Pratap Bose
Jun 17, 2013

Cannes 2013: Diary - Pratap Bose: ‘A thousand bulbs pop in your head everyday’

On Day One, the DDB Mudra Group COO sends in his diary entry from this year’s Festival

Cannes 2013: Diary - Pratap Bose: ‘A thousand bulbs pop in your head everyday’

Another year… but not just, another Cannes Festival. This year is the 60th anniversary of the Cannes Festival, and from what I have been told it promises to be grander, bigger and more spectacular in more ways than one.

This year, unlike other years, I will be in and out (no holidaying either before or after) and the seven days there promises to be a hectic week already. Besides I am so glad that I’m leaving the rainy city of Mumbai and into the sunny South of France.

I arrived today (Sunday) and watched a few of the live ‘Innovation Lions’ case study presentations, which is a first,and a new category, and which were quite intriguing and interesting.

Interestingly for most Indian hopefuls, the majority of the shortlists where India has most of its chances will be out by Tuesday morning. I’m assuming we haven’t pinned any hopes on Film / Titanium & Integrated / Film Craft and Branded Entertainment though I would love to be proved wrong.

We have eight shortlists in all for India on the opening day (four in PR, one in Promo and three in Direct), which is a quiet start.

I promise you it’s not going to be all work and no play… going by the number of party invitations already in. :)

The good thing about these parties is not having to eat the boring French cuisine everyday. Trust me, being an Indian; the irritation levels get higher as the week progresses… thank God for the TOI party mid-week where we gorge on all the Indian delicacies for a change.

On a more serious note… for me the sole reason to be at Cannes is to be inundated completely by the world’s most inspiring work on show. A thousand bulbs pop in your head everyday, and the feeling of that WOW, is better than any drug overdose of any form. When I think about it … it’s absolutely mind-boggling and an experience that leaves you speechless, especially if you have a creative bent of mind, love ideas and embrace technology.

This year has a dazzling array of speakers including some cool oddities as well. Ron Dennis and Jenson Button from the Formula I world, the legendary Lew Clow, the two David’s – Droga and Lubars, Sean Combs and Lou Reed from the world of entertainment, along with all the big agency biggies.

It’s almost next to impossible to attend all the seminars, workshops, screenings, master classes etc. however hard you try. The trick is to pick your areas / speakers of interest and then pack in as much as you can. If you are the CEO / CCO … then you’re expected to attend meetings, lunches and dinners and get the latest metal updates sent to you and then pat the winners  on their backs, and promise them increments when they get home (which rarely happens anyway).

I can’t really comment on what I expect from the Indian entries this time but I do predict some dark horse winners.

Going by what’s been on show at Goafest this year, I honestly can’t pick any clear winners. What might be of intrigue is whether the tainted big winners at Goafest would have been entered at all

My guess is No.

Having said that, I know for sure that a lot of good entries have been crafted post Goafest, and post January, which were not entered in Goa, so we might just be in for some complete surprises.

I honestly do hope India does well this year at Cannes. There’s been too much negativity is the press and in the minds of clients and agencies these past few months, and a lot of that would hopefully get cleansed if India wins big at the world’s greatest stage.

Perhaps I’m being naïve… and perhaps I sound like… ‘If India win the Champions trophy, the sins of the IPL will be forgotten’.

It’s a tough ask I know… but may the Gods be with us!

Stay tuned for more.

Pratap Bose is COO at DDB Mudra Group. The views expressed are the author's independent views as an ad professional and do not reflect the organisation's viewpoint.

Also read:

Cannes 2013: 'Traditional brand construct counters environment of social networks': Dheeraj Sinha

Cannes 2013: Titus Upputuru on Getty Images’ show – ‘Brilliance doesn't have to be expensive’

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