Prasoon Joshi
May 29, 2013

Cannes Lions 2013: ‘The creative spirit thrives on being tested’: Prasoon Joshi, McCann Worldgroup

What’s the work from Apac to watch out for at this year’s International Festival of Creativity?

Cannes Lions 2013: ‘The creative spirit  thrives on being tested’: Prasoon Joshi, McCann Worldgroup

The Lions are around the corner. The metals remain coveted as ever, the jury as eclectic and  the anticipation edgier. New categories like Best use of Technology are adding to the  brew.

So which work is likely  to  strike metal. Frankly, prediction is  not possible at Cannes. Whilst significant work on mainstream brands have made their presence felt,  many a time, pieces from  new  and  lesser known brands, causes and regions have garnered the shinier metal. Cannes is all about surprises. As much about that one Cinderella piece of work  becoming the princess of the Croisette as it’s about crowning the most deserving, however obvious.

Having said that, here’s looking at some pieces works that have made their presence felt in Asia Pac, in charming, effective and  impactful ways. And hopefully, will do so in Cannes as well.

So up first, in no order of preference,  two pieces of work from down under.

‘Volunteer to Promote Volunteering’ treaded a different route by asking not just general public  but also corporates  advertisers and broadcasters to volunteer- something different-  space. From Facebook pages to profile pictures to air time and hoardings, all to promote and raise awareness for the Seek Volunteer website. And saw tremendous results. The integrated use of media  with a high level of public and personal involvement was finely done. One of the better executed and presented cases.  This campaign sure managed to get mind space and more.

Totally disarming and memorable is ‘Dumb ways to Die’ demonstrating that however strong the clamour behind ‘create a  great viral campaign’ – it doesn’t happen. Great campaigns go viral. Tackling the dark issue of accidents and  death with a tongue in cheek approach to promote train safety, the  simple animation and music seeped infectiously into popular consciousness. Inspirational. And a hot  favourite with  many.

TEDx 'Mimesthai' Case Study from Luke Hawkins on Vimeo.

Another piece of work that’d be considered technologically interesting would be the TedX Mimesthai - A speech recognition trending engine that captured snippets of live  banter. Then, feeding these conversations into  data visualisation to create a sound cloud. Every conversation became a sort of a conversation point. Interesting enough for the judges to have a chat .

It’s both an interesting as well as challenging time for our industry as it gets redefined. Straddling contrasting ends of a world, where some beliefs still go by the book, whilst others are recast with spring revolutions triggered on Facebook and other social media. Today, a climate change conference is no longer just attended by the official national reps but can invite real time twitter involvement from across the world. Content is now democratised, consumers are now co-creators, from honing of digital skills there’s now talk of ‘singularity’ - of man and machine being one. To create work that rises above the challenge of this changing world, media and mind space around us is no mean feat.

The main reason these pieces of work stood out for me  is that these  ideas have  an inherent amoeba-like quality. They can mutate, morph in many dimensions.

Of course there are  could be many more in the running like the NRMA ‘Create your own car or beyond the wall’ campaign for Mountain dew bringing street art and graffiti to life.

The creative spirit  thrives on being tested.


Let’s go hunting.

(Read more Cannes picks from the Asia Pacific in the issue of Campaign India dated 31 May 2013.)

Campaign India