MediAvataar's News Desk
WPP has been named the world’s most creative holding company at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the sixth consecutive year.
Another strong performance from its agencies at the industry’s premier festival and awards show saw WPP top the parent company rankings once again. The holding company award is based on the accumulated points won by the agencies within each group.
Ogilvy & Mather won network of the year for the fifth time in a row, while Y&R took third place.
The win in Cannes means that WPP holds the title of parent company of the year 2016 at four of the industry’s leading awards programmes: Cannes Lions, the Effies, the Warc 100 and The One Show.
WPP agencies from 46 different countries took home Lions. Winning work included: Y&R Auckland’s “McWhopper” for Burger King; “The Swedish Number” by Ingo Stockholm (Swedish Tourist Association); J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam’s “The Next Rembrandt” (ING); “Breathless Choir” by Ogilvy & Mather London (Philips); David Buenos Aires’ “Man Boobs” for MACMA (Breast Cancer Help Movement); “The Everyman Meal” by Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg (KFC); J. Walter Thompson Costa Rica’s “The Second Scoreboard” (Teletica, Inamu, Fedefutbol); “Behind The Leather” by Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok (People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals); Grey San Francisco’s “The Most Dangerous Town On The Internet” (Norton By Symantec); “Beauty Tips By Reshma” by Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai (Make Love Not Scars); “Man, Lady, Office” by Monday Bangkok (Dutch Mill Co); Ogilvy & Mather London’s “Tongue, Breathing, Blinking” (Unilever); Memac Ogilvy’s “Lamp, Table, Bookcase, Bed, Nightstand” (IKEA Saudi Arabia); and “Paper Glasses” by Grey Mexico (Save The Children and Santillana).
Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO of WPP, said: “In my cricketing career I have rarely, if ever, hit a six. This is the most gratifying one of the few. Although this award is handed to WPP, it is really testament to the ability, effort and success of the people within our agencies all around the world, and the good judgement of the clients who commission the work. So congratulations and thank you to them. I would also like to say, for the benefit of our colleagues across Europe, both within and beyond WPP, that although the UK has voted to leave the EU, WPP has not. We are as European as ever, and will become even more so.”
John O’Keeffe, Worldwide Creative Director of WPP, said: “Amid, sadly, much heightened security this year we saw the true face of humanity, with fierce competitors putting aside any differences to pledge, as an industry, to work together to help bring the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to fruition. As we look across all the wonderful work that has rightly been recognised this week, I can only think, what a force for persuasion we make. Note to self: the competition for the coveted Creative Holding Company of the Year award gets more intense every year. My congratulations to all the winners and indeed all the great clients who bought this brilliant work. As ever in Cannes, The Big Idea is The Big Winner. And always will be.”
63rd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has today concluded with a final awards ceremony to announce the winners of the Film, Film Craft, Titanium and Integrated Lions, alongside this year’s remaining special awards.
Film received 2,801 entries and 70 Lions were awarded. The Grand Prix went to Shoplifters for Harvey Nichols by adam&eveDDB, which utilised security camera footage to promote a rewards card for the luxury retailer. “Low budget, rich in narrative and hugely entertaining, it challenged our perceptions,” said Jury President, Joe Alexander, Chief Creative Officer of The Martin Agency.
From 2,317 entries received in Film Craft, 71 Lions were presented, including a Grand Prix to Under Armour Phelps for Under Armour by Droga5. The winner delivered content that elevated the written script and transcended the craft so it became invisible. “The jury was completely immersed in the experience,” said Jury President, Laura Gregory, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Great Guns.
In Titanium 254 entries resulted in 5 Lions with a Grand Prix to #OptOutside for REI by Venables Bell & Partners, which also claimed the Cyber Grand Prix earlier in the week. The jury looked for winning work that marked a new direction, got people to reconsider the norm and connected with the cultural zeitgeist. “The work drew on what was happening in the outside world and attached the brand to the conversation,”said Jury President, Sir John Hegarty, Founder of BBH.
Integrated received 278 entries and 13 Lions were awarded. The Grand Prix went to House of Cards FU 2016 for Netflix by BBH New York. While many entries succeeded in clever integration across a range of mediums, the winner took this further. “This brilliant work leveraged current culture in the US to draw in its audience. Every element was brilliantly executed,” said Sir John Hegarty.
