Prasoon on Mccann’s shortlists in direct
I think both the shortlisted entries reassure me that my judgment is still in place ; I had already told my creative team that these two entries were very strong. The bachpan bachao idea is very simple and beautiful. What Denzil and his team have done is to get a carpet woven by weavers – and the design shows children working – the same children who work on the carpets that people buy. So when you actually see the carpet design and realise that they are actually children, it shocks you, as the message is communicated through the same medium, forcing you to ask the question: how can you buy something that has a child working on it?
The government has supported this initiative strongly and we have had two exhibitions, in New Delhi and in Mumbai.
The second shortlist is about Mirza Ghalib’s memorial (his house) and how people have written outside his wall and abused it. On the one hand we’re talking about celebrating the richness of someone like Ghalib and on the other we can’t even protect his house from vandals. The campaign was designed make people realise that the greatest poet in our country is shown such lack of respect.
Prasoon on what he’s looking forward to at Cannes
My agenda (since I’m not judging this year after three straight years of judging) would be to meet and catch up with people like yourself -- you must’ve noticed last year that I couldn’t meet you; when you’re judging you’re very busy.
This year I will meet all my old friends ; For example, I will be meeting Jeff Goodby and Chuck Porter; people who’ve been on juries that I have and are friends. One person I will miss this year is Neil French, Neil’s not well and had some surgery and is in Spain and I’m definitely going to miss the night we’ve shared for the last 12 years -- every Cannes festival ends with one evening with French where we sit together till the wee hours and chat about advertising, poetry and music and everything under the sun. Going to meet our friends from India also -- you know a lot of people you don’t catch up with in India because you’re so busy and caught up. Here you bump into people; that’s another added advantage. So my whole agenda is to meet some people and see some good work; as you can see some entries have featured in the shortlist, hopefully, more will be seen. If we win something, that will be great; even if we don’t win, it will be good to see some good work.
Prasoon on expectations from Cannes as an advertising festival
We always look forward to Cannes. It’s truly an international advertising festival. It is international because it evolves with time and understands what’s happening in the industry. And that’s what I can see with the introduction of new categories and by the introduction of new people on the juries. They keep getting new and fresher people and fresher minds. So we look forward to learning a lot in Cannes and we look forward to winning. I mean I have great hopes from our work here this year; not only for McCann, but also for all agencies from India.