Campaign India Team
Jun 16, 2015

‘The more Indian-ish we make it‚ the more we get lost’

We asked Cannes Lions jurors from India over the years what their learning was, that could help adlanders in their hunt for Lions. Here are the nuggets. Dig in.

‘The more Indian-ish we make it‚ the more we get lost’
Akshay Kapnadak  
Creative consultant (Ex-NCD, McCann Erickson)
Radio jury 2013
People are getting enamoured by technology and gizmos, but nothing beats the old ingredients – a fresh idea with perfect execution. ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ is a perfect example. It’s often rubbished and called only a jingle. Yes, it was a jingle which was ranked at number three by some music charts (above Beyonce too), but it was an idea executed beautifully.
Technology and the rest should be secondary. The idea and execution is primary.
Manish Bhatt
Founder, director at Scarecrow Communications
Direct Lion 2012
We need to push our boundaries and do communication for brands and clients which goes beyond the language barrier. We need to do communication which cuts across communities, societies and language.
Like the Hanes TVC at McCann – it didn’t win at Cannes, but the communication had a strong Indian context. It was liked by juries outside India and it actually crossed boundaries. Done in small towns. The launch TVC took them to second spot behind Jockey. It was liked by the premium consumers, lower end consumer and juries.
One needs to look at 'Nakka Mukka' - The Times of India and see how that has worked for the country.
Prathap Suthan 
Managing partner and chief creative officer at Bang In The Middle
Outdoor Lions 2013
One is when we present Indian work, unless it’s pushed by a jury member it gets lost. We had a campaign (The Times of India’s Farmer Suicides) in 2013 which was shortlisted but wasn’t a metal consideration. I had to step in and push it. It was going as a merit entry. So, this shows we need to give our entries a better presentation to make it globally accepted. The more Indian-ish we make it, the more we get lost.
Most of the entries that come in look at Cannes as the consumer. It doesn't look like it's created as real work. Most of the guys sitting there (jury members), can smell scam from a while away. Entries made for clients like Kumar Barbers fall under this category. Work on bigger clients definitely helps. As we go ahead in judging, there's a focus on eliminating scam. If you have brands like Airtel, Samsung, Apple supporting you -- that somehow nullifies the smell of scam. So, it's important we do that.
And again, better not to do local languages. Unless the visuals are appealing. You get only eight or 10 seconds to judge (each piece) from my experience. So the visuals need to be appealing.
Carlton D’Silva 
CEO, Hungama Digital Services
Cyber Lions 2013
In the load of entries (and there are plenty in Cyber) that come a juror’s way it helps to make an impression in two minutes. The case video plays a big role here and at times I have found the video is far better than the end product. In the case of Cyber it is especially important to create a good PR story on the digital space to make your voice heard far and wide. If a juror comes across a familiar entry, that’s one step in the door.
Raj Kamble   
Founder and CCO, Famous Innovations
Press Lions 2012
Don’t underestimate the power of the case study. It’s very important and can make your idea relevant and emotional. Add numbers to it as well.
Do campaigns for bigger brands – they’re the ones that win normally. Do global brands, because some other local brands can be passed off (by the jury) as scam.
Santosh Padhi  
Co-founder and chief creative officer, Taproot India
Press Lions  2013
I think when jurors are going through about 2,000 to 3,000 entries, it is always in a hurry. So you need to tell it (your story) in a simple yet eye-catching manner. Some of the bad ads internationally also manage to catch your attention because of the way they are packaged. India is far behind (on that front). This could mean a top idea also goes ignored by the jury. Execution is a very big thing. This helps with consumers and also with global juries. The initial three to five seconds are important as they catch the attention.
Pratap Bose 
President, Ad Club
Promo & Activation 2012
You have to say your story in a great two-minute video. If I don't get the story in the first 30 seconds, I’m going to lose you. The enormity of the number of the entries – around 5,000 – means that the making of the AV is critical. Award-winning entries have AVs that are altered around 20 times.
Abhijit Chaudhuri (Dadu)
Director, QED Films
Film Craft 2014
Be sure of the categories you are putting your work in. Unless you are absolutely convinced of going for the category, don't. From my experience as jury member for 'Film craft' I have felt many entries would probably have stood a better chance if entered in another category. For example I viewed many entries in the 'Direction' category which simply got lost among a hundred others but would have stood a fair chance if entered in 'Casting' or 'Script'. Remember the ones with more entries are always the tougher categories and there you would be competing with plenty of deserving others.
Rahul Jauhari  
CCO, Rediffusion Y&R Group
Radio Lions  2012
Pay a lot of attention to the way you package your entry. Keep it short, attention-grabbing, to the point. There will be 100s of entries and after the first two hours the jury's attention span reduces drastically. So does their patience levels. A poorly packaged entry can easily get missed - never mind if your idea rocks.
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(This first appeared in the 12 June issue of Campaign India)
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