India bagged five Lions on the opening day at Cannes Lions 2011. BBDO India won two Silver PR Lions for Gillete’s ‘Shave Sutra’ campaign, while Mudra Communications won two Bronze Promo & Activation Lions and one Silver PR Lion for their ‘Silent National Anthem’. Indian agencies did not win any metal under the Direct Lions category.
On the quality of Indian entries, Brian Tellis, chairman, Fountainhead Promotions and Events and Promo & Activation Lions jury member said, “We had more than 2,100 entries in the category. Of this seven entries from India made it to the shortlist. This is a good sign. I have never judged before, so obviously I don’t know what the previous year benchmarks were. But if the president of the jury, Warren Brown is to be believed, the level of creativity this year seems to be very high.”
Elaborating on his jury experience, Tellis added, “I think at this level of competition, you are not just looking at how clever the ad was with respect to the local market, which is very important from a client-agency perspective, what you are looking at is how radical or compelling or brave the idea is, as compared to other ideas from around the world. Without taking away from the effectiveness of the campaign in the local market, which everyone agrees was good; you are competing with how brave or cutting-edge your idea was on a world-scale. I think that’s where we lost out. Moreover, we need to present the ideas keeping in mind the sensibilities of the environment within which the idea was made, because only then will the level of creativity or effectiveness will come out. The third area what I noticed, that is more of a reaction after what I noticed here, is that a lot of jury members were familiar with the entries from their part of the world before they came in. Because the jury is always looking at how the ad was relevant to the local landscape, beyond what is on the storyboard. So, I think one of the things that we can do, is to make our Indian jurors more familiar with the work coming in from the country so that they can better represent the country or the campaigns.”