Aishwarya Ramesh & Shreyas Kulkarni

India scores 10 metals on day three of Cannes Lions 2022, Dentsu Creative wins second Grand Prix

The country brought home two Gold Lions, five Silver Lions, and two Bronze Lions too.

Indian ad agencies overcame their day two slump, to win 10 metals on day three of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2022 on Wednesday. As of now, the Lions tally of the Indian contingent stands at 20.

India scores 10 metals on day three of Cannes Lions 2022, Dentsu Creative wins second Grand Prix

Dentsu Creative, VMLY&R Commerce, McCann India, VMLY&R, Ogilvy Mumbai, FCB India and DDB Mudra were among the winners.

On day three, Indian agencies had a chance to win in these categories:

1. Brand Experience and Activation Lions – 10 shortlists

2. Creative Commerce Lions – four shortlists

3. Mobile Lions – four shortlists

4. Creative Effectiveness Lions – one shortlist

5. Creative Business Transformation Lions- one shortlist

6. Innovation Lions – one shortlist

The tour wins the Grand Prix again, and two Silver Lions too

Dentsu Creative’s The Unfiltered History Tour for Vice Media, led India’s double-digital metals haul with a Grand Prix and a Silver in the Brand Experience and Activation Lions category, and another Silver in the Mobile Lions category.

It was the second Grand Prix win for this campaign, which has also bagged a Gold Lion, three Silver Lions, and Two Bronze Lions.

“All these wins are just another reason for us to be proud of the company and the group of people we dearly love. We're lucky enough to lead for such a long time. Until earlier this week, we referred to it as our swansong at Dentsu Webchutney,” remarked Gautam Reghunath, co-founder and CEO of Talented (ex-CEO Dentsu Webchutney), on the wins.

“This week, at Talented, it becomes our gold standard. Our Grand Prix standard. A reason to celebrate. And, next week, we move on to using this as added motivation to produce even stronger work for our clients.”

Amit Wadhwa, CEO India, Dentsu Creative said, “It is our Day 3 at Cannes and we are on top of the world to win yet another Grand Prix and Silver Lion. It is indeed blissful to take back 2 Grand Prix in addition to the many metals. It has been a mind-blowing experience so far."

"While we party harder for this one, I am in awe of the level of global creativity and innovation displayed at the festival. We are totally looking forward to witnessing more innovation ahead and expecting many more wins. Fingers Crossed!”

Ajay Gahlaut, Group Chief Creative Officer India, Dentsu Creative, “Today, we have made history with another tremendous victory. A Grand Prix and Silver!! Kudos to the entire team for the massive win. I am enthralled with the mark ‘The Unfiltered History Tour’ campaign and everyone behind it has left. My heartiest congratulations to all of them. It's time to celebrate while we wait to increase the number of our wins.”

VMLY&R Commerce, McCann India strike Gold

The Indian contingent found its first trio of Gold winners after VMLY&R Commerce and McCann India won in the Creative Commerce Lions category.

VMLY&R Commerce’s Smart Fill campaign for Hindustan Unilever (HUL) won a Gold Lion. It also won a Bronze Lion in the Creative Business Transformation Lions category.

“There are ideas and there are awards, but there are a few pieces of work that actually change the world and have a purpose at the heart of consumer experiences. I'm happy to see Smart Fill being recognised as one such piece of amazing work,” said Arpan Jain, executive creative director, VMLY&R Commerce, on the win.

The Smart Fill machine is an in-store vending model for HUL’s home care products. The initiative offers consumers an option to reuse plastic bottles by refilling them with liquid quantities of products from HUL’s flagship brands, including Surf Excel, Comfort and Vim.

India scores 10 metals on day three of Cannes Lions 2022, Dentsu Creative wins second Grand Prix

McCann India opened its Lions account, with a Gold, thanks to its Shagun Ka Lifafa campaign for Ujjivan Small Finance Bank.

Sambit Mohanty, Prasoon Joshi, Ashish Chakravarty (L-R)
Sambit Mohanty, Prasoon Joshi, Ashish Chakravarty (L-R)

The campaign aims to give financial independence to women in Tier-II and III Indian cities. The campaign features a redesigned version of the Shagun Ka Lifafa - the traditional gifting envelope presented at weddings. The envelopes were redesigned to become bank account opening forms to urge women to take finances into their own hands.

