Lessons from Dentsu India's Cannes Lions win

Gurbaksh Singh discusses how Dentsu India's Cannes Lions winning campaign overcame challenges with creativity, stressing the importance of simplicity, clear communication, and authenticity in crafting effective campaigns

Sneha Medda
New Update
Lessons from Dentsu India

In India, where smartphones are widespread but reliable connectivity remains a challenge, Vedantu and Dentsu Creative India developed 'The Everything Book,' a device embedded in an illustrated book to provide high-speed internet to remote areas. This network aggregator device consolidates weak 2G signals into a strong 'hyper spot,' offering 4G-equivalent connectivity.

The book aimed to give children in underserved regions access to quality education. The groundbreaking campaign won several accolades at Cannes Lions 2023 and Gurbaksh Singh, Chief Innovation Officer at Dentsu Creative India, believes this campaign stood out by demonstrating how high aspirations can overcome hurdles. 

“The campaign was successful in demonstrating that if you aim high, you can overcome the hurdles and how you leverage the power of creativity to simplify complex technology into an inspiring form factor for kids,” Singh explained. 

“The initiative addresses the significant potential lost in rural India due to inadequate resources, particularly in education. Persistent challenges such as infrastructure deficits, teacher shortages, and poverty have hindered access to schooling, compelling children into labor instead. Singh emphasized that "The Everything Book not only unlocks opportunities for current youth but also inspires future generations. Vedantu's distinctive approach fills a crucial gap, reaching an audience overlooked by previous endeavors."

Reflecting on past Cannes Lions winners, Singh highlighted campaigns like MouthPad^ and "Intel Certified Human" as significant inspirations. 

MouthPad^ is a tongue-controlled device that enables hands-free operation of PCs for individuals with limited mobility. Singh noted, "It’s one of my favorite campaigns, where human-centric tech is enabling mankind to express themselves, contributing to a better society." 

Similarly, the "Intel Certified Human" campaign addresses the deepfake dilemma exacerbated by the improper use of generative AI. "The campaign introduces a groundbreaking technology platform that identifies deepfakes in real-time by verifying genuine human attributes and addressing the issue," Singh explained. 

Making a Cannes winning campaign 

Singh pointed out common mistakes that entrants should avoid, such as overcomplicating ideas and lacking clarity. “Entrants often overcomplicate their ideas, making them difficult to grasp quickly. Simplicity is key; a clear, straightforward concept is more impactful and memorable,” he advised.

He also stressed the importance of clear communication, ensuring that the project's purpose, strategy, and impact are immediately understood by the judges.

When asked about the crucial elements for a Cannes Lions award-winning campaign, Singh emphasised innovative creativity, strong storytelling, and relevance to the target audience.

"A campaign should embody innovative creativity, presenting unique and original ideas," he stated. Effective storytelling is pivotal, involving a compelling narrative that captivates the audience. "The campaign must be relevant to the target audience and reflect current cultural trends," Singh added.

Advice for first-time entrants

For those submitting their work to Cannes Lions for the first time, Singh offered straightforward advice: "Do not rush! Take the time to meticulously plan and refine your submission. Ensure every detail, from the concept to the final presentation, is polished." He highlighted the importance of high-quality execution, paying attention to every aspect of the project, including visuals, sound, copy, and design. "Great ideas deserve outstanding execution," Singh emphasised.

Finally, Singh advised entrants to focus on authenticity and embrace feedback from peers and mentors. "Authenticity is your anchor; stay true to your brand’s voice and values," he said. 

"Let your peers and mentors challenge and refine your work. Remember, Cannes celebrates not just creativity, but the courage to push boundaries and the wisdom to know what truly resonates with people."

Vedantu the everything book lessons from winners cannes lions Dentsu India