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Rajiv Dingra on Cannes 2018:

06 Jun 2018

#IndiaAtCannesLions2018: Beyond the Awards I Look Forward to Listening to Martin Sorrell on His New Venture: Rajiv Dingra

The most awaited festival celebrated globally by the advertising fraternity, Cannes Lions, is just around the corner. This year there have been several changes to Cannes Lions 2018, one of the most noticeable being the reduction in the days of the festival.

As part of our coverage of Cannes Lions 2018, AdAge India will follow the journey of advertising executives from India who will be going for the festival and give a front row experience of the festival through their eyes. Catch Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO, WATConsult speaking about what are his expectations for Cannes Lions 2018. Excerpts:

Q. Cannes Lions, the much awaited Festival of creativity is all set to strike the clock. What are your expectations from the same?
I feel this year we will see a lot of different kind of work for many different countries winning. This is because the jury is diverse as well as the restriction on number of lions a single entry can be submitted would ensure that different work gets looked into. Beyond the Awards I look forward to listening to Martin Sorrell on his new venture and also David Droga.

Q. How many entries have you put and why do you think that your entries could be contenders at Lions this year?
We have submitted only #PowerlessQueen in several categories. We feel it’s a real contender as it recently won the Grand Prix at the Prague international advertising awards and has also been nominated in two categories in Tangrams.

Q. What is the campaign all about?
Nahin Kali, an NGO that aims to provide primary education to underprivileged girl children in India. We created a campaign to drive donations. Thus we launched the PowerlessQueen which was all about a simple thought that a society would fail or fails if the women are powerless. To highlight the same we took help of one of the oldest games in our country, Chess.

Chess that originated in India in the 6th Century and as we know ‘Queen’ plays a vital role in the game of chess, but till date, unfortunately in the Indian society the ‘Queens’ are the least powerful. They are not allowed their basic right to education which leads to them being powerless.

Being a one of its kind game, in this version of Chess one player had to play with a Powerless Queen, i.e. a queen who couldn’t move while the other player would have a powerful queen. Queen being the most powerful piece on the chessboard, #PowerlessQueen was a metaphor for how real-life queens i.e. women in India are treated and rendered powerless.

The campaign was launched by India’s #2 ranked chess player, Tania Sachdev on social media via a video where she challenged people to take up the #PowerlessQueen challenge and try to win the game.

The game was organically picked up by many renowned chess players and garnered some really encouraging results online and offline.

Q. Last year, India seemed to have made an impact at the festival whether it is design, PR, print or anything else. Where do you see Indian entries standing this year?
I do feel Indian entries will make an impact this year too whether it’s Sindoor Khela work by times group or Laugh at death or Release the pressure by Mirinda. I would really love it if Indian work wins the the digital and social categories.

Q. Which Indian campaigns do you think have the potential to get home the most desired trophy home?
Besides for our own work in #Powerlessqueen, I feel sindoor khela and release the pressure by mirinda is very good work with very good chances of winning.

Q. On a bigger picture, what is your take on Cannes Festival of Creativity?
I feel advertising it’s own version of the oscars and Cannes Lions comes the closest to offering that kind of aspiration and platform. I think for genuine work it’s the only such global platform of this stature which brings together advertising community from across the world.