By the time you read this, India would have won at least four Gold Lions at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. And, some Silver Lions and Bronze Lions, to make the end of day three bring a broad smile on the face of every Indian here, as well as several rounds of cheers and beers at Gutter Bar, the favourite haunt of agency folks at Cannes. Sour grape juice would rapidly quench the thirst of all whose work was shortlisted, but didn't manage a win. By the way, the conversion rate is not so different from the past years.
Congratulations to all the big Indian winners for the gold conversions from over 100 shortlists for India in six categories; the final result heralds positive news for all Indian metallurgists and miners at Cannes this year. But the Grand Prix this year is far from being ours yet.
Of the four Grand Prixs announced on the first awards night, that is Monday night, the PR and Direct Grand Prix went to 'Dumb Ways to Die', a campaign created by McCann Melbourne, for Australia's rail networks operator Metro Trains. This campaign used wry humour, live content, funny animated clips and a chart-busting track to announce extra vigilance could avoid accidental deaths on railway tracks. The entry describes how 'Dumb Ways To Die' became the world's most shared video and resulted in a 21 per cent fall in railway deaths in Australia. I guess this campaign would pick up more Grand Prixs in other categories as well. It could also become the most awarded campaign at Cannes this year.
The Promo & Activation Grand Prix went to 'Immortal Fans', a campaign by Ogilvy Brazil for Sport Club Recife. The campaign introduced an organ donor scheme at the football club and, as a direct result, organ donation in Brazil rose 54 per cent in a year; waiting lists for heart and corneal transplants were reduced to zero.
Wieden+Kennedy, Amsterdam, ended up winning the Grand Prix in the Creative Effectiveness category for the Heineken 'Legendary Journey' campaign that featured French actor Guillame Dolmans.
Here's a quick wrap-up of the other interesting happenings on this side of the south of France:
Meet the parents: A journey back to roots to find out what our parents actually did to nurture our creativity. Hosted by Jeff Benjamin, chief creative officer of JWT North America, the session included his parents, director Sante Ariola and his stage actress mother, and internet star Kid President (nine-year-old Robby Novak).
The Mindshare/Mclaren Formula1 seminar featured champion driver Jenson Button and the McLaren pit crew recreating the pit-stop-rapid-change-of-tyres sequence live on stage. This was followed by an intense discussion on data usage and adaptability.
The new world of online content: Yahoo's seminar on appealing to the habits of today's consumer featured Hollywood actor Jack Black. His penchant for short format online comedy content came forth in the exploration of how the internet provided opportunities for great content that was mostly rejected or deleted by big television networks and film studios.
Tuesday's much-awaited TED session - There is magic in the future - featuring Marco Tempest, the techno illusionist who mixes technology with magical illusions, did not disappoint.
The Facebook seminar with adman David Droga highlighted the lack of iteration possibilities in our industry.
Among other attractions, the Getty Images experimental demo screens at the Palais des festivals are amazingly addictive and the experience of moving your hands and clicking fingers to browse through thousands of videos and search keywords is something to write home about.
Will there be an India Day at Cannes soon?
Tuesday was China Day at the Cannes Festival. It was great to see the Chinese agencies come together and make a hard pitch for Chinese creativity. I hope all Indian agencies would get together and make India proud, and Indian creatives prouder, with a similar or better packaging of India's infinite creativity.
(The author is national creative director, JWT India)