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FCB Group India, Leo Burnett, DDB Mudra Group and Dentsu Creative win India’s first metals at Cannes Lions 2023

A gold, three silver and two bronze Lions were credited to India’s account, but the country’s performance is a bit worrying, as compared to 2022.

It’s incredibly hard to pull off a repeat act. Last year, on day two of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Indian agencies had reached the double-digit metal mark. They won seven metals, including two Grands Prix, on day one, and three on day two.

It’s not the best of times for Indian agencies, a year later. They didn’t win anything on day one. Day two only offered a solitary gold, three silver and two bronze Lions. There is still no Grand Prix in sight. 

FCB Group India won India’s first gold metal at the 2023 edition of the festival. Its work for ‘Stir’ magazine struck the yellow metal in the Industry Craft category. It is the first-ever gold Lions for any Indian agency in this section.

Swati Bhattacharya, creative chairperson, FCB India, said, “Between STIR’s unfettered ambition for this brief, our aspiration for the work, the standards Rohit Chawla, our photographer, set for making it as evocative as it could be, this is a testament to what being unfettered can achieve for all of us. We fly when we’re unfettered. Jin Jiyan Azadi!”

Another first this year, was the Entertainment Lions for Gaming.

FCB Group India, Leo Burnett, DDB Mudra Group and Dentsu Creative win India’s first metals at Cannes Lions 2023

“We’ve seen the number of Lions winners that feature gaming, rise by 74% over the last five years. Based on the velocity at which this space is evolving, and the increased relevance that gaming now holds within the creative marketing community, this feels like a natural progression,” said Simon Cook, CEO, Cannes Lions, in November 2022, when this category was first revealed.

DDB Mudra Group won a bronze Lions in this category for ‘Machine Gun Mouth’, a communication for Krafton’s Battlegrounds Mobile India, which focusses on responsible gaming.

“The new categories at Cannes Lions, are a nudge in the direction that the industry should be moving towards. It makes us immensely happy to be one of the first to win in a category like gaming,” said Rahul Mathew, CCO, DDB Mudra Group, on the win. 

Indian agencies, however, did not open their accounts in the Film Craft, Digital Craft and Entertainment Lions for Music categories.

FCB Group India, however, continued its winning start and added two silver Lions to its kitty.

It won two metals in the Entertainment Lions category – one for Chatpat made for SOS Children’s Villages, in collaboration with FCB Kinnect and FCB Chicago.

The second silver – in the same category – was awarded to FCB Interface and FCB Brasil for ‘TR For Teacher’, a campaign for stationery giant Navneet.

Leo Burnett picked up a silver Lion on the second day of the festival in the Entertainment Lions for Sport category. It did so for ‘Airtel 175 Replayed’, a campaign that recreated Kapil Dev’s iconic 175-run innings against Zimbabwe in the 1983 Cricket World Cup.

"Airtel 175 gave back to cricket-loving India a lost piece of history - one of the most iconic matches in the history of Indian cricketing. We are so incredibly proud of this piece of work and getting recognised at Cannes Lions just reinforces our belief in creating work that makes a real difference to people," said Rajdeepak Das, CEO and CCO, Leo Burnett, South Asia.

And, wrapping things up on day two, was Dentsu Creative’s bronze metal win in the Design category for ‘The Everything Book’, an amalgamation of art from all over India, for edutech giant Vedantu.

Aalap Desai, chief creative officer, Creative Experience, West, Dentsu Creative India said, “The Everything Book has been two and a half years in the making. We have tirelessly worked on this project for years to make it come alive in the best version of it. It’s satisfying to see it being recognised at the biggest stage advertising has. I think we couldn’t be happier. Fingers crossed for the remaining days of the festival. We have more shortlists.”

"This victory holds a significant place in our hearts, as it truly exemplifies the thriving creative culture at Dentsu Creative. It stands as a powerful testament to the boundless possibilities that arise when innovation and imagination intertwine," said Amit Wadhwa, CEO, Dentsu Creative India.

"I express my deep gratitude to our exceptional teams who have each played a crucial role in this achievement. Together, we aspire to soar to even greater heights, firmly believing that this marks just the inception of an extraordinary journey filled with remarkable accomplishments that lie ahead," he added.

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