Cannes Lions 2023: Campaigns representing India Inc this year

Social Samosa
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Cannes Lions

Social Samosa goes through the work that Indian agencies are entering into Cannes Lions 2023. Agencies weigh in on their work.

Bon après-midi! It is that time of the year again, creative minds from around the globe gather in Cannes to celebrate creativity. India has time and again proven its creative calibre at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and this year too hopes run high.

We take a look at the campaigns that the country has sent in this year and find out what agencies have to say about their work. 

DENSTU Creative: 4 Entries

Mortein’s Suraksha Ka Teeka campaign

Mortein introduced Suraksha Ka Teeka to fight malaria by reformulating the traditional Teeka. By creating a mosquito repellent in disguise, the brand retained the look and feel of the product similar to that of the kala teeka which was safe for use.

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Vedantu’s The Everything Book campaign 

Vedantu and Benlycos created The Everything Book to address the lack of accessibility to quality education in rural India. 

TVS’ The Responsible Manhole campaign 

A low-cost, easily scalable 3D-printed device developed to make Mumbai’s streets safer. 

Vice Media’s The Unfiltered History Tour

The Unfiltered History Tour is a secret tour of the British Museum’s stolen artefacts via AR and immersive podcasts. The campaign swept Cannes Lions last year with a number of awards and is being nominated this year in different categories.

Talking about what the future of creativity will look like, Amit Wadhwa, CEO, of Dentsu Creative India told Social Samosa, "The future of creativity lies in its strong integration with ever-evolving mediums and, more importantly, in the immersive experiences made possible through the magic of technology. This is where things truly start to get interesting."

Cog Culture: One

For their ninth birthday celebration, the agency turned their employees into NFTs. 

“As the Chief Culture Officer, my mandate is to build a creative culture within the agency – a workplace that’s buzzing with ideas, and infused with energy. This 9th birthday event was the forerunner of the many activities that we have lined up to motivate and empower our people,” Viral Pandya, Partner and Chief Culture Officer, Cog Culture told Social Samosa.

MullenLowe Lintas: Four

INFOSYS’ A boy with a rainbow heart campaign 

In 2022, Infosys initiated a pride campaign as part to empower individuals to embrace their sexual identity proudly, regardless of societal pressures and stereotypes.

Also Read: Beyond The Sound: Unveiling BTS’ marketing symphony

Future Generali’s Redefine Family

The brand launched an OOH campaign that put the spotlight on providing LGBTQIA+ community members in a live-in relationship an equal opportunity to secure their health insurance needs.

Vim’s Vim Black Campaign

To take a jab at men boasting about ordinary chores, Vim launched a product exclusively for men ‘Vim Black’ and featured Milind Soman.

Commenting on the campaign, Prateek Bhardwaj as CCO and Head of Creative (India) told Social Samosa, “On occasion, when men do household chores, they consider their contribution a favour rather than their responsibility. We wanted to change the narrative and encourage men to take ownership of their chores. Rather than approach this head on, we took a subversive approach to tell men that they too, belong equally at the sink."

Wondrlab India: Two

Spotify‘s The Unheard Playlist campaign

To show how women artists are underrepresented in the Indian music industry, Spotify and Sony Music India launched The Unheard Playlist.

Speaking on why they chose this as an entry this year, Amit Akali, CCO & Co-founder, WYP Wondrlab India said “The reason we’ve entered this is that it’s an idea that best reflects our ‘Platform First’ philosophy. It made women’s voices heard by silencing them. It became the number one trending topic on Twitter on Women's Day. And drove conversations within fan and artist communities.”

Bharat Matrimony’s Artificial Love campaign

Bharat Matrimony aimed at proving that real-life love stories don’t need artificial perfection standards using Aaditya Iyer, an artificial influencer was used to convey the message.

DDB Mudra: Three

MTV’s Bothard campaign 

To get more people interested in rap as a form and promote the second season of its rap-reality show Hustle, MTV created an AI-based rapper.

Indeed ‘The Hire’ campaign 

To build awareness for a relatively new brand, the agency decided to talk to small & medium businesses. The campaign included three films talking about the wrong hires and how Indeed is fixing that problem.

Battlegrounds Mobile India’s ‘Machine-gun mouth’ campaign

Battlegrounds Mobile India used the iconic sounds of BGMI as a metaphor for excessive gaming; it was shown by the protagonist mimicking the sounds orally. 

