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Cannes Lions 2023: Indian ad agencies put their best foot forward to compete at world’s biggest advertising festival

As April 13 marks the final deadline for sending entries to the most prestigious awards of the advertising industry worldwide, decided to get in touch with ad professionals and find out what creative works are the agency representatives from India sending to Cannes Lions this year

After showcasing a stellar performance last year at The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity by bringing home a total of 47 metal hauls across 20 categories, the Indian adland has indeed set the benchmark for the country’s creative work quite high.

Every year, the coveted accolade is held at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France. This time around the awards will be held from June 19-23. 

History was created when Dentsu Creative Bengaluru walked away with the coveted title of ‘Agency of the Year’ and made India ‘incredible’ with its ad campaign for Vice Media, titled, ‘The Unfiltered History Tour’. Notably, it was the only ad campaign that was awarded three Grand Prix and a Titanium Lion, globally, in 2022.

Vice Media’s ‘The Unfiltered History Tour’ ad campaign

Keeping pace with the final deadline, April 13, for sending entries to the awards, decided to get in touch with advertising professionals and find out what all creative works are being sent to Cannes Lions this year.

Here’s a list of campaigns that the Indian agencies are sending to Cannes Lions 2023:

  1. Talented.Agency- Swiggy’s Why Is This A Swiggy Ad and Cleartrip’s ortraveloncleartrip QR code Print ad 
  2. Dentsu Creative-  TVS’ The Responsible Manhole 
  3. The Womb- Truecaller’s Buri Neeyat Waale Tera Call Laal
  4. DDB Mudra Group- Indeed’s Hire Better, MTV Hustle 2.0’s Bothard, McDonalds’ Eatqual, Battleground India’s Machine-gun Mouth, Stayfree’s Daughter’s Day ads
  5. Enormous Advertising- Asahi India Glass’ Silence is a Luxury that you Deserve and Samsonite’s Tested Like Samsonite Influencer campaign
  6. L&K Saatchi and Saatchi- Zepto's Stretchable Time
  7. ^atom Network- Reliance General Insurance’s The EmerJersey and The D Series Project


Conceptualised by Talented.Agency, for Swiggy, the ad campaign titled ‘Why Is This A Swiggy Ad’, which ran across various mediums such as print, OOH and digital, turns the basic premise of advertising on its head as it makes the brand connects itself to the device to engage instead of focusing on the coherence of message and brand connect.



The other ad campaign that Talented is entering at Cannes this year is Cleartrip’s ‘ortraveloncleartrip’ QR code ad which hijacked all the other ads of TOI’s print edition on the day as it made the audience rethink their spends and urged them to travel the world instead of buying unnecessary things.




Dentsu, on the other hand, is sending ‘The Responsible Manhole’, a campaign that was conceptualised for TVS Motor Company, and for which the agency had partnered with BMC, to address the critical issue of open manholes in Mumbai and up the ante for road safety in order to make the roads safer during monsoons.


The Womb

Conceptualised by The Womb, ‘Buri Neeyat Waale, Tera Call Laal’, is an ad campaign for Truecaller that captures the power which the community holds to highlight all dangerous calls and unwanted communication with a very visible red colour. With this, the brand went on to launch Truecaller for 'Bharat' in the most simple yet disruptive way and with an intent to start a movement and make India's largest community help safeguard each other.

Truecaller’s Buri Neeyat Waale, Tera Call Laal ad-


DDB Mudra Group

Conceptualised by DDB Mudra Group, Indeed’s ‘Hire Better’ ad campaign is a series of humorous videos that highlights some of the issues that companies face if a professional does not rely on proper recruitment tools to hire employees and showcases some of the scenarios that went wrong when hiring outside of Indeed.

One of Indeed’s Hire Better ad-


MTV Hustle 2.0’s Bothard is an AI-powered rapper and creative bot that was conceptualised by DDB Mudra by combining artificial intelligence and the rhyming sensibilities of hip-hop music. The campaign offers a tech innovation and consumer engagement experience for fans of the genre and India’s first-ever hip-hop reality show.

