It was a day of some very interesting seminars. But there is a topic close to my heart that I want to share with you. Despite Martin Sorrell of WPP Group Plc. taking the stage, there are only two seminars that I’m going to talk about.
The first by marketing firm Digitas Inc. was all about the changes taking place in the film world in content and distribution. Online distribution and sharing of videos through sites such as YouTube and Blip.tv has brought about a new way in which film content is being created and consumed. Gone are long production schedules and a new breed of directors isn’t concentrating on film-making skills, but on truly engaging consumers in new ways. For example, to make a music video, record labels are hiring film makers who are also musicians so that the videos are insightful and connect to listeners of a particular genre. And with a host of online channels and networking sites that readily distribute films, one just needs to shoot and upload.
K V Sridhar
The next seminar held by ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky featured its co-chairman Chuck Porter, director Joe Pytka and Ajaz Ahmed, founder and chairman of AKQA Inc.
Pytka, a legend in the advertising world, has won more than 10 Cannes Lions so far. Along with the others, he spoke on how in today’s new media world, what really matters is the story that reaches consumers and not how and where consumers see the story. And like a host of other speakers who have taken to the stage earlier, they urged everyone to tell compelling stories. As long as the story is rich, engaging and memorable, it will connect with people, no matter where and how they see it.
Now, a more important topic. Cannes 2008 has been a landmark year for Indian advertising. This moment will inspire young creative minds across the country to find a distinct voice and purpose that we can both own and celebrate.
It’s not the metal tally but the confidence that has taken a permanent space in all Indian ad professionals that will make the difference. It is this confidence that will inspire young creative talent to believe in themselves—that they are capable of coming up with path-breaking ideas. Ideas that people will applaud and identify as being distinctly Indian.
By way of an analogy, what the Indian advertising fraternity is going through is exactly like how Dhoni and his team changed the way cricket is played, viewed and marketed.
It is not as if modern technology is not available in India. We just need to use it more creatively and need more young talent who can do so. It is not about being different; young creative guys need to have the skills not just for one medium but the ability to use every medium available to reach and touch people. We have proven to the world that our understanding of ideas and executing them are world class. Now we need to prove to ourselves that we can do much better. Who knows, maybe next year itself, India will find itself leading the tally at the Cannes advertising festival.
K.V. Sridhar is national creative director of Leo Burnett India Pvt. Ltd.
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