#SMLive 2019: Behind the Scenes: Dentsu Webchutney’s winning streak at Cannes

#SMLive 2019

Aalap Desai, ECD- Copy and Pravin Sutar, ECD- Art at Dentsu Webchutney Mumbai share some behind the scenes of the winning campaigns at Cannes Lions in the concluding session of #SMLive 2019.

Desai kick-started the last live session of the day by highlighting an increase in a number of entries at Cannes this year which was at 8%. “Also there was a 48% female jury. For the first time, an Indian agency managed to have six lions in one year. It’s great. It seems as if the tide is turning,”

With 17 shortlists, 1 Silver and 5 Bronze Lions in its kitty, the agency scored 33 points and has become the most successful agency from India at the international festival of creativity.

The Big Win at Cannes

Desai further opined that digital agencies have always been on the background. “We are fortunate enough to put up a mark. We have always been treated as a support system and not the main campaign asset. We did not expect to win big like this. We hoped to win. One Silver and six lions. The overall show for India has come down but we as individuals did roar,”  

On the winning campaigns  

Desai explained that the campaigns that won them big at the festival were not the typical cause-related advertisement we see winning at Cannes especially from the APAC region. “It resonates well with the jury here. This wasn’t the case in our case. Uri to a certain extent is but not the real causevertising format that has taken Cannes by storm. Everything was real. There was no scam, nothing”.

Dentsu Webchutney’s winning trinity at Cannes was led by its rib-tickling innovation campaign for Swiggy- ‘Voice of Hunger’ that ruled Instagram for an entire fortnight (1 Silver and 2 Bronzes across Direct, Social & Influencer and Mobile). It was ably backed by Flipkart’s Hagglebot: a technology breakthrough launched during 2018’s Big Billion Days (2 Bronzes in Brand Activation and Creative E-Commerce), and ‘URI: Code Name URI’, an unexpected hack to fight piracy for the film, which went on to become a runaway hit (1 bronze in PR).

The Making

URI: Code Name URI

When the team got the brief from URI it was found out that a mainline campaign can’t address the issues a film in India faces. Piracy is one of the biggest reasons why films lose out on money.  

Desai quipped that for us through digital campaigns, the important thing to address was piracy. “We sort of worked out. The best thing was it trolled people. We put up a file which started off with a censored certificate. It’s a replica of the movie featuring Yami Gautam and Vicky Kaushal. We made 3-4 versions of it to be extra mean about the idea. Though torrent is banned in India there are mirror links everywhere.  It seems as if the movie is started, but actors stand and deliver a message of stopping piracy. Initially, there was no reaction, no one took the bait. After 16-17 hours it was blowing on everyone’ faces. People shared their trolled stories.”

Anupuma Chopra spoke about it followed by various celebrities speaking about the issue.

Sutar added here, “It definitely is a brilliant case study and a great exercise, the second big campaign It was a pitch work. We were really surprised when the client approved the idea. The only problem was the lack of time. But as a team we stood together and worked it all – I have to give it to Alap for this. We were very confident about this idea and believed that it will win big somewhere.”

#SMLive2019 – Time for some Observations from Dentsu Webchutney's Dream Run at Cannes 2019 with Aalap Desai and Pravin Sutar

Posted by Social Samosa on Sunday, 30 June 2019

The team shot the video in one and a half day and the idea was live in less than a week.

Swiggy – Voice of Hunger

Desai claimed that Swiggy has been known to do good work and the Dentsu Webchutney Bangalore is a beautiful team. “To get something so exciting out, they created voice notes which have won us two silvers and two bronze. They tapped into the Instagram feature which was lying there. After seeing the campaign you feel like kicking yourself. The voice notes always seemed like kebabs, kudos to the Bangalore team for doing this. They did this thing beautifully”.  

Sutar, too echoing similar views congratulated the team behind the campaign and acing the challenge on Instagram very interesting- voice note which looks like Food and the way people went ahead by making sounds with different kind of food. The engagement was good.  That’s what is of primary importance on digital to make the campaign a big hit.”

“The campaign wins when people react. The award is not in the focus but the great madness that we want to continue is,” Sutar elucidated.  

Flipkart’s Hagglebot

Sutar here shared that its a very simple observation from our culture wherein we see our mothers, friends always bargaining. “But how cleverly they have merged these two things – then putting it into voice activation. It was incredible”.  

Desai further informed that it was in collaboration with Google and a lot of data mining work has gone into it. When you do it on Google bot you don’t realise how much effort has been invested. “Bot was designed in a way where it could defeat you in haggling”.  

Campaigns and Awards

Meanwhile answering a question about campaigns created specifically for awards, Desai agreed that there are campaigns created to win prizes – but its strategy and creativity. “We are fortunate enough to have clients to bag great ideas. Our work is completely backed by clients.”

“What’s more difficult than winning a Lion is winning a Lion again. So we are already under pressure for next year to some real, exciting and award-winning work”.

Sutar highlighted that the key is you need to have fun and have fun briefs with team to create the magic. “The core is the idea and it is the key which will make the campaigns bigger”.  

 On a concluding note, Desai quipped that this year Cannes proved to everyone that digital agencies can do it. “The time has come where agencies like WebChutney can do the same thing that WebChutney did”.  


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