Some of the early birds have already left for the French riviera; and some will leave today. The obvious elements one looks forward to at Cannes are the creativity-enhancing and knowledge-sharing sessions, a showcase of the outstanding work from across the globe, and the chance to network with the best brains in the advertising arena. But what is it beyond these that Indian adlanders are looking forward to?
Ask Satbir Singh, managing partner and chief creative officer, Euro RSCG India, about what he is looking forward to at the festival this year, and prompt comes the reply: "My wife! I have been attending Cannes for more than six years now but this is the first time that she'd be accompanying me to the festival. She never came earlier because the kids were too small and honestly there isn't much to do for kids at Cannes." The festival is more of a forced vacation than a complete holiday for Singh. "You are away from your work for a week but you are amidst world's best creative work at the same time," he explains.
Apart from the most definite 'catching up with friends', it is beer at the Martinez and Gutter bar that Singh is certainly looking forward to. On the gourmet front, he says, "After having pastas, steaks and pizzas in every meal at a stretch, one starts longing for Indian food." Singh has his eyes fixed on some of the South Asian eateries in the vicinity that offer 'reasonably spicy' Indian, Vietnamese and Thai cuisines.
What else is on his card? "Walking, for sure," he says. "Cannes is a city meant for walking. You never take a cab, it's such a pleasure to walk from one place to another. And therefore one should invest in a good pair of shoes," he adds. Unlike all the other times Singh has visited Cannes, this time he intends to go beyond the pubs around the venue, courtesy his wife who has done her bit of research on the ideal places for sight-seeing close to the venue. "She has booked a heritage walk for the two of us. It'll be a nine-hour bus ride," says Singh.
Santosh Padhi, chief creative officer, co-founder, Taproot India, has his itinerary set for this year at Cannes. He says, "Every year I religiously plan to start the day at 10:30 am and schedule which seminars I want to attend. Most of the day is consumed in looking at work across mediums. And then I down a couple of beers, followed by Rosé wine. It's a tiresome yet thoroughly enjoyable week." Padhi is eagerly looking forward to the TOI Indian party largely for the Indian food it has to offer. "That food is like a life jacket that saves you from all the continental food around you and prepares you well for the following three days of the event. All the dishes are spicy just the way I like them. I am sure many of us would be equally looking forward to the party," he notes.
What about doing something crazy at the festival this time? "It depends. If we (India) win 35-40 metals then our joyous (plus drunk) spirits could result in us creating havoc in the city. I won't be surprised if they boycott us (from India) after that. We have done crazy things like singing the national anthem in the past, we are quite capable of doing crazier things this time in order to celebrate our victory as a country," he quips.
With not many elaborate plans but one, that of 'seeing' Cannes this time - he couldn't last time owing to some eye infection - Russell Barrett, managing partner, BBH India, intends to attend two sessions of the list.
Image courtesy: Joseph Plotz