An idea can come from anyone today, in the context of marketing and its myriad partners. It's also true that an idea can come from anywhere, and go very, very far. If it does not go global, an idea in one market can certainly inspire a similar market in some other part of the world.
The purpose of a stage like the Cannes Lions is to recognise the power of such path-breaking creativity. Often, ideas that move millions in India have gone unnoticed on the global stage. It must be true of other countries too. When evaluated against thousands of such wonderful ideas from across the world, perhaps they did not stand out. It would only be fair to appeal to the juries to view these solutions in the local context, but also view them in another context they could be applied to.
Proof of such ideas that have transcended borders are many. And they make a real difference to the world.
Millions of idols of the Hindu God Ganesha are immersed in water bodies in a ritual every year. An Indian agency came up with the idea of idols made of material that would become food for the marine life rather than threaten their existence. A year later, a New York agency came up with six-pack beer handles that are routinely washed away into the sea, made of byproducts of a brewery, also edible for marine life. The only issue with scaling this up, according to the beer brand, is the cost. Perhaps there is in some other part of the world, a solution waiting to be discovered.
Women alone burdened with doing domestic work like the laundry is not an India-centric issue, but the solution to it was born here and celebrated with a Glass Lion Grand Prix last year. It has since transcended boundaries and #ShareTheLoad is as global an idea as the issue it addresses.
A solution for young people in abusive relationships was found on Snapchat in India. Relative anonymity the medium allows, with messages getting deleted in 10 seconds, allowed the affected to reach counsellors for help. Last heard, it is being replicated in Europe.
Is India the only country in need of blood donors? A solution is underway here, transforming 'Donation' into 'Saving' with 'Blood Savings Accounts' banking blood.
The 'Blue Dot' to show diabetic-friendly food items on restaurant menus has infinite possibilities, the world over. It was born here.
It's time to unfailingly recognise ideas with the potential to fly, and celebrate them on a global stage like the Cannes Lions. While that has, without doubt, been the intent of every jury, there are more global ideas now hidden away than ever before waiting to be discovered. And celebrated.
(This appears in the special 'Cannes Contenders' print issue of Campaign India, available at the newstand inside the Palais de festivals, Cannes, from Sunday, 19 June 2016. Copies will also be circulated to a select group of professionals from agencies and marketers in India. To request a copy, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org with name, designation and work address from your official ID. Limited copies available.)
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