Campaign India Team
Jun 18, 2015

What makes Cannes, Cannes? (2)

The second of our three part series of what brings Indian adlanders to the South of France every year

What makes Cannes, Cannes? (2)
What brings Indian adlanders to the South of France every year? The not-so-scorching sun and sand are just part of the package. Here’s a snapshot of a Campaign India survey, and a scorecard on how India views the festival’s conference content, where the Lion stands amidst a deluge of advertising awards, and work that our countrymen and women want to see win. Read on...
 
‘I am looking forward to the experience’
 
Ramesh Narayan
Founder
Canco Advertising
Cannes virgin
 
The International Advertising Association (IAA) is having a dedicated IAA House in a very picturesque setting, and this is expected to become a mini hub where the who’s who would be invited to meet, discuss and exchange views and news.
 
The India Chapter of the IAA has contributed meaningfully to this initiative which is debuting at Cannes this year.
 
I am sure this idea will see a congregation of very senior minds from around the world and add an interesting dimension to the Festival. I am looking forward to the experience.
 
‘A learning and networking opportunity like no other’
 
Ajay Gahlaut 
Executive creative director
Ogilvy and Mather
 
Every year since 2007
 
Cannes is Cannes!
Firstly the location. The South of France has a lot of romance associated with it and especially the little coastal town of  Cannes. The Cannes Film Festival also adds to the glamour of the place. 
The advertising festival itself has a lot to offer. While most other award shows are restricted to a single night of festivity, the Cannes festival is week-long affair with lots of seminars and workshops conducted by the world’s leading experts. It is a great forum to interact with the best in the business and soak in the best the communication industry has to offer. All in all, it is a learning and networking opportunity like no other. 
 
Why attend?
The opportunity to see the best work from around the world and hopefully meet and learn from some of its creators. 
 
Cannes and the young…
No they are not. It’s an expensive proposition and agencies are feeling the pinch financially. Yes, of course they should be sending more people, including youngsters, to Cannes.
 
My scores  
Conference content: 8
Networking opportunities: 8
Cannes Lions (awards): 8
Creative stimulus and inspiration: 9
 
Work that might work...
I love the Honda Civic ‘R’ digital ad. I hope it wins the Grand Prix. 
 
‘Cannes takes the cake’
 
Antony Rajkumar
Planning head 
Leo Burnett Delhi
Cannes virgin
 
This year would be my first trip to Cannes. Never had a chance to go there because of the function I was working in. I’m a planner, from that sense there are events such as the Effies and such for which I have great regards. 
 
Cannes is Cannes!
About Cannes, now this can be treated as an outsider’s view but the best of the work is showcased there with the chance to interact with the best of the people. Agreed that there are other such awards here and there but Cannes takes the cake.
 
Cannes and the young… 
If we would be sending a good number of youngsters then I would be really happy. Also, these days, as an industry, we’re anyways a very young industry. The challenge is to know how long do youngsters stay within the industry depending on what other opportunities they get and so on.  It is also about how we invest in their future. It’s actually a factor of investment in and incentivising the star people in the system. From that perspective, we need to send in more youngsters given that we’re not the industry right at the top in terms of how we remunerate people. 
 
We are in a complete non-linear environment of building a brand. At one point of time we used to look at the D&AD books for great ideas. Today it is a very different ball game with people using different tools, which is what makes this trip that much more exciting for me and why I feel younger people should go and experience Cannes so then it makes it that much more easier for them to imbibe the learnings into the work they do. 
 
‘A heady cocktail’
 
Nagesh Alai
Group chairman
FCB Ulka
 
Cannes is Cannes!
Simply put, the sheer scale, international participation, diversity of creative concepts and renditions, multifarious speakers addressing the latest advertising and digital trends and advances and connecting up with national and international colleagues make Cannes a heady cocktail. It’s a great learning platform, whether you are a rookie or a rock star.
 
Why attend?
I got the opportunity last year when the FCB worldwide business conference was held in Cannes. This year too, we have our business conference in Cannes; so it will be the second time. Our worldwide CEO is a great believer in creative excellence and this is his way of permeating that belief across the FCB network.
 
Cannes and the young… 
The fact of the matter is Cannes is a very, very expensive proposition. Given the budgetary restrictions for all companies, widespread participation is a tall order. Cannes should be thinking of significantly subsidising costs for youngsters if it believes that it has a role to play in continuing education of advertising professionals.  
 
My scores  
Conference content: 8
Networking opportunities: 7
Cannes Lions (awards): 8
Creative stimulus and inspiration: 9
 
Work that could work...
No comments; strange could be the denouement at times.
 
‘Location; Speakers; (and for a few, Awards)’
 
Srinivasan Swamy
Chairman, RK Swamy BBDO and president – IAA India Chapter
Twice in last five years!
 
