India has been having a legendary never-before-in-history performance at Cannes Lions. Yet, I’ve been hearing some strange whispers on the Croissette all week.
“I have a problem with that idea”
“But is it real work”
“Has anyone even seen it before”
“The people who did it have left the agency”
“It’s poverty porn”
“Half the jury is from their network”
And I have one line for all these people - just shut up and celebrate the work. Every time India wins one trophy at Cannes, we move at least 1,000 steps ahead in our agenda to do better work as a country. It makes talent, agencies, clients and the whole ecosystem hungry for creative work. And it’ll make your job easier next year.
Don’t forget, at INR 80 per Euro and 800 Euros per entry, our barrier to enter is 80 times. Our average monthly retainer fee is the same as the per day professional fees of a creative director in Europe. If this entry cost 100 Euros, we would have entered 10 times the work as a nation. Hell, if our country was 2 hours away from Cannes and the travel cost less prohibitive we’d be 1000 people here taking over the place anyway.
Also don’t forget, David Droga did ads for sex toys at one point and gave a million phones, where no one could even find one. And Fallon won big on ads for a hair salon. But those steps led to them doing work that progressed our entire industry forward and gave hundreds of young people a reason to apply for a job even at your agency.
This year, India has won 38 awards including 4 Grand Prix, which is already a record and hopefully we win a Titanium tonight. This is unheard of. I still remember the maniacal celebrations when India won its first Grand Prix in 2008 and they took the India flag to the stage to show our presence (ps: it was my flag). And today we are ruling the show. We have come a long way. Rupees won’t stop the talent eventually and this is just the beginning. Keeping fingers crossed.
(The author is founder and CCO, Famous Innovations.)