Speaking of the AI takeover the globe has been witnessing, Rahul Mathew, Chief Creative Officer, DDB Mudra Group spoke about the future of creativity and state, “With AI venturing into the space of creativity through ChatGPT and Midjourney; there is a lot of trepidation around the future of agencies and their creative stronghold.” 

“But it’s not our creativity that’s under threat, it’s our mediocrity. In the coming years, AI will be able to take over our average and even above-average output and create it faster and cheaper. And the value we bring to the table will be our ability to disrupt through our creativity. It’s a scary, but an exciting future that awaits the industry.”

Enormous Advertising: Two

Asahi India Glass’ 'Silence is a Luxury that you Deserve'

For Asahi India Glass the duo created three films to showcase the varied range of offerings under uPVC and aluminium doors and windows solutions.

Samsonite’s Tested Like Samsonite

In the Tested like Samsonite campaign; an influencer-led campaign, the brand enlisted influencers to showcase the brand’s product durability.

Talented: Two 

Cleartrip’s ‘#ortraveloncleartrip’ QR code Print ad

At a time when the newspapers are filled with a barrage of sale season ads screaming heavy discounts and price cuts, the Cleartrip ad aimed to make people rethink their spending approach and urged them to travel the world instead of buying unnecessary things.

Swiggy’s Why Is This A Swiggy Ad

Using the best potential of UGC format, Swiggy asked the audience a simple question – ‘Why Is This A Swiggy Ad?’ and had thousands talking about it. 

The Womb: One 

Truecaller’s Buri Neeyat Waale Tera Call Laal campaign

Truecaller used the popular saying – ‘Buri nazar wale tera muh kala’ and replaced it with ‘laal rang’ to help users stay away from spam, scam, and online frauds. 

Leo Burnett: Six

Leo Burnett, which was declared the creative of agency of the year at ABBYs this year, has bagged a shortlist in the Innovation category for the ‘Lays’ Smart Farm’ campaign. 

Apart from that, they have also nominated five other campaigns. 

Airtel’s 175 Replayed 

Airtel decided to recreate the 1983 world cup match in minute detail and show it to people in a never-seen-before way with 5G.

Oreo’s #BringBack2011

The brand decided to launch Oreo for the first time in India ever, again!

P&G Whisper’s The Missing Chapter

The Missing Chapter, a red paper that explained the simple biology of periods. 

Burger King’s The Great Celebrity Hack 

Burger King tricked the nation into thinking that the brand got Hrithik Roshan to promote The Stunner Menu without him knowing.

Lay’s The Biochar Project 

Lays helped farmers burn stubble, the right way and created an earthen kiln for controlled burning.

FCB Group India: Five 

HDFC Bank’s Vigil Aunty

HDFC created a character who entertained consumers as she spoke on how to avert frauds.

Smart Bazaar’s Second Question

Through this campaign, Smart Bazaar highlighted the injustice that sex workers have to go through during Durga Pujo. 

Google Cloud’s Hum Banayenge

Through a series of films, the brand showed the stories of the struggle and ingenuity of Indian entrepreneurs. 

Hair and Her - Untangling The Politics of Hair

This campaign aimed to raise a voice of support to the women of Iran by bringing their plight close to home and heart, awakening Indian women to the truth that Iran's issue is not Iran's alone, but every woman’s issue.

Navneet’s Tr. for Teacher

The film invited the country to reflect on the value of teachers and asked people to sign a petition to create an official title of Tr. for Teacher.


Ogilvy has already bagged a shortlist in the Glass: The Lion for Change category for the ‘Dove Self-Esteem Project’.

Mindshare India: Six

Dove Thumbstopping Beauty Biases – Using AI to make human interactions more humane

Dove built a real-time moment of truth on the very medium used to body shame young girls online – Smartphone Keyboards.

HUL Shikhar’s Sales Rep of the Year

HUL's B2B app – Shikhar, is an app enabling their partners to buy smarter and go digital. 

Kwality Walls Trixy Cinegame’s Bringing Alive 3 Layers of Fun

Kwality Walls Trixy decided to drive direct engagement during an otherwise irritating disruption that usually has audiences leave the theatre. 

Vim: Breaking stereotypes in kitchen and in tech 

Vim de-genderised dishwashing and ensured that men didn’t turn to women for dishwashing-related queries.

