Arati Rao
May 19, 2012

Leo Burnett team wins AAAI-Cannes Young Lions Creative Competition 2012

Harshvardhan Tanwar and Vasanth Clement Ebenezer head to Cannes

Harshvardhan Tanwar (L) and Vasanth Clement Ebenezer (R)
Harshvardhan Tanwar (L) and Vasanth Clement Ebenezer (R)

Harshvardhan Tanwar, copywriter, and Vasanth Clement Ebenezer, art director, from Leo Burnett, Mumbai, have been adjudged the winners of the AAAI-Cannes Young Lions Creative Competition 2012. The duo will be the official Indian team taking part in the Young Lions Creative Competition 2012 at Cannes Lions, in a contest to create a print ad within 24 hours of the brief being disclosed.

View the winning entry (click on the image to enlarge)



The national creative initiative was organised by the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and supported by The Times Group. 226 entries on the theme “Discourage people from using cell phones while driving” were received in the competition.

Tanwar and Ebenezer said, "The brief that was given to us was to discourage people from using cell phones while driving. While we were researching, we saw alarming statistics which showed us that road accidents in general have increased three-fold since 2003, and 20% of those were due to talking on the cell phone while driving. It is something that has become a way of life, and people only pretend to put their phones down when cops are around. We thought there was an alarming need to talk about road safety. We had a couple of ideas, but those only amplified the problem, and didn't offer a solution. Our objective was to get people to break the habit of speaking on the phone while driving. That's how we came up with the idea of 'Jamit', a cellphone jammer that will keep Indian roads safe. We have a philosophy at Leo Burnett called 'Humankind' that talks about acts, rather than ads, that help change human behaviour. This, too gave our idea the drive to reach out to people to change lives for the better."

The suggested creative campaign was led by a petition to the president of India to make Jamit a legal mandate. Other proposed media activations involved using news channel properties to give a platform to families who had borne the brunt of callous drivers. The duo also proposed the use of social media to spark debate and discussion amongst people.

A two-phased judging process was followed, and the jury comprised Josy Paul, chairman and national creative director, BBDO India, and Sonal Dabral, chairman and chief creative officer, DDB Mudra Group.

Paul said, "It was difficult to choose from the six teams that were shortlisted. They were all amazing. But what gave Harshvardhan and Vasanth the final edge was that their idea broke the mould. It was not an ad, it was useful action. The petition to the government was well crafted. Even as an ad, it stood out and had the potential to start a movement. Deeds, not words." 

Vinod Nair, convener of the competition, stated, "The Times Group and Advertising Agencies Association of India are giving a rare opportunity to young creatives in India to participate in Cannes Lions and compete with the very best young talent in the world.”

Tanwar and Ebenezer are excited about the contest at Cannes Lions and honoured to be representing India. Asked about what else at the festival they are looking forward to, they said, "We're keen to see the work that gets shortlisted and wins. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with inspiring people and attend workshops hosted by them."  
Campaign India