What’s the latest buzz at Cannes?
The Happydent and Nike commercials (from India) are still in the running.
Mainstream work on big brands with Indian cultural nuances are breaking through. That’s fantastic!
India is entering the international psyche with world-class local ideas. Fevicol was there first. Now it’s Happydent and Nike.
The other big buzz is that the seminar rooms are more packed than the screenings.
It’s clear that the delegates are in a mood to listen. What you see is a sea of neon faces and hands holding up their cell phones or cameras as they record the proceeding. It’s like a new-age rock show of the passive corporate kind.
I didn’t get to go to many really inspiring or meaningful seminars.
There’s also a new sound that’s making the rounds, though it is not something I’d put a word to right now.
You can see it at work in the viral dialogue that Unilever’s Dove is having with its audiences around the world.
You can spot it in the Nike Cyber example that took a Grand Prix in the Cyber category yesterday.
“Digital tools allow more people to join in the conversation” says Stefan Olander, global director of digital and content.
The theme continued in the many examples that were presented by Contagious and Leo Burnett at the ‘wildfire’ engagement seminar. They showcased many of the non traditional communication ideas that are rocking the world.
For example, the ‘blackout’ over Sydney—when everybody, all residents and offices and the government of Sydney switched off lights for a whole hour—as a symbolic act to warn and underline the dangers of global warming.
“It makes you proud that you are in the advertising business” said the presenters on stage.
The crowd applauded enthusiastically.
I was also glad to be invited to the Creative Leadership Workshop conducted by Michael Conrad and the Berlin School of Business.
It was two hours of passionate debate on the nature of new leadership where we questioned traditional leadership models such as leading from the front.
The rise of the ‘servant leader’ and ‘leadership by going away’ were some of the exciting subjects we engaged in. The idea here was to find new ways to expand the collective mind and explode the creativity of teams, organizations and groups.
All of this sounds a bit too heavy, I guess. You’re wondering whether I’m writing from Cannes or Harvard.
But that’s how the days have been, and I’m just going with the flow.
But come evening and the mood is lighter and fun-filled with good food and good times. You hop from party to party or walk down the many streets where dancing and music fills the night. You join in and you let go and you catch up with friends and strangers. And something or the other happens and the last thing you know is that you are at the Gutter Bar, where the whole world gravitates. And then you don’t know what happened.
You can’t remember…you are “comfortably numb”.