During the ceremony, Marcello Serpa was honoured as this year’s Lion of St. Mark in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the industry. Blake Mycoskie founder and leader of ethical shoe brand TOMS received the LionHeart Award for his socially responsible business model. And Samsung Electronics was named Creative Marketer of the Year for their commitment to customer-focused, creative communications work. Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Mobile Communications Business, Younghee Lee, collected the award.
The Grand Prix for Good was won by Malak and the Boat for UNICEF by 180LA, Santa Monica. “Sometimes you have to support an idea whose moment is now,” John Hegarty remarked. “This campaign was incredibly emotional and as a jury we played a small part in helping it reaching more people.”
Other awards presented at this evening’s ceremony were:
Agency of the Year was given to AlmapBBDO Sao Paulo. Grey New York came second and INGO, Stockholm third.
Independent Agency of the Year went to Droga5, New York. Second place to Jung von Matt and third to Wieden+Kennedy, Portland.
The Palme d’Or, given to the most awarded production company, was presented to Tool, USA. Epoch Films, USA came second and Stink, United Kingdom third.
The Network of the Year award was presented to Ogilvy & Mather. Second to BBDO and third to Y&R.
Also awarded was the Holding Company of the Year, which went to WPP. Second to Omnicom and third to Interpublic.
This year, over 15,000 attendees came to Cannes Lions and the Festival included eight days of content, over 43,000 entries, seven awards shows, two galas and networking opportunities throughout.
UN Secretary-General calls on global business to follow communication industry’s example as Dentsu, Havas, IPG, Omnicom, Publicis and WPP pledge collective support for Sustainable Development Goals
In an unprecedented step for the industry, the world’s biggest advertising and marketing services groups will put aside competitive differences at this week’s Cannes Lions Festival to launch a major new initiative – “Common Ground” – in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the United Nations last year.
At the suggestion of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, for the first time rival parent company chief executives will take the stage together to demonstrate their shared commitment to deploying the power of the creative industries to help address the world’s most pressing problems.
The Secretary-General will speak at the Cannes Debate at noon on Friday 24th June in the Palais des Festivals, before being joined by leaders of the different groups.
The Common Ground programme will begin with a global advertising campaign, with space donated by key business and thought-leadership publications.
Following the Cannes Lions Festival, each group will focus on a specific area of the SDGs over the coming year, where possible and necessary working collaboratively across parent companies. They will also encourage other industries to find their own Common Ground.
In addition, the six companies have agreed to provide a development fund for each of the winning ideas in the Cannes Young Lions competition, which this year is devoted solely to the SDGs. These funds will be used to develop the concepts and give them the strongest possible chance of being put into practice. This is the first time the Young Lions have been given a development fund, providing an opportunity to bring their ideas to fruition, directly contributing to the achievement of the goals and continuing to raise awareness of them.
The seventeenth and final SDG is based on the idea that collaborative partnerships will be essential if all of the SDGs, ranging from eradicating poverty to tackling climate change, are to be achieved.
Speaking ahead of the Cannes Debate, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged competing firms from other sectors to follow suit and make their own Common Ground commitments to supporting the SDGs:
“Common Ground is breaking ground. This initiative is not only about the advertising industry’s considerable influence in promoting the Sustainable Development Goals around the world. By putting aside their differences, these companies are also setting a powerful example for others to follow.”
In a joint statement, Tadashi Ishii, Chief Executive Officer and President of Dentsu; Yannick Bolloré, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Havas; Michael Roth, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IPG; John Wren, President and Chief Executive Officer of Omnicom; Maurice Lévy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Publicis Groupe; and Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and Chief Executive Officer of WPP, said:
“The Common Ground initiative recognises that the global issues the UN has identified transcend commercial rivalry. By working in partnership to support the Sustainable Development Goals, we want to demonstrate that even fierce competitors can set aside their differences in order to serve a wider common interest. We hope others in and beyond our own business decide to do the same.”
Successful globalisation requires the flexibility to adapt products and think beyond established boundaries.
Whether it is dubbing Indian soap operas into Spanish for the Latin American market or creating Middle East Bollywood dramas with plotlines adapted from successful Arab TV shows, the expansion strategy of Zee Entertainment –– an Indian media multinational –– highlights the value of pushing new ground and truly knowing your audience. In doing so, it has been able to expand its markets to their full potential, and maximise returns, efficiently monetising intellectual property by sharing content across international markets.
