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Industry speaks: Great performance at Cannes Lions 2016, but could be better

Advertising agency leaders are happy with the many Lions won but some say India could have done better by making better presentations

Industry speaks: Great performance at Cannes Lions 2016, but could be better

Advertising agency leaders are happy with the many Lions won but some say India could have done better by making better presentations

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | June 28, 2016


The 63rd Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity which concluded last weekend saw 27 wins from the Indian subcontinent. The Akali brothers, Praful and Amit, of Medulla Communications made history by becoming the first Indian agency to win Healthcare Agency of the Year.

BBDO’s Josy Paul is ecstatic that Dads #ShareTheLoad for Ariel was the most awarded Indian campaign at Cannes, winning one Lion each day of the awards evenings! Ogilvy’s Piyush Pandey is happy with the achievement of Reshma, the human being, but felt that Fevicol also deserved to make the cut. spoke to advertising agency leaders on how India fared at the global festival of creativity. Here is what they had to say:

Piyush Pandey Piyush Pandey

Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman & Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather, South Asia

I am very happy not just for Ogilvy but also for India. Everyone seems to have done quite well. I am very happy for Reshma as a human being who was brave enough to come out and do this, so that credit goes to Reshma, the human being. We felt Reshma should have converted more (Lions), but we respect the jury in whatever they award. It is the prerogative of the jury. But I’m happy, no complaints. Fevicol was shortlisted and we were hoping it will win. When I’m on the jury, people have same things to say. I wish this would have won. I think you have to respect the jury.

I am glad that the company is doing well around the world and I am very proud to be a part of it. Overall good things happened to India and we as an industry should feel good about it and be ambitious about even better results in the future.”

Josy Paul Josy Paul

Josy Paul, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, BBDO India

Dads #ShareTheLoad for Ariel is the most awarded Indian campaign at Cannes! We won the Glass Lion Gold as well as four Bronze metals. What is most significant is that we entered Cannes with just one campaign – and it won in multiple categories – one award each day of the festival! This proves that Dads #ShareTheLoad to be truly integrated with one big, sustainable social movement idea on a big brand that is impacting society, consumers and the bottom line. It was one of the most talked about ideas at Cannes 2016.”

Praful Akali Praful Akali

Praful Akali, MD & Founder, Medulla Communications

Healthcare is going to be an important sector for any developing country. The government is doing a lot. Swachh Bharat is also healthcare. The whole polio eradication has happened because of healthcare advertising. Healthcare advertising and communication was always there, just that a specialist healthcare agency was not known for doing this. With Medulla Communications that barrier has been broken. This whole thing started two years back when we decided to change the benchmark for the creative in the space. Last year, in our first time at Cannes, we were the No. 3 Healthcare Agency of the Year and we are happy to be the Healthcare Agency of the Year this year!

Amit Akali Amit Akali

Amit Akali, Chief Creative Officer, Medulla Communications and Managing Partner, What’s Your Problem

It’s pretty crazy and a big one from India. When they announced it at Cannes, they said it is a historic moment that an Indian agency has won the award! India has won Grand Prixs and other metals but it wasn’t named agency of the year in the category. We had three pieces across categories, winning big. The amazing thing is that’s how the industry was also celebrating at Cannes; that felt very nice. Also, a lot of the people from Asian countries came up to us and were glad that we won it as it gave them hope that they can do it also.

Saurabh Varma Saurabh Varma

Saurabh Varma, CEO, Leo Burnett South Asia

I am proud of what India is doing. We have had some good, great work win at Cannes like Ambuja Khali, Bajaj V, #Sharetheload. These are real pieces of work on big brands and I think this is the way to go forward. Overall I think the competition is massive at a global level. All of us need to work towards that direction to create great impactful work for real brands. We need to see the quality of craft and direction that goes into build something fantastic. That’s what Cannes is teaching us and I think we have a lot of work to do.”

Ashish Bhasin Ashish Bhasin

Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network, South Asia

I feel that India could have done better. There was some good work from India and it’s nice to see some wins. As a country, we should have done better in many ways. We have some way to go in how we present our work. Sometimes we have great work but we are not good at presenting. I was happy with some work which won in the categories that I was judging. While it’s a reasonable performance, we are capable of doing much more as a country.

Santosh Padhi Santosh Padhi

Santosh Padhi, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Office, Taproot Dentsu

Happy to see that India has bettered last year’s tally, both in terms of quality and quantity of metals. Lovely to see Mindshare and Medulla pick up the big ones. Many congratulations and thanks to the Grand Prix and Gold winners for keeping the India buzz alive. Personally I feel we have a lot more potential as a country; so not a great year but good enough to be part of the global conversation surely for a year.

It's unfortunate that Taproot couldn't contribute to India's metal tally this year. This is the first time in the last six years that our work has not won at Cannes. We had very little work sent – only three pieces. We had good hopes on the IOAA (Outdoor) campaign which stayed as a finalist only, but Cannes is all about good and not so good.

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