Russian, Indian ads shine at Cannes

Voskhod wins four Golden Lions, while Taproot India also won two at the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Russian and Indian advertising agencies won several awards at the ongoing Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

In a first for Russia’s advertising industry, the Make the Politicians Work social project won four Golden Lions. The work won two gold prizes in the PR and Promo & Activation categories each.

Taproot India won two Golden Lions for its work for the Times of India in the press and design categories. In the PR category, India’s Publicis Communications won a silver is for its 'Adopt a Pothole Project' for Apollo Tyres.  

“Never before in the entire history of Russia’s advertising market have Russian ad agencies combined won so many prizes at the Cannes festival at once... This is an absolute record”, a delighted Pavel Skosyrsky, Commercial Director of the Voskhod ad agency, said.

The joint project of Voskhod and the Ekaterinburg news agency (whose journalists have since migrated to the portal) made a lot of waves in 2012.

“We wrote very frequently about public roads. Everybody is aware of the condition they are in in Russia. So we kept writing and finally realised that nobody was paying any attention. So we decided to approach this problem creatively. And it worked!” Editor-in-Chief Aksana Panova said.

Make the politicians work. Source: RA Voskhod/YouTube

As part of the project, faces of officials, including the recently appointed regional governor, the city’s mayor, and its chief executive, were drawn on Yekaterinburg roadways. Potholes were made part of the portraits. Each picture was accompanied by a quote from the bureaucrat’s speeches, such as “Road reconstruction is our key mission”.

Yet the project authors did not stop there. Just as the creations of anonymous street artists went viral in Yekaterinburg’s media, hidden cameras caught city workers on video hastily painting over the portraits and filling the potholes with asphalt as a quick fix.

The next night, signs saying “Painting it over is not fixing it” appeared near the potholes.

After that, the city workers gave up and fully repaired the tagged roads.

The Make the Politicians Work project collected a host of prestigious advertising awards during the year, but the win at the Cannes Lions festival has been its biggest success.

‘Adopt a Pothole’ in India

The ‘Adopt a Pothole’ campaign of India’s Publicis for Apollo Tyres won a Silver Lion under the Automotive and Transport category. The brand started an online campaign about clearing roads of potholes, taking a unique approach.

Appolo - ‘Adopt a Pothole’. Source: Campaign India/YouTube

The campaign suggested people change their attitude towards potholes asking to be proactive in solving this problem. As part of the campaign, the brand projected potholes as homeless ‘pets’ that need to be taken care of.

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