In the last issue, we asked creatives why Cannes was important. This issue we ask the suits and bring you highlights on the serious side to Cannes.
Charles Cadell, Lowe India
There are two reasons to attend Cannes. Firstly it has now become the only place that all the global advertising community aggregates. This is good for networking, idea dissemination, understanding and progress. Secondly because even while Cannes has not historically been at the forefront in the support of the new agency business model (digital, new media, etc), it does at least do a good job of representing in a fair light what is best in our business and focus a spotlight on where it should be shone – the work. I wont be going this year but I would go in future.
The one aspect of Cannes that I enjoy the most personally is knowing I am still being paid to watch and read, hour after hour the huge quantity of good work from all over the world. The one thing that I would not like to miss at Cannes is the great fresh sea food and the Mediterranean salads. What would I like to see more of, at Cannes? Titanium showreels.
Madhukar Kamath, Mudra Group
I’ve always viewed Cannes as the one place where we get a complete picture of the communication spectrum. I’ve always seen it as a place where one goes in for tremendous amount of exposure vis- a- vis seminars, conferences as well as the work showcase. The networking opportunity, of course, is also tremendous. Especially from a Mudra group standpoint, it is particularly important for us as we have business interests across every single touch point and Cannes gives you a window into the best work across several touchpoints around the world.
For me, Cannes has always been a congregation for learning, for greater exposure to global trends and a celebration of creativity. Having said that, I am not so certain that I may go this year. I may give it a miss this year and that has more to do with the way we are looking at various investments this year. The slowdown was a factor that we kept in mind while coming to this decision. Over the last few years, we have been sending between five to twelve people every year. This year, we have taken a conscious decision that we would rather invest in sending in entries rather than delegates as far as this year is concerned. We are still making up our mind but as of now, we don’t think anybody will go to Cannes this year, from Mudra.
I believe the most valuable aspect of Cannes is the exposure, the learning and the networking. I cannot imagine what else I would like to see at Cannes, going forward. What they have itself is completely exhausting to pack into a week. From an India perspective, I would like to see more of India being represented at all the forums. That’s not a question of what, but when.
Aniruddha Banerjee, Publicis Ambience
Cannes matters for two reasons. One, while we get happy with our work at home, Cannes gives us an opportunity to benchmark our work against the best of the world. And two, it gives us an opportunity to absorb what the world leaders of our industry are thinking.
The most valuable aspect of the festival in my view would obviously be the work and the case studies. If it gives people the exposure to the best in the world, it’s fantastic. I will not be going this year. I decided not to, right after last year’s show and before the slowdown. After the third time, I find it a little boring, and a bit of a waste of money. I believe creative people, and planners should go. If I had money, I would send a few youngsters, for the exposure.
The one thing at Cannes that I enjoy the most would be the best work from around the world and the food. At Cannes, whatever excites you, interests you, it is all available.
Mohit Jayal, Wieden+Kennedy
Cannes is a nice industry tradition that often showcases some truly breakthrough work. Plus the South of France is lovely that time of year. I, however, am not going to Cannes as (a) I will be on holiday in the North of France, and (b) I don’t think we’ve got any entries this year. I would have gone if we had a very strong set of entries, of course. Or maybe just to catch up with friends, colleagues and the W+K global gang.
Cannes absolutely adds a lot of value to the Indian agencies as agency folks get to test their skills against the world’s best – and they have shown that they can win. I think youngsters benefit the most, because high-quality global exposure quickly turns them into lean, mean advertising machines...while senior management get a chance to catch up on their wine drinking. A top tip for those going and even the ones staying back. It’s pronounced as ‘Can’, not ‘Caan’ or the yet more extreme ‘Caanz’.
Colvyn Harris, JWT India
For Indians, Cannes is an opportunity to understand what is happening in the world. The festival cuts across agency networks and countries. It is like a learning hut in today’s multi-dimensional world. I would be going this year, inspite of the current market scenario.
The scenario doesn’t take away from the importance of Cannes. Where else will you get an opportunity to hone your learning skills? We need to enrich ourselves. We may have lesser number of people representing us but we will definitely have representation.
The one aspect of Cannes that I enjoy the most personally is the opportunity to meet people on a larger scale from the other markets. I attend all the workshops.
I love the bonhomie at Cannes. Gutter Bar becomes a place where you forget where you are from. When India wins, we are all together. Last year, during the Lead India win, all the barriers were shattered. We network around India in Cannes.
There are many things that I would not like to miss like award shows and learning knowledge. Cannes is packed. There are events from the morning till the evening. It is about how much you are able to manage. It is not about the city, it is about the learning you can absorb. I would like to absorb more.
Subhash Kamath, BBH India
For any creative field, recognition of good work is critical, not just necessary, to push the boundaries. And Cannes is one of the top awards that does that. We’ve only just started our company in India, so we won’t be going to Cannes this year. But next year, we would love to.
The one aspect of Cannes that I enjoy the most is the atmosphere, the place and the overall sense of celebration. I would not like to miss the work on display. What I would like to see more of, at Cannes would be more genuine brand building work, and less scams.
Cannes 2009 Highlights
Thursday 25 June - Y&R Presents...Roger Daltrey and Harvey Goldsmith: The session will be moderated by Hamish McLennan, Global Chairman, CEO - Y&R
Thursday 25 June - DDB Worldwide: Audacity Of Successful Brands: Why consistent leadership sets a tone that can inspire creativity and passion to achieve surprising results. The speaker for the session is David Plouffe, Campaign Manager for Barack Obama
Friday 26 June - ACT Responsible: Advertising For Climate Justice: The session is to be moderated by Hervé de Clerck, Dream Leader of ACT Responsible, Founder of AdForum - ACT Responsible and the speakers are Kofi Annan, Former Secretary General of the United Nations , President of the Global Humanitarian Forum - Global Humanitarian Forum and David Jones, Global CEO of Havas Worldwide and Global CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide - Havas Worldwide.
Friday 26 June - Maurice Lévy Invites...: The session will be moderated by Maurice Lévy, Chairman, CEO - Publicis Groupe and the guest on the panel is Eric Schmidt, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer - Google
Friday 26 June - The Cannes Debate: What does the recession mean to us? : The Debate to be moderated by Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP Worldwide