Authors: Sadhu Ramakrishna,
ICMR (IBS Center for Management Research).
At last the countdown has begun for which thousands of creative minds across the global advertising industry have been waiting. The mega event is "Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival", the annual advertising awards function, which will be held in the historical city of Cannes (France) from June 19, 2005 to June 25, 2005. As a matter of fact it is the only gathering held every year where advertising, creative, media, direct marketing, radio and other marketing communities from all over the globe meet, where they can observe, learn and share their knowledge. This festival is otherwise known as "Advertising Olympics". This gigantic event is quite certain to bring to light thousands of creative works done by ad men and women from around the world. Many consider winning an award at Cannes Lions equivalent to winning an Oscar for a movie and that is the reason it is rightly termed as the "Mecca" of advertising. This year, at the annual festival, one can get to watch around 5000 commercials, 10,000 outdoor and press ads, 1700 online ads, 900 media solutions and 1400 direct marketing entries. The joy of advertising and excitement is very much visible months before the start of the event.
Little did people know about this city of France (Cannes) until the mega events like Film Festival and Lions Ad Festival took off way back in the 1950s. These global events helped the city enter the Hall of Fame alongside some of the most popular and happening cities of the world. While the recently concluded Cannes Film Festival celebrated its 58th anniversary this year, Cannes Lions, the ad festival, will be celebrating its 52nd anniversary.
The ad ceremony was first conducted at Cannes in the year 1953 and from then there was no looking back. At that time, there was only one category in which awards were presented: It was the Film category, meaning television and movie advertisements only. This was the scenario which lasted for almost four decades. In the year 1992, Press and Outdoor categories were added to the prestigious award list.
The rest to join this magnanimous list were Cyber Lions in the year 1998, Media Lions in 1999 and Lions Direct in 2002. And starting this year, there will be eight categories from which winners will be chosen as against the six categories earlier. The latest to join the list of awards are Radio Lions and Titanium (Integrated).
At Cannes, the winners will be presented with Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions. There are also some special awards like the Grand Prix in each category, Advertiser of the year and Agency of the Year, etc. Grand Prix, the most coveted award will be presented to the best from among the Gold Lion winners.