CANNES, FRANCE — Agencies from India stepped up and won big at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity with a whopping 47 Lions with wins across 20 categories. The impressive Cannes run for the country includes India’s biggest win of the night: Agency of the Year, which went to Dentsu Creative. This is the first year that the coveted top award has gone to an Indian agency.
Here are all the India-based agencies that won Lions this year and the brilliant campaigns that scored them the wins:
Dentsu’s Agency of the Year feat is thanks to the agency’s “The Unfiltered History Tour” campaign for Vice Media, which has become the most awarded campaign from India ever at Cannes Lions as it also bagged a Titanium, three Grand Prix, two Gold Lions, and three Silver Lions.
Dentsu Creative’s “The Unfiltered History Tour” for Vice Media allowed visitors of the British Museum — the biggest recipient of looted artifacts — to scan artifacts with their phones so that they can learn about the real history of the object from someone who is a part of the culture it originated from. This not only provides a multimedia learning experience but also challenges the history written through an imperial lens.
“I think no one in the entire Indian ad industry has been part of such a huge haul of Lions ever before. And I do believe we are the first full-service Indian agency to win the title of Agency of the Year. I doff my hat to the entire team responsible for ‘The Unfiltered History Tour.’ Those who are with us now and those who have moved on. Congratulations all,” said Dentsu Creative India Group Chief Creative Officer Ajay Gahlaut.
FCB Group India
FCB Group agencies FCB India and Kinnect won big as they took home two Gold, two Silver, and two Bronze Lions for their campaign #Chatpat for SOS Children Villages India. The wins were spread out across three categories: Social & Influencer, Media, and Direct.
The campaign created a new kind of influencer, a ten-year-old from the streets called Chatpat, to encourage corporate donations. #Chatpat became a viral success that corporations couldn’t ignore, making the call for donations a success.
“These wins are testimony to our great partnership with Kinnect in India. Creative collaboration at its very best. I’m also grateful to FCB Chicago for helping us hone our campaign,” FCB Group India Chairman & CEO Rohit Ohri shared. “#Chatpat is a breakthrough idea for garnering corporate funding for NGOs. What I’m truly delighted about is that SOS Children’s Villages met their corporate funding objectives through this campaign.”
FCB India’s “Nominate Me Selfie” for Political Shakti & The Times of India was also awarded a Gold Lion and Silver Lion for the Direct and the Brand Experience & Activation categories respectively.
The campaign addressed the severe underrepresentation of women in state parliaments in India by taking to social media and asking female party leaders everywhere to send their “Nominate-me-selfies” — complete with their list of achievements and qualifications — to local party leaders via WhatsApp.
Adding to FCB India’s winning campaigns is “Unbox Me” for UNAIDS, which bagged a Bronze Lion in the Social & Influencer category. The campaign advocates for the transgender community through a film exploring what they kept in their childhood boxes during their youth — boxes that revealed who they truly are and were forced to hide.
Ogilvy Mumbai capped off their Cannes Lions 2022 run with a Titanium win for “Shah Rukh Khan – My Ad” for Cadbury Celebrations. This makes them and Dentsu Creative the only two agencies in Asia to win a Titanium Lion this year, which is an impressive feat given that only six were awarded.
Through the campaign, they made India’s biggest brand ambassador, Shah Rukh Khan, the brand ambassador of several small businesses to help them promote their businesses amid the lockdown. Different versions of the same ad of him promoting a different business were released and business owners were even given the power to make their own Shah Rukh Khan ad.
VMLY&R’s “The Killer Pack” won the Health & Wellness Grand Prix for Maxx Flash. The pack is 100% biodegradable and designed to kill mosquito larvae when disposed of. So, while the non-toxic coil fights mosquitoes inside the home, the packaging that’s thrown away also does its job to prevent more mosquitoes from breeding.
The agency also won a Creative Commerce Gold Lion and a Creative Business Transformation Bronze Lion for “Smart Fill” for Unilever. The campaign was their way of hacking plastic packaging via an in-store experience that lets customers buy liquid products while reusing another packaging they already have.
Also winning a Grand Prix is Leo Burnett’s “The Missing Chapter” for P&G‘s Whisper. under the Sustainable Development Goals category. To address the lack of period education in the country and the fact that chapters on periods are not even published in textbooks, they designed a missing chapter on menstruation to educate girls in India.
This year, McCann India won a Creative Commerce Gold Lion for their “Shagun ka Lifafa” campaign for Ujjivan Small Finance Bank. The campaign aimed to help women in India work towards financial freedom and equality. So, they transformed Shagun ka Lifafa — a special envelope usually given at weddings — into account opening forms for the bank with an attached one rupee, which is all they need to make the account.