Here’s why we woke up to a very good morning today…

13 Dec,2017

Photograph Courtesy: Ogilvy India


By A Correspondent


It’s an award that’s perhaps as big as the Nobel Prize. It’s like the Honorary Oscar presented to the great Satyajit Ray fifteen years back. You’ve read it elsewhere already, but in case you haven’t: the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has announced that brothers Piyush and Prasoon Pandey will be honoured with the Lion of St. Mark award at the 2018 Festival.

So are we making a big deal about it? After all, Brand Equity – the publication which everyone in the A&M ecosystem aspires to be in – relegated to the bottomspread despite being given an exclusive.

Well, we aren’t here to question editorial discretion, but suffice to say that the names of Lion of St Mark winners in the recent past will tell you how important the honour is:

2017: David Droga, founder and Creative Chairman, Droga5
2016: Marcello Serpa, former Partner, AlmapBBDO
2015: Bob Greenberg, Founder, Chairman and CEO, R/GA
2014: Joe Pytka, Director, PYTKA
2013: Lee Clow, Chairman, TBWA\Media Arts Lab, Director of Media Arts, TBWA\Worldwide
2012: Dan Wieden, Co-Founder and Global Executive Creative Director, Wieden+Kennedy
2011: Sir John Hegarty, Worldwide Creative Director, Founder, BBH

This is the first time anyone from Asia – yes, no one from China till date – has been accorded this honour. The Pandey brothers of course do not need this recognition to be placed up there in Indian advertising’s Hall of Fame.

Said Jose Papa, Managing Director of Cannes Lions in a statement: “The Lion of St. Mark recognises those who have made a significant and outstanding contribution to creativity in our industry. Piyush and Prasoon have undoubtedly made the world pay attention to creativity in India. While they are famous, and rightly so, in their homeland, I’m thrilled that we have this opportunity to celebrate their contributions to our industry on the Cannes Lions stage. The fact we get to honour the achievements of two brothers makes this year’s Lion of St. Mark award particularly special.

Piyush Pandey paid tribute to India, his clients and colleagues, commenting: “This is a huge, huge honour. I am humbled and immensely grateful to the people of India. It is the richness and diversity of this nation that gave my brother and me the opportunity to learn and to create good work. I am also indebted to my clients, my colleagues and Ogilvy who gave me the support and the freedom to fly. Thank you Cannes Lions for giving every creative professional in my country a reason to believe that if Prasoon and Piyush can do it, so can they.”

Added Prasoon Pandey: “The Lion of St Mark is an absolutely incredible and stunning honour for two 10-15 year-old kids from Jaipur who were just having a blast playing Emperors and Thugs, Dragons and Demons, dreaming stories and playing them out with some far more imaginative and talented friends. We were so engrossed in that play that we forgot that we were well into our 50s and 60s! This is such a huge and humbling honour for us; I just hope it doesn’t make the kids inside us conscious.”

Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative Director Ogilvy South Asia won his first Cannes Lions awards with two Gold Lions for his work on an anti-smoking campaign in 2002, marking the start of a period of global recognition for a man who was already a creative legend in his native India. Piyush’s work is considered instrumental in the popularity of advertising campaigns produced in Hindi during the 1980s and 90s, heralding a shift to more universally accessible creativity in India.

Prasoon Pandey, younger brother of Piyush is a highly respected director whose name has repeatedly featured in global rankings of top film directors. Prasoon is credited for directing the first Indian campaign to win a Lion, for Ericsson’s ‘One Black Coffee’ in 1996 and is one of the most awarded directors in India.

Piyush Pandey joined Ogilvy & Mather in 1982, and made his name on work for Fevicol, Luna Moped, Cadbury and Asian Paints. In 1994, he was made National Creative Director for Ogilvy & Mather India. Piyush was the first Jury President from Asia at the 2004 Cannes Lions Festival. The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of the Padma Shri in 2016.

Prasoon Pandey started his career at Lintas Delhi, eventually becoming the creative director for Lowe India. He set up his own production company, Corcoise Films, in 2002.

Piyush and Prasoon Pandey will be presented with the Lion of St. Mark at the closing awards ceremony of the 2018 Festival. The brothers will also take part in an interview hosted by Philip Thomas, CEO, Ascential Events in the Lumiere Theatre as part of the 2018 content programme.



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