Creative Director Scott Dungate sent us the following dispatch from Mumbai, having just judged the D&AD-affiliated Kyoorius Advertising Awards in India. Here, he shares his thoughts on some of the standout work and his experiences in Mumbai.
I’ve never been to Mumbai before, but I have read Shantaram, all 4,000 pages of it, which describes the city far more poetically than anything I could pen here. So, let’s jump to the parts not covered in the book: the work at this year’s Kyoorius Awards.
DEAR MR. TERRY SAVAGE
The ‘Public Service/Advertising for Good’ category featured entries about myriad social and environmental issues that India faces. Many case studies tried to explain how they had made a difference, tackling everything from farmer's suicide to women’s menstrual shame. While the causes all felt worthy, there was also a sense that some work was motivated by the season — the period between March and June that sees a deluge of cause-related campaigns coinciding with awards shows. A mockumentary called this out, with an amusing open letter to Cannes chairman Mr. Terry Savage:
ACID AND DOGS
There were, however, a few cause-related campaigns that felt real and impactful. 'Beauty Tips by Reshma,' fronted by an acid attack survivor, didn’t just point out the issue; it had a preventative and proactive message, too. Using the YouTube ‘make up tutorial’ format, Reshma called for a ban on all over-the-counter acid sales. In between applying lippy and eyeliner, Reshma argued acid was as easy to buy as cosmetics — too easy. The power of the spokesperson elevated the cause, and backed by an online petition, over-the-counter acid was eventually removed from corner stores across the country.
I also appreciated the simplicity of 'A Stray Dogs Life' for the dogs themselves. Pooches in Victoria Park don’t realize how good they have it.
THE BONKERS FUNNY STUFF
Following on from what felt like thousands of worthy but depressing case studies, I was looking forward to seeing some funny stuff that only India could come up with. While there was plenty of sketch comedy set around the family home, there were a few pieces of work that transcended in-law gags and husband jokes, enlightening our eyeballs with something refreshingly weird. Here are three:
1. Sassy Girl
2. Hands Up
3. Ambuja Cement - Khali
HAVES AND HAVE NOTS
Art Direction and Print seemed to be either a little deprived of production values or bloated by too much, like the thousands of Photoshop hours spent polishing pretty, but predictable, ‘visual twists.’ There was, however, one piece of work that stood out for both its art direction and emerging tone of voice. The campaign for 'The Nicobar Story' felt like an outsider in the room, and the start of some strong brand work.
Mother's Pride Certificates + Live Wire
Finally, I was quite fond of the self defense umbrella pictured below. Would be great for the Tube.
Self Defense Umbrella
All voting was done anonymously, via tablet, so we don’t know what will be finally be awarded Blue and Black Elephants. What I’ve written about above was only some of the work I enjoyed. So, like Shantaram, it’s just one person’s perspective. Thanks again to Kyoorius for having me. I really enjoyed Mumbai, the hospitality and the experience.
P.S.: While in Mumbai I also got to catch up with ex-W+K London Art Director/ Designer Sanket Alvani, and travel around in one of his Taxi Fabric taxis. The project is looking for brand partners, so if you are interested, get in contact with Sanket at: firstname.lastname@example.org