Hindustan Unilever and Mindshare Mumbai bag Grand Prix at Cannes Lions 2016

MUMBAI: Mindshare Mumbai has done India proud at the 63rd Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, by winning the Grand Prix in Glass Lions category for its work on Hindustan Unilever’s Brooke Bond Red Label tea. The brand was honoured last Monday for creating India's first transgender pop band, the 6 Pack Band as part of the campaign initiative.

The 6 Pack Band comprises six transgender singers hailing from India’s ‘Hijra’ community. It’s an initiative created and driven by Y-Films, the youth wing of Yash Raj Films, to help further the cause of gender equality in India with Brooke Bond Red Label as partner.

Describing the win as an ‘epic moment’ Mindshare South Asia CEO Prashant Kumar added he never doubted the campaign’s success given that the core idea was brilliant. “As an organisation we were expecting that the entry will get a recognition. But winning a grand prix was a great delight.”

“This campaign came out of a content day that we did for Unilever which listed great customised ideas for brand solutions. This was one of the shortlisted ideas amongst few other three to four ideas. Then Amin and his team designed on the concept based on the idea, which was further put to discussion with other partners. The result lead to larger things,” Kumar added.

From the brand’s perspective, Team Unilever South Asia, leader Amin Lakhani admitted that the idea was provocative to begin with. “But with each and every roll out of the content piece our confidence in the campaign grew.”

Kumar also pointed out the unprecedented amount of participation and acknowledgement that the campaign garnered post its launch.

Within a short time period of its launch the music videos featuring the 6 Pack Band grabbed millions of eyeballs on Youtube, was aired frequently on television and the radio. Digitally, it was further boosted by online music streaming apps like Hungama, Gaana and Saavn. The band was also invited to perform at the Radio Mirchi Awards and Indian Music Awards.

When asked how the campaign is a relevant brand communication for Red Label, Kumar answered, “The space the brand and the consumer is talking is about a comfortable ecosystem. The music video is a celebration of just that. It also leads into further such space of comfort, and red Label is able to liaison with consumers on the context of comfort. That's the larger motive behind this campaign.” After all, Red Label's proposition has always been to stand up for diffusing tension within societies over a cup of tea, Lakhani added.

The biggest success for the brand, Lakhani felt, was the amount of acceptance the six transgender members of the band received and the fact that they are now looked upon as role models -- not just within their community but across various cross sections within the society. By using popular culture Red Label as a brand has started a positive conversation on gender equality, and the previous campaign with 6 Pack Band is part of a larger initiative the brand plans to build around the subject.

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