Silent National Anthem shouts loud at Cannes

By Prajjal Saha , afaqs!, Cannes | In Advertising
Published : June 21, 2011
The campaign created by Mudra Communications for BIG Cinemas cut across the jury through its emotional attributes, and won one silver in PR Lions, and two bronze lions in Promo & Activation. Unfortunately, though, it did not win at striking a chord with the direct jury, who found the interaction with the consumer missing.

The jury at Cannes -- the International Festival of Creativity, which has a judicious representation from across the globe, has heard the voice of the Silent National Anthem -- a Mudra Communications' creation for its client BIG Cinemas.

& #VIDEO2 & #The campaign has bagged one silver in the PR Lions category, and two bronze lions in Promo & Activation. Unfortunately, though, it did not win at striking a chord with the Direct jury.

Mudra Communications was banking heavily on the campaign, for which it has received four nominations -- two in Promo & Activation, for two separate sub categories -- Best Use of Broadcast in a Promotional Campaign, and Corporate Image & Information -- and, one each in Direct and PR Lions. Except for Direct Lions, the campaign managed to convert the shortlist to a metal.

The emotions that the campaign showered cut across the jury in all three categories, but they had their own reasons for awarding or not awarding it.

In a conversation post, Warren Brown, creative founder BMF and the jury president of the Promo & Activation Lions, says, "The idea and its cultural significance wasn't lost on the jury, but it wasn't that brave or bold an idea to have competed for a silver or a gold."

"But, two bronzes for one campaign isn't bad either," he quips.

"The jury was impressed with the use of cinema as a medium, which is massive in India," he adds.

& #VIDEO3 & #The jury president for PR Lions and president and CEO, Fleishman Hillard, Dave Senay'sviews on the campaign are very similar. He says, "That was an emotional case history. Knowing all the ebbs and flaws of Indian society, and to present a national anthem in such a simple, pure and emotional way cuts through the politics and the inconvenience of it."

"It forces you to feel 'I love India' and not just say 'I Love India."

As part of the Silent Anthem campaign, the Mudra Group had created a new video on the occasion of India's 61st Republic Day, which was a silent rendition of India's National Anthem, interpreted through sign language. The video was played in all BIG Cinema theatres, before a film commenced.

Even the Direct jury was touched by the emotional aspect of the campaign, but it failed to find relevance in its category. Alexander Schill, global chief creative officer and partner, Serviceplan Group, who presided the Direct jury this year, says, "It was very touchy and emotional, but at the end the jury felt that the direct part was missing in it. We could not find an answer to how the consumer would interact with it."

However, all's not lost for the campaign yet. There are chances of it being nominated in the Film category, as well, and hopefully, win a metal, too.

To view other interviews from Cannes 2011, click here.

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