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Cannes Lions 2018: ITC’s Young Lion winners aim for Grand Prix

Raisa Chakravarty and Anupama Sharma from the company’s Personal Care Products Business share with BestMediaInfo what it takes to win a silver Young Lion Marketer award

(L) Raisa Chakravarty and Anupama Sharma (R)

“It was a great moment for us to see India up there when the Young Lion Marketers award was announced and getting a Grand Prix for ITC and India is the next level of achievement we would want to accomplish,” said the elated Silver Young Lion winners Raisa Chakravarty and Anupama Sharma from ITC’s Personal Care Products Business.

The Young Marketers competition at Cannes Lions Festival champions the world’s best young client marketers. Over an intense 24-hour period, teams were to design a concise, direct and effective brief. This year's competition challenged global teams of young, in-house marketers from around the world to develop a creative brief for a product or service that would benefit the Movember Foundation, the only global charity focused solely on men's health. Competitors presented their communication plans to a panel of industry leaders, which was led by Ruth Yearley, partner and director of insights and strategy at Ketchum.

ITC is Sharma’s first job after she completed her MBA from NMIS and Chakravarty has been working with the company for 2.5 years now and has done her MBA from MICA.

There were nine shortlists in the final round in India and the duo qualified as the Indian contingent for the competition.

Sharma said, “For the first round, we got sufficient time to prepare for the case study, which was on a beverages brand. After the results came, we had only 48 hours to come up with a solution for the case study. In the Indian round, the competition was very intense. The teams came from very reputed companies. The jury members were extremely respectable. India round in itself was a brilliant experience.”

Appreciating her seniors’ support at work ever since the time they were selected from India, Sharma said, “Since we made the first shortlists in the India round, we started talking to our CEO and other colleagues because we just had 48 hours to prepare. We went back and forth with them. They were like a bouncing board for ideas.”

As a part of the competition, the Movember Foundation gave them a case study, which they had to pair with any of the ITC brands. Then they had to come up with a product or offering for which they would have to prepare the brief for the agency.

Chakravarty added, “The idea was to come up with a healthy product or deliverable. So we came up with the Moo Chips, a healthy snack in the shape of moustaches. Movember wanted to create awareness for the men’s health and they also wanted the online community to engage with them. It was up to us to figure out which brand to fit with Movember to get this to audiences and to which market. We could have picked up any market and brand from ITC.”

The Movember foundation is the only NGO that deals with men’s health. They deal with very serious issues like testicular cancer, prostate cancer and mental health and suicide prevention. But their tonality and communication is fun. Therefore, both the girls picked ITC’s snack food brand Bingo, which stands for fun and quirk, to talk to the young Indian.

Talking more about the contest, Chakravarty said, “One of the iconic things Movember is known for is no-shaving in November. They do it to support the cause of men’s health. India has got the most quirkiest and different kinds of moustaches and has a lot of value in the Indian culture. It stands for honour and pride. We wanted to keep the context India. The Movember Foundation was more than keen to pick up India as the market that we wanted to design this campaign for. We chose Bingo! as our brand because it reaches out to a lot of Indians. More than 70% of online following for the brand is men.”

Sharing the key learning Sharma got from her seniors while working at ITC, she said, “Doing advertising and marketing for the heck of making good ads is not the right way. Whatever you do should link back to the product idea. Just like the process of insight, the human insight has to be extremely simple. Everyone should resonate with it and it should be really easy. Also, ITC empowers young managers like us to ideate and innovate.”

This was Sharma and Chakravarty’s first trip to Cannes and they didn’t want to wait a single moment in getting the best marketing and advertising tips from the world’s biggest marketers and creative people.

Chakravarty said, “It’s extremely overwhelming for us to see the kind of work people are doing across the world. I have also learnt from the jury that the strongest insight is the human insight, which transcends countries and cultures and that’s where one needs to focus on.”

For Sharma, her biggest chunk of learning came from the immersive two-day experience of the competition. She said, “There was a jury session where the jury says what worked for them and what did not work. There was a lot of learning in terms of how they were viewing the entries. They were looking for something that is locally relevant and can be scaled globally.”

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