It’s been long since adland said Bonjour and Bonsoir to friends and folks at the French Riviera - two years, to be precise. The last time the on-ground festival saw the light of French day, was 2019.
However, with the event set to take place from 20-24 June this year, advertising honchos hold their breath to see what’s in store for them.
Although there is plenty of excitement and eagerness to view the work that takes home one of the most coveted awards in the industry, creative heads are looking forward to so much more.
We caught up with adland to know what it is, that they’ve missed and what they’re expecting to see at La République Française after this two-year hiatus.
Ajay Gahlaut, group chief creative officer, Dentsu Creative
I expect to see a whole lot of friends and colleagues from my current and ex-agencies.
I expect to see a whole lot of interesting work and meet the creators of that work.
I expect to take long walks on the Croisette.
I expect to explore the familiar streets of Cannes once again, after a two year hiatus.
I expect a merry evening or two at the Gutter Bar.
I expect to have at least one meal at that Vietnamese restaurant with the rude owner.
And finally, I expect to go up on stage to pick up a Lion. Or two.
Rajdeepak Das, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett
This Cannes is going to be quite interesting and a bit different from the previous ones. We are going to see work with empathy. We will be seeing a lot of mobile-centric ideas for sure, as that was the only way we connected for two years. We may also see work that was created to help people and society during the war or during mass immigration. And of course, we will see work specially designed for Metaverse, starting from having an interesting promo, to having a concert, to things that were never expected to be done on the platform. There will be some work that will ride the bandwagon of NFTs and Bitcoin. There will also be that one small piece of work that will show how the next five years are going to look.
Ashish Khazanchi, managing partner, Enormous Brands
The festival is back after a long hiatus and it'd be interesting to see how technology made the consumer journeys more interesting. There has also been a significant adoption by brands of AR/VR and I'd personally love to see it shaping experiences. There's Ryan Reynolds speaking and his agency, Maximum Effort, is doing some of the most engaging content on the planet. It's one of the biggest things I have pencilled in on my calendar. And of course, work aside, there's plenty of joy of returning to life in advertising as it used to be. To be celebrating the very best of what this is all about, is an end in itself, and I can't wait to be back in the thick of it.
Raj Kamble, founder and chief creative officer, Famous Innovations
Number one is obviously meeting all my friends from across the world after three years! Working in New York and London for 15 years, means you end up with friends in almost every country and they find you annually only at Cannes. Been missing that. Of course, Cannes is always a marker of where our industry is headed, but it is going to be particularly remarkable this year because we get to see how creativity flourished during the worst of times. Our industry was not designed to be shut at home, work remotely and see each other on a screen. We were meant for loud conversation, raucous laughter and getting inspired by each other’s emotions. Remote interactions dull the senses. I’m looking forward to feeling reconnected with our industry, being outside and coming back charged up for this comeback year 2022.
Mukund Olety, chief creative officer, VMLY&R India
The Killer Pack has gone on to bag India’s only Innovation shortlist. And Adeli has been shorlisted in Glass. Keeping our fingers crossed as we prep for those presentations. I am excited about those and all the other entries we have. While we will see some already-awarded campaigns pick up trophies, I am looking forward to seeing some new pieces that’ll go on to win big. I am looking forward to physically being there after two years and all set to feel humbled, happy, jealous, excited, enlightened. The biggest reason Cannes excites me is the work. They also have an amazing lineup of speakers and I am sure those sessions will be super interesting. And of course, looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.
Amit Wadhwa, CEO, dentsu Creative group India
I am waiting to see some fantastic work at Cannes this year and also looking forward to meeting so many of our international colleagues, after a gap of three years. I am excited to hear some interesting speakers sharing their thoughts on various topics related or unrelated to advertising. While all this is great, the foremost exciting aspect to watch out for is the way the advertising industry has been globally evolving, over the last few years. Another thing would be to see how brands have been embracing the idea with digital and technology, while bringing it all together to make it the most effective, yet compelling and entertaining piece of work. While I see all this, I would also want to see where we as, dentsu India stand amongst all, since we believe that we are embracing the dynamism and creating some great work on these lines. Finally, I would love to see more metals in our hands this time, certainly more than ever!
Kainaz Karmakar, chief creative officer, Ogilvy India
First of all, I want to see my agency winning and I want to see India winning. There are some very powerful pieces from our country. I haven’t had a chance to see the speaker line up at Cannes, but we’re returning to the physical venue after a gap, so I am hoping to see some smashing speakers. Everything is available online at some point, but sitting in the theatre and listening to the legends has a charm that a Zoom link can’t replicate. As a jury member, I expect some great discussions and healthy debates, ending with awarding work that should delight and inspire the industry. Lastly, I am truly looking forward to raiding the macaron shops and the French restaurants.
Amit Akali, co-founder and chief creative officer, Wondrlab
The speakers are always exciting and this year, particularly Malala Yousuf, Gary Kasper, Ryan Reynolds and apparently Paris Hilton. Being in the same room and hearing people really inspires you. I look forward to the talks and to an emotional Cannes. And also to walk around, see the work, meet friends. Lots of people are going to hang out, with tons of messages going around and ex jury catch ups. Even the Indian industry folks don’t meet as much here, as they do there, and so, I'm looking to meet them. As a foodie, food is crucial to me. Looking forward to some great meals. I just want it to be the same old Cannes, since the work and talks are always new anyway. I’m going to be there again after attending it for almost 10-15 times in the previous years. I’ve spoken there, judged there and so it’s nice to be going back after an unwarranted break.