dentsu India Team

This interview was originally published at ADGULLY.

India has some of the best talents when compared to the world: Amit Wadhwa

Dentsu Creative India ended Cannes Lions 2022 chapter on a high note, being declared Agency of the Year. This is the first time that any Indian agency has won this huge accolade at the advertising festival.

Dentsu Creative India’s final metals tally at Cannes Lions 2022 includes – 3 Grand Prix, 1 Titanium, 1 Gold, 4 Silver, 3 Bronze Lions. The agency had secured 24 shortlists. Dentsu Creative’s work, titled ‘The Unfiltered History Tour’, done for VICE Media won three Grand Prix as well as a Titanium Lion along with other metals.

The dentsu website describes ‘The Unfiltered History Tour’ as a secret tour of the British Museum’s stolen artefacts via Augmented Reality. However, instead of adding dog ears to a selfie, the same technology was re-engineered to scan and identify life-sized 3D artefacts in differing light conditions throughout the day, to showcase first-ever visual depictions of scenes of colonial crime without the Museum’s knowledge.

When visitors use their smartphones to scan the museum’s stolen artefacts, the relevant filter is activated via geolocation. They hear native experts narrate the true histories of how they were stolen, as first-ever visual depictions of scenes of crime form a contextual overlay over the artefact in real-time using Augmented Reality.

While the British Museum’s narrative portrayed the colonies as helpless in the face of British aggression; AR in smartphones were used to tell history from the perspective of the colonies, as formidable foes who fought to save their cultural treasures.

In an email interaction with Adgully, Amit Wadhwa, CEO, Dentsu Creative India, shares his excitement over the agency’s stupendous performance at Cannes Lions 2022, his observation on the creative talent in India, and more.

How has your entire experience of winning at Cannes Lions 2022 been? Were you expecting the wins?

I absolutely cannot put into words the full experience. Perhaps I could use the term surreal, but it still doesn’t come close to describing what we experienced during the festival. This sentiment was shared by everyone at dentsu, who were sitting right here in India, yet, were as ecstatic as we were in Cannes. Prior to this, we also had a very good haul at award shows like Spikes, The One Show, D&AD, Kyoorius, to mention a few. As a result, we were confident in our work and our wins. However, predicting that we would win three Grand Prix, a Titanium, and Agency of the Year title before we left, would be an exaggeration.

India has had its best year ever at Cannes Lions this year? What are your observations on the creative work from India? Is the world finally warming up to the creative talent in India?

As far as talent is concerned, undoubtedly, India has some of the best talents when you compare them to the world standard. I guess what India has started doing better is creating that fine balance between a great idea, execution, and seamlessly weaving technology into it. The boundaries amongst mediums are blurring, as seen in all the work that have won. What we need now is to ensure that this integration occurs even in day-to-day work, which I am confident will happen as we move along.

How can India keep up this winning momentum? Do you think campaigns are becoming more about social responsibility, empathy and soft sell rather than carefully crafted brand push?

We must focus on developing outstanding ideas for businesses while also bringing them to life seamlessly via the use of technology and digital. This balance, in my opinion, is essential for the modern-day creative agency, what we call ‘Modern Creativity’ at dentsu. I am certain that if we keep doing it, we will continue to win. Regarding campaigns on social responsibility and empathy, I believe there was a decent combination of direct brand pushes and social responsibility initiatives, which is encouraging.