Cannes is Cannes!
Cannes as a location has acquired a lovely hue because of the multitude of festivals that happen there – Film festival, MIPCOM, MIP TV, MIDEM, MIPIM, Yachting festival etc and of course the Cannes Lions. And the weather right through the year is pretty good – neither too hot nor cold. Hardly rains. And the French Riviera offers many worldly attractions too! 
The speakers at the festival are generally very good. They come prepared and we would not see any presenter speaking on a topic that he has spoken earlier on. The evening presentation/ event itself is a formal/boring affair. Post the event there are parties to attend everywhere. And then you end up in the ‘Gutter Bar’ till early hours of the morning. 
Three things contribute to the x factor: Location; Speakers; (and for a few, Awards)
 
Why attend?
IAA Global is putting up a double Cabana and IAA India is supporting it. IAA Cabana is formally part of ‘Cannes Extra’.
 
Cannes and the young…
Cannes Lions has priced itself very high. It costs Rs 2 lakh to get entry in to the festival (for anyone above 28 years and half that amount below 28). A person attending Cannes has to spend at least Rs 4 lakh if you include travel, stay and other incidentals. Now we know why there are fewer youngsters attending this. 
 
My scores  
Conference content:  8
Networking opportunities: 6
Cannes Lions (awards): 8
Creative stimulus and inspiration: 7
 
Work that could work...
I can’t think of one. But most work that win awards are generally seen by us only at award shows. Even genuine work that wins, gets very little exposure on media!
 
‘Boiling pot for learning and inspiration’
 
Ajay Kakar
CMO – financial services
Aditya Birla Group
Seventh visit in 2015!
 
Cannes is Cannes!
It’s the boiling pot for learning and inspiration – whether you’re an agency person or client. 
 
Cannes and the young…
Cannes is a perquisite for performance. It is expensive to send them (youngsters), but you should invest in talent.
 
My scores  
Conference content:  8
Networking opportunities: 8.5
Cannes Lions (awards): 9
Creative stimulus and inspiration: 9
 
Work that could work...
With Cannes, you can never tell...
 
‘In Pharma and Healthcare communications, there just isn’t any other event that captures trends, learnings and perspectives’
 
Praful Akali
Director
Medulla Communications
Cannes virgin
 
Cannes is Cannes! 
Workshops, workshops, workshops! Gives you an annual sense of the trends in the advertising industry and where the industry is heading. Very easy to then adjust the sails for your agency or even your career. For example, several advertising professionals I know have used the trends of problem-solving or digital convergence to differentiate their work and build their career. And the best part is that Cannes can be free for all – for the duration of the Cannes Lions Festival , all workshops and shortlisted work are available online for free. At the end of the festival, the same material requires a subscription and becomes unaffordable for individuals. So, don’t understand why more young advertising folk would not use this facility.
 
I have not been to Cannes but have reviewed workshops and award winning work at previous festivals from the comfort of my desk. However, this year, I am attending the festival since the Health Lions have been initiated from last year and we’re expecting the content in this specific area to really bloom this year. And of course, we’ve entered the Health Lions for the first time this year and having won at The Rx Club, New York and the Abbys this year, we’ve got a lot of hopes from the Cannes Health Lions. 
 
Why attend?
The talks and workshops. In Pharma and Healthcare communications, there just isn’t any other event anywhere in the world that captures trends, learnings and perspectives. So looking forward to that!
 
Cannes and the young… 
It’s easy for youngsters to ask for more from their agency. But how many youngsters are logging on to the free content at Cannes for the week that the festival is on? It’s useless to ask for more, when one is not taking advantage of what’s already available. But I do think that agencies do need to be doing formal internal workshops, discussions, etc. around Cannes a lot more. We need to be inspiring more youngsters to extract the most that they can from Cannes.
 
My scores  
Conference content: 10 (The best advertising content in the world. You could crib about this as well, but you can’t get anything better)
Networking opportunities: 7
Cannes Lions (awards): 10, if we win some; 0 if we don’t
Creative stimulus and inspiration: 10. Clearly, the festival is organised around generating creative stimulus and inspiration. That’s why it features a number of ‘non-advertising’ speakers that can provide stimuli or inspiration for the advertising folks
 
Work that could work... 
No, that’s one trap I’m not intending to fall into.  
 
It has been my major source of learning’
 
K V Sridhar
Chief creative officer
SapientNitro
Every year since 2000 except last year
 
Cannes is Cannes! 
It is a celebration of creativity across borders. It is truly a global show. The knowledge seminars, meeting people from all over the world, the jury, all of these, across disciplines, are differentiators at Cannes.
 
Why attend? 
Knowledge! Knowledge! Knowledge! 
Seeing great work whether you are judging or not. Meeting inspiring people across generations. The seminars and learning something new. Even if you learn one new thing every Cannes, it changes your life.  
 
