It’s that time of the year when heads of advertising agencies, along with a few lucky individuals and a handy pack of aspirin, head towards the French Riviera, to frolic in sun-kissed sands and celebrate and award creativity. Yes, it is time for the Cannes Advertising Festival 2008 that opens on 15 June.
This year sees a record jump in the number of entries and the introduction of the Design Lions. In fact, this year, India has the seventh largest number of entries at Cannes. However, that’s not the only change the city of festivals will be witnessing. From championing creative ads, Cannes Lions is being seen as a place to learn, advocate and experience new creative thinking. This doesn’t just help advertising agencies, but also advertisers and global companies alike.
K V Sridhar
Why did Al Gore talk about global warming last year and why would Rupert Murdoch (owner of News Corp.) take to the stage this year? Cannes Lions is no longer just about metals, but about minds.
On show aren’t only the best ads, but new thoughts that would help advertisers reach consumers more effectively.
Global marketing firms are now moving from applauding new thinking, to actually helping create it. And what better place to start from than the one where the best creative minds of the world meet, and occasionally get drunk. So, it comes as no surprise that Microsoft is holding a seminar on the possibilities of digital media or Procter & Gamble Inc. will talk about the exciting opportunities that exist in China.
Each one wants to take back home the knowledge, if not the expertise, on how to be even more successful. In short, how to be more profitable. Let’s face it, the world has grown competitive. If agencies need glory to help snag new clients, clients themselves need new ideas to snag consumers. And, it is this realization that is making advertisers send marketing heads and CEOs to be inspired by the great work and ideas on display.
This year P&G is to be honoured with the prestigious Advertiser of the Year trophy. Last year it was Honda, and the year before, it was Adidas. They have won, not because they let their agencies create award-winning ideas, but because they put to use new ideas and innovative thinking to further strengthen their brand all over the world. The result—a huge tally at award shows as well as a huge collection of brand buyers and loyalists.
So, it doesn’t matter if you are a creative director, agency head or a marketing manager; at the end of Cannes Lions 2008, you will all be winners. No matter how drunk you are. However, I’m sure my friends and colleagues, who would be among the lucky few to hold the gleaming trophy in one hand and a champagne bottle in the other, would strongly disagree.
K.V. Sridhar is national creative director of Leo Burnett India Pvt. Ltd. Respond to this column at firstname.lastname@example.org