight shortlists, and only two managed to win a metal – a Gold and a Bronze, both from the Health & Wellness Category.

Buckaroo and McCann developed a toolkit that combines raw materials and existing cobbler’s tools to create custom and inexpensive slippers for people with clubfoot.

A look back at India’s 18-metal haul at Cannes Lions 2024; its lowest since 2019

The second most shortlisted campaign was Leo Burnett’s Turf Finder which used Google Maps’ data to find when public spaces in Mumbai, New Delhi, and Bangalore would be empty so that Gatorade could lay down a turf for people to play. It won two Lions – a Gold in Creative Data, and a Bronze in Entertainment Lion For Sport.

Ogilvy’s Taj Mahal Megh Santoor stood third with five shortlists and only managed to snag a Silver in the Outdoor category. Made for Hindustan Unilever’s Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea, santoor strings on a billboard would interact with rainwater to play Raag Megh Malhar, the raag of the rains. 

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