The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity begins today and the world will see a new and improved ceremony that will last for five days, unlike nearly eight days in previous festivals.
Not many were confident that the worldâ€™s most popular ad festival will take place this year due to publicized complaints from advertising holding companies on how expensive and extravagant the festival had become and Publicis Groupe taking the radical step of giving all ad festivals (including Cannes) a miss for an entire year.
But the lion will roar again and, this time, the ceremony will be more special for India. While the advertising world will see a shorter, more enlightening festival than the preceding ones, India will put up a strong show after winning 40 awards last year including a Grand Prix, the top prize in the ad world. In addition, ad makers Piyush and Prasoon Pandey will be conferred with a lifetime achievement award, called the Lion of St Mark, on the last day of the festival.
The celebrated admen are the first Asians to be conferred with this award since it was instituted eight years ago. For Piyush, executive chairman and creative director, South Asia at Ogilvy, this will be a double honour. He is the first from the WPP group to receive the lifetime achievement award.
Shortlists in many categories have already been announced and early signs are pointing to another good year for India at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.
Leading the tally for India is DDB Mudra with Project Free Period for sanitary napkin brand Stayfree from Johnson & Johnson, with five nominations so far; one each in Glass and Titanium categories and three in Health & Wellness. Other agencies that have performed well in Heath & Wellness, traditionally a strong category for India, include Grey (for Mahindra Rise) and McCann Worldgroup (for Kwality) with three nominations each. JWT is also shortlisted for Unicef, reports Economic Times.
Indiaâ€™s other Glass Lion nominees include BBDO for All Out, FCB Ulka for The Times of India and Cheil for Samsung. All three nominations in the Pharma category go to TBWA for Hope Foundation. Indiaâ€™s solitary entry in the Innovation category is from Cheil for Sense International.
According to festival organisers, of the tens of thousands of campaigns submitted, just 10 percent make it to the shortlist and three percent win.