Campaign India Team
Jun 25, 2010

Ajay's blog: Mere 30-seconders are passé

We have five days behind us in this seven-day festival. We are clearly in the second half of this mega industry platform. And now the next/big awards will only be announced on Saturday evening, when the sun begins to set on the 57th international advertising festival at Cannes.It’s yet not time to bid adieu, but it definitely is that time by when the questions start to be heard in every corner of the Indian contingent….How did India perform?

 Ajay's blog: Mere 30-seconders are passé
We have five days behind us in this seven-day festival. We are clearly in the second half of this mega industry platform. And now the next/big awards will only be announced on Saturday evening, when the sun begins to set on the 57th international advertising festival at Cannes.
It’s yet not time to bid adieu, but it definitely is that time by when the questions start to be heard in every corner of the Indian contingent….How did India perform? Could we have done better? And what was the role of the big “S” word (scam ads) at this festival?
 
I take this opportunity to break-away from my day-to day observations, while sharing a perspective on the journey so far:
 
  • You have the best from across the globe, under one roof – speakers, workshops, seminars, agencies, ‘creative’ talent et al
  • Cannes continues to be a Mecca of learning for the advertising, media and marketing fraternities – especially if you are there to invest in and enjoy that facet of the festival
  • The festival has grown well beyond mere advertising and creativity, reflecting the realities of the fast and ever changing world
  • Mere advertising or 30 seconders are passé. You need to think and act 360 – encircling the consumer with your brand idea
     
  • The work that gets recognized and rewarded has to be rooted in a great insight and a big idea
  • First class execution is critical. But mere execution will not take your work far
  • More and more work is reflecting a scale of the idea and execution like never before
  • It is no longer about mere creativity - business and brand results do matter – and the winners are bringing in the results in the marketplace
  • India has made its presence felt at Cannes. No questions.
  • The number of entries, our representation on the juries and among jury Presidents, the number of Indian delegates attending, our work, our wins, our local heroes who are invited to share their experiences and wisdom, the number of times the word “India” gets mentioned during the festival…all these facets and more, cumulatively over the years, have truly reflect the fact that India is a force to reckon with – as a country and as an industry
  • The industry and the representatives of the industry must take a bow!
  • This year I heard that India had more than 100 delegates present – someone mentioned 200
  • I do wish that more of them were in the Palais, more often
  • A vote at one of the seminars showed that a large number of people at Cannes represent the client fraternity
  • The industry comprises a potent partnership between agency and client. And great brands are only built when they work as an inspired two-some
  • We need to be here, for each other
  • ITC has sent 11 delegates. May their tribe increase
  • Promo, PR, Digital and Direct – categories that offer huge opportunities for our brands and recognition-worthy work – our work in these categories needs to be seen among the best from the rest of the world – soon – very soon
  • Ideas are recognized and rewarded. Ideas can originate from anywhere. Ideas should originate from everywhere – but let the relevant and respective agencies not forget their responsibilities in taking the lead
  • Indian advertising is no longer mere Mumbai advertising. Calcutta and Gurgaon have already staked their claim
  • Do agencies need to spend more time with their clients - make their clients and brands feel as if they are the only reason for the agency’s existence – more often – and more regularly
  • Is the reflection of this felt need the success of independent agencies
  • Independent agencies are here to stay
     
  • Is it their extra passion and sense of ownership of brands reflecting in their work
  • At Cannes let’s celebrate ideas and ‘creativity’ – creative ideas – big ideas – unabashedly
  • Good work gives rise to more good work. Recognition gives rise to more good work
  • Can we end the debate on scam ads, once and for all – and formally have two streams of work considered and awarded – brand work and proactive work (by whatever names we wish to call them) – evaluated on separate parameters, if need be
     
  • This year India could have done better – much better – no excuses
  • Next year India can do better – much better – and will do much better – let’s at least aim for the stars
  • Going beyond the winning agencies, we need to, as an industry, recognize, encourage and nurture the talent/young talent that is getting us recognition at Cannes – they need to be an inspiration for the huge talent base we have back home 
And before I sign off, stepping away from advertising - a list of things that I see in every nook and corner of Cannes – bread, cheese, olives, olive oil, shops selling “Glaces” (ice-cream), dogs – all sizes of them – but mostly of the Chihuahua size and cars – all sizes of them – the kind you
always dream to drive if not own….
 
And before I really sign off for the day…yes, France and Cannes are seen as the fashion capital of the world. But at the festival, anything and everything is fashion, starting from shorts and t-shirts. So what if you are going on stage to receive the most coveted industry award.

Ciao!
 
Ajay Kakar is chief marketing officer of financial services at Aditya Birla Group.

 

Source:
Campaign India

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