Last Sunday morning, when we started from Delhi airport’s T3, the pharmacist was a bit taken aback to see Ajay Gahlaut, Ogilvy’s ECD; Sushant Panda, Euro RSCG’s managing partner and me stock up on strips of Disprin and Digene.
Mercifully, our Cannes Lions 2012 kickoff wasn’t as, er, spirited as we feared and Monday morning was remarkable for our clarity of thought and vision.
Having mostly seen Cannes during after-hours, as the day time is spent in seminar halls, I decided to get out of my room at 6 am.
The entire city seemed to be running with varying degrees of expertise. I even caught a young lady jogging and texting while listening to some music.
The print shortlist is now out as well. Ajay has been grinning non-stop having bagged a clutch of finalists already.
The particularly tough bread of the breakfast hotdog meant I chewed longer and missed the Ariana Huffington seminar. Those who attended were very appreciative.
Ditto with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation seminar. But this time it wasn’t for the hotdog. The queue to get in was enormous and I decided to try out the Nokia, Microsoft digital zone instead. Which was good because I won a chocolate.
I could manage to get in two talks later and they were pretty good.
The PMK+BNC (they are a marketing communications firm based in the US) presentation on creative talent management from a Hollywood perspective was very interesting.
I found their quote from Hollywood producer Todd Garner very apt: allow creatives to go as far as the grid allows because that’s generally where the best stuff is found.
Next up was an outstanding presentation by Deutsch LA on creative talent retention.
Deutsch LA is an American ad agency that grew from four people and one client to a 490-person, $1.7 billion, full-service agency that does advertising, media planning, and digital marketing.
Its not new that the people turnover in the advertising industry is alarming and clocks upwards of 50% at many agencies.
Against such a backdrop, Deutsch LA CEO Mike Sheldon pointed out that advertising is fundamentally a boutique business and great creative people crave independence.
Meanwhile, news has kept trickling in. While not spectacular, and not a cause for insane cheer, India did decently with early shortlists.
The first of the award ceremonies begins in an hour. I’m looking forward to see the most defining work in promo, activation, direct and PR from the world over.
The Indian contingent is preparing to celebrate or drown in their sorrow tonight. It’s going to be a spiritual experience.
|31 Indian shortlists in press, outdoor & media
After direct, promo & activation, shortlists were announced in media, press and outdoor on day two of the Cannes Advertising Festival. These are categories where India has traditionally done well. In media alone, there were nine Indian shortlists, while in press, there were 31 Indian shortlists. In outdoor, India bagged 22 shortlists. The rich haul of shortlists is bound to bring a smile on many a creative’s face. Bagging a shortlist means that the prospect of winning an award increases. That’s what most are there for.
|India misses the bus in mobile advertising
Despite being one of the fastest growing mobile phone markets in the world with a subscriber base of well over 500 million, India’s performance in the mobile advertising category was dismal at Cannes. Out of a total of five entries from India, not even a single one made it to the shortlists announced on day two. Have Indian agencies cracked the mobile advertising code? While online advertising has grown in India with digital agencies emerging as specialists, mobile advertising is something that Indian agencies have yet to master.
|Usual suspects hog the limelight at Cannes
The agencies on whom hopes of bagging a metal rest include DDB Mudra, Leo Burnett, McCann, O&M, JWT, BBDO, Publicis, Percept/H, Creativeland Asia, Grey, Bates, and DraftFCB Ulka. Among media agencies, Mindshare and OMD are contenders in the race for metals. Predictions are India should come home with a tally of about 25-30 metals. Last year, India’s tally was 24. Day two will see awards given out in promo, direct, activation and PR. There were 13 Indian shortlists in these categories. Let’s see who finally bags a metal.
The author is managing partner & chief creative officer - EuroRSCG India