The Times of India’s ‘Lead India’, campaign created by JWT won the Titanium Lion at the 55th Cannes Lions awards ceremony held at the Grand Auditorium at the Palais in Cannes on Saturday night. O&M’s spot for Neo Sports titled ‘Gas’ won a Silver Lion in the Film category. That concludes the final tally of metals for India for this year at 23, which is the best that the country has ever had as the curtain fell on this year’s annual creative festival.
Lead India and Luxor Highlighters, the biggest winners at the Abbys, were the biggest Indian winners at Cannes as well.
Talking about the winning ‘Lead India’ campaign, Nick Law, EVP, chief creative officer, R/GA and jury member, Titanium and integrated Lions explained what impressed the jury about this campaign, “The idea that people could change their destiny and decide their political leadership through debate, started as it was from the print ad in The Times of India. The idea gained momentum and became this incredible movement.”
“For a campaign winning the Titanium and Integrated category, the most basic question that should get a positive answer should be whether the campaign will be known ten years from now. Lead India would have a resounding yes to that question,” said Paul Woolmington, founding partner, Naked Communications and jury member on the Titanium and Integrated Lions.
As Bhaskar Das, executive president, Times of India group put it, “It’s great news for us and for the country on the whole. From 12 (last year’s tally) to 23 is a great leap. The quality of communication seen from India this year, in terms of the number of Golds that we won; that was outstanding and the tally will act as a huge motivation for the industry to better the score next year.”
When asked if he was disappointed that Lead India did not make the Titanium Grand Prix, Das commented, “We have had a fantastic score this year, we shouldn’t get greedy. Perhaps it’s better to not get it all, so it motivates you to do even better the next time.”
Reacting to the India tally, Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and national creative director, O&M said, “This has been a fabulous year for India. I'm so happy that, suddenly, India is being talked about by everyone across the world. This year's performance will motivate youngsters in the future. They will no longer think "winning at Cannes is beyond our reach." All of us at the helm of Indian agencies are trying to make it easier for the future creative talent, and JWT winning a Grand Prix is a fantastic achievement. Now, the youngsters will surely think, "WE can win one too."
Nirvana Film’s Prakash Varma had said in an earlier interview to Campaign India that the Neo Sports’ ‘Gas’ film was the best of his work this year. When contacted Varma said he was jubilant and the hard work that the whole team had put into the film had paid off.
In a first, the Cannes Film Lions jury decided to award two Grand Prix in the film category, one for Microsoft’s Halo 3 and the other for Cadbury’s Gorilla. The Titanium Grand Prix went to Japan’s clothing brand Uniqlo for ‘Uniqlock’ while the Integrated Grand Prix went to McCann Worldgroup San Francisco for Microsoft’s ‘Halo 3.’
And with that the Cannes Lions 2008 festival has come to an end. Its farewell Gutter Bar and good bye overpriced martinis. From next week, for the advertising industry, its business as usual.