Arati Rao Shephali Bhatt
Jun 22, 2012

Campaign@Cannes Blog: With a little help from my friends…

Takeaways from the BBDO session on day five of Cannes Lions 2012, and India-spotting

Campaign@Cannes Blog: With a little help from my friends…

Shephali and I were clicking through the pictures from last night’s Times of India party, and I thought it was quite sweet how all the adlanders posed together with each other whenever we asked them.

While there is always talk about the crab mentality of Indians at jury sessions (determined to pull each other down, I’ve heard), there is bonhomie that I’ve seen here as well – the Indians who turned up for the Lowe India session, even saving each other spaces in the queue earlier, and the ribbing that went on between old colleagues and friends.

A further instance of this was the BBDO session on Thursday, which was titled ‘BBDO - Everything Counts: A Dissection of What Makes Great Creative Great’. Now, all this while, I thought this session was going to be a platform for BBDO to showcase its own work from all over. It seemed like standard fare to expect.

Then I bumped into Josy Paul, who was to speak, just before the session. He surprised me with the information that, in fact, the BBDO speakers were going to showcase work that they thought was exemplary,  but from outside their own agency.

On stage, Josy presented the ‘Mumbai Mirror’ TVC, which is created by Taproot, highlighting nuances of the casting, editing, directing and the storytelling.

I was working on a story for our last print issue, for which I had to get the comments of five people coming to Cannes about their favourite India winner – and I wanted them to pick a winner that wasn’t from their own agency. I remember wondering if corporate communications teams would allow them to do that, or whether people would even want to take part in the story, because it seemed obvious that they’d want to promote their own agency (and its work). The five respondents did finally choose Indian winners from other agencies, and I thought my story was all the better for that angle.

Incessant analysis about possible undercurrents to anything that happens around us is a part of being a journalist, perhaps more so for those who write on advertising. Not to forget the bouts of cynicism that seem to grow on us with time. But adlanders do surprise us delightfully once in a while, as much as the ads they create are supposed to.

India spotting by Shephali Bhatt:

Day five at Cannes was all about Bill Clinton. Two questions that floated around were: Are you even attending the session, and if yes, why? But for me the highlight was this long conversation with Josy Paul after his presentation on the dais about Taproot’s ‘I am Mumbai’ film. He said that he spoke to the director of the ad (Abhinay Deo) almost thrice for the presentation. No wonder he got the loudest applause from an audience that comprised only around 10 per cent Indians (approximately).

About early afternoon, I caught up with Unilever’s Rahul Welde and Scarecrow’s Manish Bhatt at the Croisette. Thereafter, had a quick chat with JWT’s Jagdip Bakshi and Mindshare’s Gowthaman in the Palais. Finally, met Ogilvy’s Rajiv Rao at the Gutter Bar where he was keen to get Arati and I into the Ogilvy party which had gotten over by then! Day five has been the most memorable so far. Looking forward to many more interesting experiences and conversations over the next two days.

P.S.: It’s rather eerie to write 'India-spotting' after an ultra minor accident at the Gutter Bar. But then, accidents happen all the time. Just glad that Arati, Creativeland Asia's Raj Kurup and BBDO’s Josy Paul were there to help. You don’t really need to know more because what happens at the Gutter Bar stays at the Gutter Bar!

Campaign India