CANNES – Brotherhood is a bond unlike any other. Though many brothers throughout history have clashed and fought, the ties that bind brothers often result in strong partnerships and great success. Such has been the case for the Pandey Brothers, Piyush and Prasoon.
Long acknowledged as stalwarts of advertising in their native India, the 65th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity conferred its highest honor, the Lion of St. Mark, to Executive Director and Creative Chairman of South Asia, Ogilvy Piyush Pandey and film director and Director of Corcoise Films Prasoon Pandey. The Lion of St. Mark is awarded for a lifetime of services to creativity in communications.
“This year the Lion of St. Mark is very special because for the first time, we are honoring two brothers and it is also the first time we are have honored Asian creativity,” noted Cannes Lions Chairman Philip Thomas as he inducted the brothers. “Piyush Pandey is known to many of us, of course, he is the Executive Chairman and Creative Director of Ogilvy India and is commonly referred to as the Godfather of Indian Advertising. His brother Prasoon is a director with a vision that has graced hundreds of movies and commercials. Respected and admired across the industry for their insightful and nuanced work the embraces the culture and the spirit of India.”
“I am thrilled the we can celebrate tonight their contributions to the industry on this global stage,” Thomas added. “Piyush Pandey won his first Lion, two Gold Lions, for his work ironically on anti-smoking campaign in 2002 marking the start of a period of worldwide recognition. His work was instrumental in popularizing advertising campaigns produced in Hindi during the 1980s and the 1990s, heralding a shift in Indian creativity and building its reputation all around the world.”
“His younger brother Prasoon, is repeatedly featured in the global rankings of top industry film directors,” Thomas said of the younger Pandey. “And he is one of the most awarded creatives in the industry. Prasoon also directed the ad that won India’s very first Lion. Ericcson’s One Black Coffee back in 1996 which was wonderfully co-written by his brother Piyush.”
As he accepted the Lion of St. Mark, Piyush Pandey stated, “If I was to shut my eyes and rewind that dream, what do I see? I see my parents and my sister flagging me off on this run, and as I start running, I see millions of Indians cheering at me in 16 different languages. I can see at their faces that they are cheering at me, I don’t understand their language. As I go along I see a lot of wonderful clients who are handing me over bottles of water and lemonade. As I run on I see my family again, they have grown in size. Now my sisters have married and have children and grandchildren.”
“I also see my wife with her six dogs waging their tails and she asks me to keep running,” Piyush Pandey added. “And I keep running. Along the line I see somebody running alongside. And I look from the side and it’s my brother. So we rub shoulders and we keep running. So as we run along I see a lot of Ogilvy people from India and international who are waving Oglivy flags and tell me, don’t stop. And there are also competitors, who have wonderful expressions on their faces. They don’t look like rivals, they also cheer me up. And at the end of the day I still feel like running. My heart is pumping and I look up to the sky and my parents and my two sisters whom I lost are saying, don’t stop, keep running.”
“So before I go I must add one thing, I’d love to see a Lioness on this stage very shortly,” Piyush concluded.
For his part, Co-recipient of the Lion of St.Mark, younger brother Prasoon Pandey, attributed a large part of his success story to the fact that he was born in a large family and a house that looked like a “cramped art school.” “By the time Piyush and I came in, all the four corners of the house were taken up by our sisters,” Prasoon shared. “One was learning classical dance where another one was learning music or rehearsing lines for a theater performance. In another corner my father was teaching someone how to recite poetry, my mum was discussing powerful women characters in literature. It was like one cramped art school where one could just not escape the learning.”
First awarded in 2011, previous Lion of St. Mark winners were Sir John Hegarty, Dan Wieden, Lee Clow, Joe Pytka, Bob Greenberg, Marcello Serpa, and David Droga.