Bothard on the sets of MTV Hustle 2.0-


A post shared by Bot Hard (@bothard.raps)


Conceptualised by DDB Mudra, McDonald’s EatQual campaign showcases the role that packaging plays in addressing one of the many challenges that people with limited upper limb mobility face in their everyday lives.

McDonalds’ Eatqual ad on Facebook-


In the Battleground India’s Machine-gun Mouth ad campaign, DDB Mudra tells the story of the long-suffering family of a gamer in the form of all of the tribulations they're put through, and the relentless and disruptive assault of sound they're subjected to. The individual family members go through their own disruptions, before telling the parents that their suffering is coming to an end because now, young gamers cannot game for more than three hours without a One Time Password. 

BGMI’s Machine-gun Mouth ad-


Through Stayfree’s Daughter’s Day ad, DDB Mudra has encouraged fathers to talk to their daughters about their periods. The campaign also brings to light the discomfort fathers feel in talking about menstrual periods with their daughters- even though it is one of the most critical conversations of the females’ growing-up years.

Stayfree’s Daughter’s Day ad-


Enormous Brands

This year, Enormous Brands would be entering the awards gala with the brand film titled ‘Silence is a Luxury that you Deserve!’ that it had conceptualised for Asahi India Glass with an aim to make a large impact in the doors and windows segment and to showcase the varied range of offerings under uPVC and aluminium doors and windows solutions.

Asahi India Glass’ Silence is a Luxury that you Deserve! ad-


Additionally, Enormous is also sending its recent influencer campaign for Samsonite- ‘Tested like Samsonite', wherein influencers were roped in by the brand to communicate the six different tests such as endurance functionality, reliability, durability, etc. and help the brand to  imbibe an emotional and soft connect with the consumers by positioning it as a brand of stature and legacy.

One of the IG videos from Samsonite’s ‘Tested like Samsonite’  influencer campaign-


L&K Saatchi and Saatchi

Conceptualised and executed by L&K Saatchi and Saatchi, the ‘Zepto- Stretchable Time’ campaign’s idea stems from the fact that time is seen as an expandable commodity in India and that the Indian stretchable time is something we’ve all experienced. In such a context, the Zepto campaign brings alive the campaign idea by using three famous singers- Kailash Kher, Shankar Mahadevan and Usha Uthup and so make the case for Zepto and its on-time delivery promise.

Zepto’s Stretchable Time ad featuring Kailash Kher-


^atom Network

^atom Network’s The EmerJersey ad campaign’s idea lies in the fact that every year, millions in Mumbai assemble to witness ‘Dahi Handi’ and thousands get injured while hundreds of players die in the absence of timely medical care. Hence, Reliance General Insurance came up with ‘The EmerJersey’, a custom-made team jersey with the wearer’s crucial medical information printed on the washing instructions’ tag.   

Reliance General Insurance’s The EmerJersey Ad-


^atom is also sending RGI’s another ad campaign titled- The D Series Project, to Cannes wherein the brand urges viewers to pledge to donate their organs as the ad is played before the searched song, based on search keywords of ‘organs’ like ‘heart’, ‘eyes’, ‘aankh’ or ‘dil’ in song titles urging the viewer to head to a microsite to pledge to donate their organs. 

The D Series Project:


On another note, three of the Indian ad industry stalwarts- PG Aditiya, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, ​​Talented.Agency; Gautam Reghunath, Co-Founder and CEO, ​​Talented.Agency along with Sukesh Nayak, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy India will be taking to the Cannes Lion 2023’s stage as speakers.

Also, when the final jury line-up of the 70th Edition of Cannes Lions was announced, 13 Indian advertisers, namely- Farishte Irani, Aalap Desai, Sukesh Nayak, Garima Khandelwal, Anupriya Acharya, PG Aditiya, Swati Bhattacharya, Rajdeepak Das, Hemant Shringy, Josy Paul, Aditya Kanthy, Valerie Pinto and Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, found a place in it.

However, highly placed sources from other based-in-India advertising agencies such as Rediffusion, Wieden+Kennedy, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi, Zoo Media and SoCheers told that they will not be entering the awards gala this year.

Note: This story will be updated as and when more information on the campaigns being sent to Cannes Lions 2023 is received.

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