Road to CL2013: The way to win at Cannes is by not aiming for a metal

27 Jun,2012

The Cannes metal wins for India has been disappointing. There could be various reasons for it and the metal tally definitely doesn’t point that the work coming out of India is of inferior category. However, it does point that there is something more required from India n agencies to gain attention of the international jury. Who better that people on the Cannes jury this year to show us some light on where the agencies could improve and what really went behind the judging. We spoke to a few on the jury this year to understand where India went wrong and what can be done to reclaim some of the lost ground this year.


Rahul Jauhari, National Creative Director, Everest Brand Solutions

Rahul Jauhari

I don’t think you can aim at Cannes by doing something that can win at Cannes . Most winning entries at Cannes are brilliant solutions to one business issue or another. “Let’s do something like that one” ­ is not going to get you anywhere. The point is to solve the business issue facing your brand with a wonderful idea and execution. If it is that wonderful, it will win.


And yes, the glorious part is in doing it in a way that is relevant to the India n audience. The jury are not fools. They can see through scams, in most cases. They ask relevant questions and give a lot of importance to the logic of the communication. They reward ingenuity, but not at the cost of authenticity.Brazilwins a lot of awards at Cannes . But their work is unmistakably Brazilian. The same goes for other countries. So, the language of your entry is not a minus point, as long as you send in a good explanation.


The jury at Cannes is now well represented by different countries. And that shows in the selection of work. “Let’s do something that integrates social media” is not the answer either. More Facebook likes is not equal to higher chances at a Cannes metal. If the idea is loved, people will spread it on social media. A print ad can lead to online furore or fan-following. The same goes for a TV ad or a radio spot. The consumer builds in social media integration without asking you. So there.


Simply put, the way to win at Cannes is not by aiming for a metal at Cannes . Aim for a brilliant solution or idea. Execute it brilliantly. Even the simplest of ideas can win. There is that little bit about the packaging, though. When a jury member has to sift through a thousand plus entries, he or she will not suffer a poorly packaged entry. Keep it simple, keep it to the point. Sure make it enjoyable. But remember, the jury wants to know how you did it, why you did it and what it achieved. Inform them, but don’t bore them to death. And don’t try to con them. Most are highly experienced and can tell a fake from a real. Instantly.


Sunil Gautam, Founder, HanmerMSL

This is the fourth year for Cannes PR Lions which saw 1,130 entries from 61 countries, the highest number of entries received by Cannes Lions in this category ever. 134 entries were short listed. India had 19 entries, 1 was short-listed.


The composition of jury was very good and it represented the cross-section from the world over. There was a lot of interaction and discussion before finalising the winners. According to me, it was very professional judging and the experience was awesome.


India had 19 entries in this category, and many of them came up for lively discussion. Of these, one entry was short listed. Unfortunately, this entry didn’t get any metal. But the overall effort by the India n agencies was excellent. All the campaigns that were reviewed were very imaginative, with good strategy, execution and measurable impact and results.


My advice to the India n public relations industry is to focus on innovative strategies, immaculate execution and measurable results in such a way that the campaigns that they implement for a client are a huge success. And not to plan campaigns from the short sighted of just winning awards. Good campaigns are appreciated everywhere and they may end up with the awards. The client comes first and they will get awarded if they deserve.


Vikram S Gaikwad, Partner & Executive Creative Director, Creativeland Asia

Vikram S Gaikwad

I think there are three simple yet significant aspects to any entry. The idea, its execution and the category in which it is entered. A brilliant idea can miss out simply because it is not entered in the right category.

With the number of entries running in thousands even in each category, each panel has a unique criteria while judging entries. So, the chances are that a great entry submitted in a wrong category might fail to even get a shortlist.

Also, we should look at the new categories introduced at Cannes every year.I was disappointed to see little or no work in categories like Mobile, PR and Brand Entertainment & Content categories. With the size of the Indian
market, number of brands, consumption etc, we are very much capable of capitalising on various opportunities and entering more quality work in the future.

This year the number of metals that India won has gone significantly low. This definitely is disappointing. So, I am hoping we will make up for it
next year.

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