DDB Mudra Group Cannes Lions entries: breaking taboos, stealing and ‘frowning’ with Chaplin

Mumbai-headquartered DDB Mudra Group, part of the Omnicom Group, has submitted five of its campaigns for the upcoming Cannes Lions.

Rahul Mathew, Creative Director, DDB Mudra Group, spoke to e4m about the nominations and more.

“The work we sent to Cannes reflects what we really love doing at the agency: big work on big clients, work that influences society or shapes culture, and work that showcases our love for craftsmanship. This is the kind of work that we encourage throughout the year at the agency and it is probably the reason why we have several works to bring to Cannes. We are optimistic about our chances in Cannes.

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will be held in France from June 20 to 24.

Let’s take a look at the group entries:

Stayfree: Girls’ Party

The campaign aims to start a wider discussion about menstruation and related taboos. This campaign has also won Cannes Lions in the past.

“Stayfree believes normalizing periods will remain unattainable if men are excluded. If men could start talking, their love for their daughters could potentially overcome and end years of conditioning,” the agency explains.

But involving men is easier said than done, when even women talk about menstruation in low voices and behind closed doors.

The campaign allows father-daughter duos to have their very first period conversation. Instead of convincing them to talk about it, the campaign tricked them – by asking father-daughter duos to audition for a commercial.

“They didn’t know it was for Stayfree, they had no idea what the ad was about. Attendees read a script that was handed to them. Halfway through the script reading, they realized what actually spoke their conversation. Periods. They fumbled and stuttered but continued the audition,” the creative team explains.

In the end, the film helped the fathers overcome their clumsiness to assure their daughters that it was just a period.

The campaign was nominated in four categories: social behavior, cultural insight, health and wellness (brand-focused education and awareness), and creative effectiveness (creative effectiveness for good).

Impact:

The film reached 19.7 million people and generated 45 million impressions and an overall engagement rate of 24%, which is significantly higher than social media benchmarks of 8-11%.

The engagement rate with men in particular was a staggering 51% – in a category so secretive that dialogue with men is negligible. Additionally, we received 14.4 million views with a VTR of 61% from men

This led to a 2.5-fold increase in parent registrations at Stayfree & Menstrupedia, a leading menstrual health resource – for a month-long workshop on understanding menstruation. What was particularly encouraging was that 25% of the enrollees were fathers.

More importantly, people engaged in dialogue. Within days, we received 23 million page views from dads inquiring about the rules and comment threads teeming with discussion, proving that starting an awkward conversation can spark lasting change.

Netflix: Red Notice Shop

This clever promotional campaign, which involves bringing a “red notice shop” to life in a 3,000 square foot retail space in one of Mumbai’s Phoenix Palladium malls, has allowed fans, celebrities and influencers to “steal” the store.

The event, which was built using lasers, sensors, secret codes, CCTV cameras, alarms and the security associated with heist films, provided the agency with plenty of fun content. , which was used to create daily engagement videos.

While the “top criminals” surrendered in a daily compilation of the most wanted thieves, many valiant attempts by amateurs were recognized as “Epic Fail package”.


The campaign was nominated in 10 different categories such as Brand Experience & Activation (Social Engagement & Integration, (Launch/Relaunch), Use of Ambient Media and Outdoor (Live Advertising and Events).

“We asked the hosts of India’s most popular game shows and talk shows to provide funny commentary on our landmark film, which makes trying to rob people even more entertaining,” the team explains.

Impact:

With over 100,000 attendees stealing goodies worth INR 5.5 lakh in just 36 hours, the Red Notice Shop has become Netflix’s busiest on-pitch event globally.

The store has left an indelible mark online with over 19 million impressions on Instagram in just 3 days. He gained media space worth INR one crore.

Charlie Chaplin Foundation: a silent frown

Though he was thrown headlong into every challenge one could encounter – separated parents, poverty, family illnesses, war, economic devastation – legendary comic actor Sir Charlie Chaplin taught the world to look beyond tragedies and to find happiness where we could.

In his honour, the DDB Mudra Group and the Charlie Chaplin Museum Foundation have created a book – A Silent Frown – devoted to the life and philosophy of Sir Charlie Chaplin.

Developed as a work of art, each page of the book depicts Chaplin’s life in illustrations on a transparent section. When stacked by closing the book, the illustrations come together to form the face of the great artist.

The book was launched to the public on Chaplin’s 133rd birthday, at Chaplin’s World Museum in Switzerland, and unveiled by Mr. Eugene Chaplin – son of the legend himself.

The campaign was nominated in several categories such as Communication Design, Books, Promotional Printed Media, Promotional Item Design, Special Editions & Bespoke items, Industry Craft, Charity and CSR.

Impact:

Several copies were sold at CHF 200 each, bearing the signature and endorsement of Eugene Chaplin. All profits from sales are donated to the Foundation’s initiatives aimed at developing cultural activities around Chaplin’s work, in particular workshops and film screenings for young people for whom access to culture is difficult.

BGMI: Responsible Gaming

The Game Responsibly campaign is an unexpected approach to a pressing issue. It embeds overplaying problems and their subsequent solutions into relatable, non-preachy narratives.

The BGMI (Battle Ground Mobile India) has been rolled out with several in-game features to encourage game moderation among its young users.

“Our main challenge was to strike a balance between a fun and sticky message that also conveys the features of the game and the culture we wanted to communicate. Therefore, humor was used to convey the features introduced by BGMI to combat over-gambling, including OTP authentication for minors and in-game daily spending limits,” the agency explained.

The commercial was entered in eight categories –

Media/Entertainment, Viral Movie, Social Behavior, CSR,

Health and wellness, education and brand awareness and social film.

McDonald’s: EatQual

India faces several challenges on the front of diversity, inclusiveness and social exclusion, one of the most prominent of which is that of disability. More than 2.21% of India’s population is disabled – almost 27 million people, more than the population of Australia – 27 million who are systematically excluded from marketing efforts and even basic experiences.

McDonald’s mission was “to make delicious moments of well-being easy for everyone.” The brand realized that for people with upper extremity disabilities, the feel-good burger experience probably sucked, not to mention the intimidation they feel and the looks of pity they receive with some something as simple as eating a burger.

The film was nominated in eight categories, including Creative Effectiveness (Retail), Brand Challenges & Opportunities (Acquisition) and Creative Strategy-Audience Insight, CSR and Brand Strategy.

Impact

McDonald’s launched EatQual in 2020, innovative packaging that has truly driven inclusivity and captured the nation’s attention, improving people’s perception of the brand and engaging audiences long overlooked by the food trade.

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Charles P. Patton