It was curtains down for the 52nd Cannes Advertising Festival in France on June 25, and India's performance at the prestigious awards fell short of expectations.
The advertising agencies flew back with just three Lions -- two silvers and one bronze --in its kitty. There were a whopping 660 entries from India.
"We get badly hit in the execution of ideas," observes an advertising expert who just got back from Cannes. Though the international ad agencies are better equipped in terms of resources and technology, "what we need is ideas that transcend race, culture and markets to succeed in a global forum like Cannes," she adds.
Even as the three award winning agencies uncork the bubbly, here's a quick look at what impressed the Cannes jury.
JWT Chennai won a silver Cannes Lion for its print ad for the Red Cross in the Public Service & Fund Raising category. Incidentally, JWT also bagged the highest number of nominations (7 in all) for an Indian agency this year.
Created by Joono Simon, Charles Victor, Rathish Subramaniam and Madhavan Palanisamy the Red Cross ad is, quite simply, a red cross. Look closer and it is an open box -- a metaphor for "give". The copy says, "When you give, we give."
"We think this ad won because it appealed to an international jury for its fresh take on a well known symbol. The idea has been whittled down to stark simplicity -- and then enriched with execution. It took a lot of hard work to make it look so simple," says Indu Balachandran, executive creative director, JWT Chennai.
The O&M's Delhi team, comprising Prasad Raghavan, Emmanuel Upputuru and Jagjit Singh, won a silver Cannes Lion in the Outdoor category for entertainment and leisure poster for a city art centre called A Door.
Delhi's Chittranjan Park-based art centre screens award-winning films. The award winning poster for an Alfred Hitchcock film "Birds" shows birds perched on telephone wires, though a close examination reveals that it is actually information about the film.
Raghavan and Upputuru have won five Cannes nominations, one bronze and one silver besides several awards at One Show, Clio, London Ad Fest, New York Ad Fest, Times Asia Pacific and the Abbys.Meanwhile, Leo Burnett, Mumbai won the Bronze Lion for its Heinz Tomato Ketchup ad in the category for Savoury Foods. Titled 3 Hours, the ad created by Agnello Dias, Santosh Padhi with Geeta Rajagopal and Pravin Gharat highlighted the ketchup's thick positioning in a unique way.