“We are proud of the work done for Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (Shagun Ka Lifafa). When an idea is born from authentic culture and finds a meaningful role in people's lives, it's bound to have a positive impact,” said Prasoon Joshi, CEO and CCO of McCann Worldgroup India.

“Our team, led by Ashish Chakravarty along with Sambit Mohanty, and our McCann India team made this idea come to life and resonate. An acknowledgement at Cannes of work well done, is fantastic.”

Five Silvers to boast

Indian agencies won the most Silver Lions on day three - five across three categories.

Ogilvy Mumbai was awarded its first Lion for the Shah Rukh Khan-My-Ad campaign for Cadbury Celebrations in the Brand Experience and Activation category. The agency used technology to make the actor take names of countless local stores to promote Cadbury sales during Diwali, which is the peak retail period in the year.

“The most challenging part of creating this campaign was to keep up with the demand from small shopkeepers who wanted to make their store ads using SRK. We just could not let anyone down. We had to give them something that they would use for generations. After all, it’s not everyday a small shopkeeper gets SRK to endorse his shop, personally,” says Suresh Nayak, chief creative officer at Ogilvy India.

“The work that we do has to work in the market - that’s the first and most important step. It should also build the business and help solve problems. Winning an award is the icing on the cake. It’s fabulous to win an award only when you have done the above things first,” he adds.

Nayak adds that if nobody knows about the work that you’ve done, besides a few people then its pointless. “Awards are not the most visible part. Visibility must be for the work with the audience who’ve seen it and shared it, not just for the awards,” he says.

Nayak re-iterates that the team is proud of this idea and that the client’s (Mondelez’s) support along with the media agency Wavemaker helped bring the idea to life. “We will take a rightly deserved pause to celebrate this, and then go back to solving business problems. Creating work that catches the imagination of the nation, as we have in the past and will continue do so in the future.”

FCB India/FCB Chicago too picked up a Silver Lion in the Brand Experience and Activation category for The Nominate Me Selfie for Political Shakti and The Times of India.

Fifty per cent of India’s population includes women, but only a fraction of parliamentarians are represented by this gender, leaving half of the electorate without or with very little voice. The campaign was an urgent cry to bridge the political gender gap and bring about adequate representation in policy-making and the power circles.

Rohit Ohri, Chairman & CEO, FCB Group India, calls the Nominate Me Selfie Swati Bhattacharya's brainchild. "She has worked on this campaign jointly with Political Shakti and TOI. We are very grateful to Tara Krishnaswamy from Political Shakti for having chosen FCB as a partner for this vital nation-building initiative. In the simplicity of the idea lies its enormous transformative potential. The use of a simple selfie to bring women to the fore of India's political scene is what has made this campaign so effective in India."

He calls the initiative crucial for the health of India's democracy. "It is vital that we have an equal representation of women in our parliament. Our campaign is just the start of a journey... we have a long way to go. But as they say, well begun is half done," he says.

VMLY&R’s The Killer Pack for Maxx Flash won another metal in the Innovation Lions, after winning a Grand Prix on day one. Dentsu Creative also won two Silver Lions.

DDB Mudra takes home a Bronze Lion

For its campaign on combating the sex trade in India for Stayfree, DDB Mudra was awarded a Bronze Lion in the Creative Effectiveness category.

The campaign shares that women in the sex trade industry cherish periods (menstruation) as time off work. Thus, contrary to the dismay women usually express towards periods, sex workers look forward to them.

To provide these women with alternative sources of livelihood to rescue them from the trade, Stayfree joined hands with NGO Prerna to organise training workshops in skills like beauty services, henna design and candle-making. All were scheduled to happen when the women were on their periods.

“Stayfree is a great example of a brand enjoying sustained success on the back of strong creativity. It always feels good to win for creative effectiveness. And, to be the only piece to win from Asia, makes the win sweeter,” said Rahul Matthew, chief creative officer, DDB Mudra.

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