With its aggressive move into markets beyond India, Zee represents an increasingly important class of emerging market multinationals. Its expansion strategy is based on creating and acquiring international subsidiaries, then steadily increasing levels of content customisation to local languages and cultures.
The company’s initial foray into international markets relied on the massive Indian expatriate community spread across the globe. “We own the diaspora for South Asian and Hindi-speaking market,” Targe Sameer, Zee’s head of sales in North America, noted when describing the company’s international success for my recent study, Act Globally Think Locally: ZEE Entertainment’s Worldwide Growth. “You name the country, you name the segment that has need for Hindi programming and we are there.”
But the company’s global ambitions expand far beyond the sub-continent’s diaspora. In 2014, when 25 percent of the company’s US$720 million revenue was already generated from non-Indian operations, Zee announced plans to become a truly international player, boasting that by 2020 it intended to be ranked among the top global media conglomerates, reaching over a billion viewers worldwide. This is to be achieved by leveraging on its existing networks in North America, the Middle East and North Africa, the U.K., Russia, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
As it continues to grow its international footprint, Zee is learning from past experiences and has developed a three-step plan for entering and fully exploiting the potential of each new overseas market.
Step 1: Creating ‘Indian content for Indian viewers’. The first step for any Zee global channel is to target local members of the South Asian diaspora; those wanting to retain connections with their culture. As a pioneer of the entertainment industry in India, Zee's brands include ZEE TV, Zee Cinema, Zee Premier, as well as channels in regional languages such as Zee Marathi and Zee Bangla, putting it among the largest producers and aggregators of Hindi programming in the world. With an archive of over 120,000 hours of television content and the rights to over 3,500 movie titles at its disposal, Zee is able to rebroadcast content efficiently creating new sources of revenues from existing content.
While the South Asian diaspora is broad, growth is still limited. For Zee to maximise its expansion it needs to look beyond the Indian expat community. This leads to:
Step 2: Creating Indian content for local viewers. On entering new markets Zee builds up its market research capabilities, identifying the best way to adapt and deliver its Indian-produced content to capture the imagination of second generation and local audiences. For example, Zee investigates whether local audiences prefer dubbing or subtitles. In some cases, the experience of local channels revealed pre-existing audiences for Bollywood films or local styles of entertainment culturally similar to Zee’s catalogue. Zee’s Latin American subsidiaries were able to develop Indian soap operas similar to local telenovelas. In the Middle East, its subsidiary Zee Aflam spent 18 months with a market research company looking at ways to leverage local affinity for Bollywood content, such as introducing plotlines from Arab TV dramas, adding Arab-style background music and introducing characters with Arabic names. They paid attention to the different Arabic dialects, finding that Egyptian Arabic was most popular for comedies, Syrian for dramas and Lebanese for lifestyle programmes.
By making significant investments in market research in each country where it operates, Zee has uncovered many nuances which help it to successfully tailor programmes to suit local audiences.
But to make it to the big league, Zee needs to target bigger, more affluent, audiences. This requires the third step in the growth process, and one that has yet to be realised in many of its markets:
Step 3 Producing local content for locals. The launch of this initiative is hardly underway, but two early tactics are already apparent. The first is acquisition, buying (and if necessary localising) content from non-Indian sources and broadcasting it. For example, Zee has begun licensing content from Romania, forming production and distribution agreements with partners there to produce content with an eye on global markets.
Second, they have begun sourcing and producing content specifically for the local market. The most developed service in this area is the U.S.-based Zee Living channel, broadcasting the company’s first English-language content produced outside of India. With a focus on health, wellness, travel and fashion, Zee Living already reaches 30 million homes and aims to make that 50 million within two years. The Zee executive charged with digital convergence elaborated the rationale for this initiative: “That’s where our future is. We are targeting and trying to address 300 million Americans with programming that is going to be useful for their lives.” It is a lofty ambition, as is the ultimate step in their globalisation plan: to become a world-renowned provider of original content on par with companies like Discovery. This will require Zee to overcome a myriad of external challenges, particularly regulatory barriers to entry; for example, Canada and Brazil require a certain percentage of content be locally produced. In China, Zee has created a beachhead by establishing a licensed media business while it investigates potential opportunities in this massive but very complex market.
