We don’t give a damn about a Grand Prix Win: Prasoon Pandey @ Cannes2014

17 Jun,2014

By Delshad Irani


Not our words in the headline; that’s what Prasoon Pandey of production house Corcoise had to say in a session titled ‘The Rise of Creativity in India’ at the Cannes Lions. At the session he shared the stage with his brother Piyush Pandey, chairman and chief creative officer at Ogilvy India. Pandey senior, however, quickly interjected to add, “But winning is the icing on the cake.”


Be that as it may, Indian agencies appear to be in the running for neither icing nor cake this year. In the categories announced so far, there’s nary a Grand Prix in sight. McCann Erickson bagged India’s first silver Lion in Direct for ‘Share My Dabba’ for Happy Life Welfare and Dabbawala foundation. Lifebuoy’s ‘Help a Child Reach Five’, created by Lowe Lintas India, crashed out at the shortlist stage in spite of a slick AV and a rousing endorsement by the Pandey brothers. The campaign is one among the non-Ogilvy films showcased by them during the session.


Its exit has added fuel to the perennially raging fire about how some of India’s best and most celebrated work is too local to appeal to an international jury. Of India’s 976 entries just a handful have made it to the shortlists so far, dimming hopes for a glorious run on the awards front. Josy Paul, chairman and chief creative officer at BBDO admits, “It’s going to be a tough year.”



However, there are signs that Cannes may just become another front in a cross-border conflict.


This year, ‘Not A Bug Splat’ for Reprieve/Foundation for Fundamental Rights has popped up on multiple shortlists. The entry is being considered in Direct, Outdoor as well as Promo & Activation categories. Now why are we obsessing over one campaign in a sea of socially-conscious advertising?


Well, for starters, this piece of work may be Pakistan’s shot at winning its first-ever Lion. Created by BBDO Pakistan, it aims to create awareness about predator drones and the insensitivity of warfare that leaves countless faceless, nameless victims in its path. In fact, in military parlance victims or ‘kills’ of predator drones are sometimes referred to as ‘bug splats’. A group of artists put up a massive portrait of a young girl, clearly visible from air, in the fields of a heavily bombed region of Pakistan.


Google’s ‘Reunion’ from Ogilvy India, a touching story of two friends separated during the partition and Leo Burnett Chicago and Sydney’s ‘Coke – Small World Machines’ have attempted to bring Indians and Pakistanis closer to each other.


In doing so, they’ve caught the fancy of the advertising industry, consumers and media the world over. And they’ve won plenty awards too. But across the Indian border, Pakistan’s ad men and women are apparently scripting their own narrative at Cannes.


Source:The Economic Times

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