Cric Exchange – Net Practice for Stock Trading

Cric Exchange was created as a unique gamified engagement setup that helped users experience the nuances of a trading exchange via cricket.

Castrol Super Mechanic: Upskilling during downtime

Castrol Super Mechanic was a commitment to upskilling, rewarding and recognising the mechanic community of India through a ‘phygital initiative’.

Astral Foundation: Two

Ranthambore National Park’s The Jungle Story

Astral Foundation addressed wildlife conservation challenges and water distribution in the Ranthambore reserve on this World Tiger Day.

Ice Stupas in Ladakh

Astral Foundation, contributed towards making nine Ice Stupas across Ladakh. 

Wavemaker India: Five (Creative Agency - Ogilvy)

Cadbury Silk’s Unforgettable Love Tips

Upon scanning a limited-edition Silk pack, India's top three influencers shared tips on how to cope with rejection, anger, jealousy and other negative aspects of love.

Cadbury Celebrations’ #ShopsForShopless

The brand converted millions of square feet of real estate on Cadbury Celebrations packs into virtual shops where hawkers could now display their Diwali items. 

Cadbury 5Star’s #MushDetector

 Building on 5-Star's famous tagline, 'Eat 5-Star. Do Nothing', the brand created relevance for the chocolate during Valentine's week and connected with Gen-Z. 

Cadbury 5Star’s #5StarEverywhere

By changing their logo to a minimalistic graphic of five stars, 5Star beat its competition without a single ad.

Cadbury Dairy Milk’s Proud sponsor of the ground staff

Turning unsung heroes into stars Dairy Milk continued their mission to celebrate the overlooked.

Landor & Fitch: One 

Full’r’s #EatLikeNoOnesWatching 

A website where they could record themselves pretending to listen to a meeting and apply it as a filter on Zoom or Google Meet. 

Havas India: One 

American Oncology Institute’s #ThePinkRibbonCollection 

American Oncology Institute’s #ThePinkRibbonCollection was launched to make Breast Self-Examination awareness a nationwide movement. 


BC Web Wise: Two 

FlowGuard Plus’ #ShareALitre

In order to create awareness among its fans about the water shortage issues faced by underprivileged citizens, FlowGuard Plus created a special microsite where users can virtually #ShareALitre of water. 


Pentonic’s #RogueAI

Linc leveraged AI to create engagement around Pantonic and highlighted the importance of human creativity in the age of AI. 

BBDO India: Five

Ariel’s Silent Separation #ShareTheLoad

The ad showcases the emotional distance that creeps into a marriage because of inequality at home. This ad made men aware of and act on this very issue. 


Ariel’s See Equal #ShareTheLoad

See Equal is the fifth phase of the long-running #ShareTheLoad movement by Ariel that focuses on gender inequality in Indian homes. 


Ariel’s See Equal #ShareTheLoad Long-term

Ariel India aimed at addressing the inequality in the division of household chores in Indian households by launching limited-edition name-change packs. 

WhatsApp’s Scam Se Bacho

The video campaign had a classic song like ‘Aye Bhai zara dekhj ke chalo’ which was then rewritten and told people to look again and be mindful of digital scams. 


Raclo Tyres’ #NoPressureDelivery

The campaign focused on the quick delivery timings forced on drivers and gave the message of ‘Pressure is meant for tyres, not people’. 



Unipads’ Tea Cycle 

The Tea Cycle is a guide in the form of a menstruation calendar that educates women about the different stages of their cycle.

Maxx Flash’s Arogya Bindu

Arogya Bindu is a mosquito repellent alternative that is safe for a baby’s sensitive skin. The objective was to urge mothers to adopt the habit of using the product without changing traditions. 

^ a t o m Network: Two 

Reliance General Insurance’s The EmerJersey campaign

With the EmerJersey campaign Reliance General Insurance wanted to address the increased number of hospital emergencies during the festival of Dahi Handi. 

Reliance General Insurance’s The D Series Project 

The campaign is about making people aware of organ donation through the medium of music. 

Over the years at Cannes Lions, India hasn’t just found a global stage for Indian work but also upped the creative standards in the global advertising industry. By showcasing work that is a blend of cultural aspects, storytelling and innovative ideas, Indian agencies have left a lasting impact. 

Last year, India made history at Cannes Lions, do you think the country will repeat its streak of success at this year? Let us know in the comments below.

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