Ketan and I have known each other for a little over a year. But ever since we stepped into the advertising world, we've shared a dream; to witness the Oscars of advertising, The Cannes Lions Festival.
The people who generally attend the Cannes Lions Festival from India are CEOs, CCOs and popular creative directors. So, on an average we would have had to wait for anywhere between 7 to 15 years to live our dream. But thanks to The Advertising Club, we didn’t have to wait that long.
The Cannes Festival of Creativity for us began on the flight from Dubai to Nice. A couple of frequent Cannes Lions attendees saw the excitement on our faces and struck up a conversation with us about their first time at Cannes Lions.
As we were heading from the airport to our hotel in Cannes, and then to Palais, we noticed that the entire city was drenched in excitement. You can see a festival goer in every nook and cranny of this beautiful city. We didn’t hesitate to socialise with advertising folks who came from different parts of the world.
The talks at Lions covered diverse topics and the speakers engaged us with their experiences, and made sure that we left the session with some new learnings. Other than attending the insightful talks, we spent hours at the work and awards hub. I’ll be completely honest, we were extremely jealous looking at all the unique pieces of work. It makes you wonder every time, 'why didn’t I think of this!'
What made my first trip to Cannes even more special was the Facebook’s Story in Seconds Competition. Facebook’s Creative Shop gave me the 3rd place in the competition and even hosted me on a panel alongside another young Lion, who is an ECD from Brazil’s Sapient, to talk about the 15-second video I sent for the competition and the future of the advertising industry.
The highlights of our trip included witnessing David Droga being honoured with the Lion of St. Mark award, hearing his emotional yet inspiring speech, and listening to Sir John Hegarty share his wisdom in another session. While walking around the Palais, we got opportunities to meet Sonal Dabral, Agnello Dias, Santosh Padhi, Senthil Kumar and other creative leaders from India. The chances of exchanging a few words with these legends, all in one day, is higher in Cannes, than in India.
To see India win 40 Cannes Lions this year made us proud. We hope India beats its own record next year as well. Ketan and I are filled with zest and confidence that we will contribute to India’s tally in the coming years.