Cannes and the young… 
Yes. Young or old, they must send people who are hungry for knowledge, be it servicing, planning, any function. Sometimes, Cannes is viewed as a holiday in Europe which leads to a decreased number of people attending the seminars. That mindset should change, irrespective of age. At each Cannes festival you need to learn something new. To me that has been my major source of learning. You need to send people on the basis of their interest in learning. If you think there is somebody who, say, has been with an agency for only a year but is greatly useful or somebody who has spent twenty years at an agency and still wishes to learn, these are the people that need to be sent to Cannes. The cutting-edge knowledge you get at Cannes gives you a focused approach. If you miss this chance, you’ll never remain contemporary and never be able to catch up. People should not view Cannes as a party place or a gateway to a European holiday. It is a source of learning that will put you ahead of your competitors. 
 
My scores
Conference content: 8
Networking opportunities: 10 
Cannes Lions (awards): 8
Creative stimulus and inspiration: 10 (varies from person to person)
 
Work that might work...
I want Mumbai Mirror to win something in Craft if they’ve entered. I want Volkswagen to win, beautifully done work. I want Visa to win something and Duracell too. 
 
‘Am told if I have not done Cannes at least once, am losing out’
 
Anita Nayyar
CEO – India and South Asia
Havas Media Group
Cannes virgin
 
Why attend?
Have heard, seen and read so much about the festival plus Havas Cafe is something I am looking forward to. Am told if I have not done Cannes at least once, am losing out. 
  
Cannes and the young…
Agencies do send representation to Cannes, but I don’t think too many youngsters are nominated. 
 
‘The people.  The Rosé.  The Carlton.  The Gutter Bar…’
 
Roopak Saluja
Founder and chief 
executive officer
The 120 Media Collective
Ninth edition since 2000!
 
Cannes is Cannes!
The people.  The Rosé.  The Carlton.  The Gutter Bar.  The BBQ pool parties.  
 
The X factor…
The sheer scale of it, which also allows them to invest heavily in the event.  And to reap great profits in the bargain.
 
What brings you to the festival?
Business and seminars.
 
My scores  
Conference content: 8 
Networking opportunities: 8 (Though I should mention that most of the networking opportunities are not official Cannes Lions events but what are called ‘fringe events’)
Cannes Lions (awards): 8 
Creative stimulus and inspiration: 9
 
Work that could work...
Our work for BeBEAUTIFUL .
 
‘When the world of advertising meets...’
 
Shavon Barua
President – South and West
Havas Wordwide
Thrice since 2007
 
Cannes is Cannes! 
It is the largest, the biggest and the place where the entire world of advertising meets, so that is the obvious answer. You get to see the best of the work. You get to see the progress the business is making across the world and what is heartening is that each year you see a larger and larger Indian contingent. When we stated out in advertising it was a distant dream and now it’s just getting larger and that is heartening.
 
Why attend? 
You get to see most of the exciting work. And the fact that it is in the French Riviera is an added plus. It all adds to the lure of the festival.
 
Cannes and the young… 
This is a perennial question. The truth of the matter is that of course they are not sending enough youngsters. It is kind of a milestone and I think a lot more younger people should be sent and made part of an incentive program, award or reward program. But it is an expensive proposition so it is not for all agencies. 
 
My scores  
Conference content: 7
Networking opportunities: 8
Cannes Lions (awards): 7
Creative stimulus and inspiration: 6 to 8 (fluctuates from year to year)
 
‘Great space for younger talent to stretch their ideas’
 
Neha Contractor
VP and branch head
Orchard Bangalore
Second year after 2011
 
Cannes is Cannes! 
The fact that it is a congregation of ideas and people with ideas – that in itself is interesting. It is a space where you could get to learn, meet interesting people, exchange ideas. It’s a mecca of ideas for most people to understand, learn and feel.  
 
Why attend?
I look forward to seeing the future-facing thinking created by the global creative community at this year’s festival. It’s going to be fascinating to see how music, entertainment, technology, news and multiple worlds of content converge into the world of advertising today opening up a galaxy of opportunities for creativity. I look forward to get inspired.
 
Cannes and the young... 
Youngsters should go purely because it liberates the way you think. Youngsters anyway are very free thinking and aren’t boxed in their thinking yet. So Cannes is a great space for the younger talent to stretch their ideas. 
 
My scores  
Conference content: 8.5 to 9
Networking opportunities: 7
Cannes Lions (awards): 8
Creative stimulus and inspiration: 9.5
 
Work that could work...
I’ve won four Lions so far and hope to win one more with our work on Kindle this year. I’m also cheering for our work on HDFC.
 
For more news updates from Cannes follow Campaign@Cannes
 
(This first appeared in the 12 June 2015 issue of Campaign India)

 

Source:
Campaign India

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