A culture of controlled risk
To date, Zee’s success internationally has been shaped by its structure and corporate culture, which includes a willingness to experiment and take risks. Of course, these risks are not taken by throwing caution to the wind; for example, the company spends significant sums investigating potential markets. At the same time, the company is not afraid to challenge stereotypical thinking and conventional wisdom. Indeed, its success has silenced those who argued that Bollywood stories are only for India.
Employees and subsidiary heads are given considerable autonomy and encouraged to experiment, albeit carefully, emulating a culture of controlled risk which emanates from the top.
While flexibility and speed are valued, they can never come at the cost of careful diligence, to avoid strategic blunder. "I prefer to be right than first," Zee CEO Punit Geonka noted in his interview for this study.
The two-way benefits of going global
But going global is not always about chasing bigger audiences. For Zee many benefits are to be found in programming efficiencies and new sources of revenue –– not necessarily in the rebroadcasting of its Hindi content. As it began creating new content abroad, Zee discovered that this could be sown back in the Indian market. Croatian and Romanian dramas, for example, were dubbed into Hindi and rebroadcast in the Indian market. Meanwhile the English-language content produced for Zee Living is being repackaged for India.
This international expansion has brought about new business partnerships augmenting Zee’s growth and capabilities. Its global connections have allowed it to launch a lecture series bringing prominent figures to India, which both brings in revenue and builds the prestige of the Zee brand.
At a time when media firms are being pummeled by the transformation brought about by digital, Zee is taking advantage of its position and showing the advantages of “acting globally while thinking locally”.
Written by Stephen Mezias,Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise at INSEAD.
A new age Hollywood channel catering to Young India
TIMES NETWORK, which caters to the nation’s crème de la crème of premium television audiences, today announced the launch of its latest English movie channel, MOVIES NOW 2 which will offer young movie buffs stylish, edgy, fast-paced, new-age, premium content in SD and HD. After being the owners of an array of category leading movie channels, such as MOVIES NOW, MOVIES NOW HD, Romedy NOW, Romedy NOW HD and MN+, this is the fourth English movie channel from TIMES NETWORK that will further strengthen the channel’s English offering.
MOVIES NOW 2 will have stylised content, right from a new identity and on-air look to an interesting library that includes some of the most high profile and appropriate titles across genres that are universally celebrated by youth.
Commenting on the occasion, Vivek Srivastava, Senior Vice President & Head, English Entertainment Cluster, TIMES NETWORK said, “We are excited and pleased to launch MOVIES NOW 2. There was a niche that was available to us for MOVIES NOW 2 and capitalizing on the same, we created a platform that caters to ‘Cinema of Tomorrow’. The channel has been honed and shaped for the free-spirited, opinionated, rebellious and engaged youth looking for adventure, edgy and new-age stylised cinema. MOVIES NOW 2 is an all new Hollywood English Channel experience for young India which is Sexy, Stylish and Smart. The channel will be aired from June 24, 2016 and will be available across leading cable & DTH platforms. We are confident that MOVIES NOW 2 will add immensely to viewer and advertiser numbers and pleasure.”
Mr. Srivastava further commented, “TIMES NETWORK is known for having a deep understanding of its audiences requirements and creating offerings that ensures a delightful viewer experience through each brand under its network umbrella. Consumer needs have been changing over the years and in the past 5 years the needs have undergone a change in massive ways. India is on a high aspirational curve, and TV audiences across markets are familiar with the best of international world-class entertainment. We believe that consumer segmentation and brand differentiation will lead the way in the years to come as we expect this segment to only swell and get more dominant. The success of MN+ and Romedy NOW are great testimonials of ever evolving consumer needs and MOVIES NOW 2 will be an exciting addition to the bouquet.
The channel will not only showcase great titles, but will also package them in interesting on-air properties like ‘Moviegasm’, ‘Swag Nights’, ‘BAE Love’, ‘2wisted’, ‘Thug Life’ among others showcasing a variety of young age Hollywood MOVIES like Hangover III, Kick Ass 2, Bangkok Dangerous, the Oceans series, R.I.P.D. and 21 to name a few that will offer viewers an out of this world experience. The channel will also premier a series of new age titles like Sin City 2, Hot Pursuit, 3 Days to Kill and Poltergeist to name a few.
With the launch of MOVIES NOW 2, TIMES NETWORK will offer viewers a complete and focused package of distinct channels like MOVIES NOW and Romedy NOW (both in SD and HD), MN+ and now MOVIES NOW 2 for the discerning English movie watching audiences.