The happiest part of the final day at Cannes Lions was the glorious final count of the unprecedented performance recorded by Indian agencies at this year’s festival. Forty-seven Lions, five Grand Prix and two Titanium Lions – the country’s richest haul ever. And the icing on the cake was soon to come, when an Indian agency, Dentsu Creative, was named the Creative Agency of the year. To be at the awards event that evening was a matter of pride and joy. 

Which are the winning campaigns I loved most at Cannes this year? From India, there was Dentsu Creative’s ‘The Unfiltered History Tour’, which bagged several awards. Cadbury Celebrations’ ‘Shah Rukh Khan My Ad’, created by Ogilvy India, was already my favourite even before I knew it was winning at Cannes. And P&G’s ‘The Missing Chapter’ for its Whisper brand, created by Leo Burnett India, was an excellent example of beautifully crafted purpose-led advertising, which won my heart as well. 

From the rest of the world, I loved ‘The Breakaway’: The first ecycling team for prisoners’, a film created for the Decathlon brand by BBDO Belgium. ‘Morning after Island’ by Ogilvy Honduras was a superb example of a brilliant creative idea that made a real impact on people’s lives in that country. Apple’s ‘Escape from the office’, created in-house by the Company, was nine minutes (!) long film, that made me laugh several times, and the core idea resonated so well. 

Please do check out these films, whenever you can. Each of these winning campaigns emphasised to me the primacy of superb ideas in creating great advertising. Fresh new ideas are the life-blood of this industry, and Cannes Lions 2022 showed us that the best ideas come from all parts of the globe, they have neither geography nor history. In addition, this year, I witnessed so many ideas which were driven by purpose, by the need to make a tangible and good impact on society. In fact, that was the last thought playing out in my mind as I left the venue, Palais de Festivals, on Friday evening and walked past the calm deep blue Mediterranean sea.  

(The writer is Brand Custodian, Tata Sons)