The Indian jurors who will be a part of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2022 in their physical form discuss the key trends and consumer behavioural changes being witnessed in their categories. Further, they also underline the campaigns that stood out for them.
After a two-year hiatus, the ‘Oscar’ of advertising, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2022—that celebrates creativity, innovation and imagination—is back in its physical format. While the excitement is palpable, the total number of entries has come down to 25,464 from 87 countries. 17 entries from India were shortlisted across categories Glass, Titanium, Innovation, Radio and Audio, and Health and Wellness. There are many more categories to go still.
The festival begins today and will go on till June 24. But before it kick-started Storyboard18 got in touch with Divya Karani, CEO, Media South Asia, Dentsu; Sameer Satpathy, Divisional Chief Executive-Personal Care, ITC; Kainaz Karmakar, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy, India; Sanchita Roy, Head of Strategy, Havas Media Group, India; and Geet Rathi, Creative Director/Design Director, TBWA India, who joined Cannes Lions juries this year to judge work from across the world.
The judges are a part of Media, Creative Effectiveness, Print and Publishing, Creative Strategy, and Design Lions juries.
In a discussion with Storyboard18's Shibani Gharat, the jurors tell us about their observations on the work, what they expect and hope for from the 2022 edition of Cannes Lions.
Here are excerpts of the discussion curated by Kashmeera Sambamurthy.
Creative Strategy Lions and Design Lions: Key TrendsRoy: A lot of brands are talking about sustainability and inclusivity that I see across markets. What are brands doing differently to make a meaningful difference in the life of consumers today? Another key trend that I came across was, how a brand navigates in this new world called the ‘metaverse’. I have seen how brands have used and tried to do things differently. But, how are they navigating that path? So, these are the two key emerging trends that I have come across in the work that I have judged so far.
Rathi: I came across a lot of entries that were really moving towards a solution, which is usually what design is all about. It is not just like something that gives you an aesthetic value, but it is much bigger than that. That is what I had been noticing quite a lot through most of the entries that I went through. I feel that ‘Design Lions’ is quite mysterious.
Category Takes: Entries passing the quality test
Karani: In the category of Media Lions, I just have to say one word: Brilliant. The noteworthy fact is that Sanchita spoke about the metaverse. So, the way the media has stepped in unequivocally to make that difference is what stands out. Whether it is the metaverse and then linking it up to the real world, that seamless connection is what makes work stand out. India has always held its own on the global stage and we continue to do that. You recognise the Indian entries, but you evaluate them and there are parts and geographies that consistently give great work.
Satpathy: Great work happens when there is a great challenge. In the last two years, brands have been challenged differently, not only because of category challenges but also because of what the business environment was like. The environment today has become another big piece. This is because the pandemic has also opened our eyes to what is happening to the Earth. Another aspect that exists is global warming. As some of us were testing digital because of the kinds of mediums available, but the way I would put it is that today, ideas are transcending specific mediums. Plus, there is a lot of flexibility in how they are being executed. People are creating concepts across mixed media which is happening similarly in marketing too.
Karmakar: So one clear thing that I can say about print is that it has got a fair balance of purpose and sustainability followed by very sharp brand work. Over the last few years, I don't think India has been competing big in this category. That is because there are so many more mediums available now. I think the medium doesn't come first, it is the idea that comes first. So whichever is a great idea, the medium follows. I think India is doing really well on the global stage.
Award shows: How significant is it?
Satpathy: Awards are great because they help you benchmark. Also, I think, they enthuse teams that work on it. Also, they become a place where knowledge gets aggregated. There is not too much theory, but a lot of creativity which is put together to solve problems. So awards fundamentally done well serve a great purpose. So does Cannes have credibility? Yes, they do have.
Where marketing ends and where media begins: Notes on consumer behavioural change & brands' response
Roy: It is a new world right now, in the way consumers are interacting with the brands, and in the ways, brands are putting out messages for consumers. So, what has really come across in the creative strategy category are facts that people are changing. As Kainaz rightly mentioned, today, when you see the ideas, it is not about a particular medium. It is a neutral idea and it can cut across any medium. That is because the way consumers are consuming media has changed.
Earlier, there had to be an idea. Especially for India, given the fact that it is a very large television (TV) market, it is not like the ideas are meant only for TV. You could have small markets and small countries coming up with ideas but the idea itself is so strong. It is a medium-agnostic idea. That is something that I saw with regards to the power of ideas to reach out, speak to consumers, and make a meaningful difference in their lives.
Karani: I agree and much more. I am stepping back to get a media-agnostic idea alone. Today, the lines between media, marketing, and creativity are so blurred that there is no idea of where marketing ends and where media begins. But truth be told, it is marketing and media together and not one alone. Media today is more than ever before making or breaking brands. And when it substantially moves the needle forward is where work needs to be celebrated.
Rathi: ‘Unbox Me’, I think was quite a beautifully created idea. Like we were talking about media-agnostic ideas, it is one of those, but it is actually design first. Then there was another one which used innovation. It was basically a 'Billion Cheers Jersey'. So a ‘Jersey’ that a player wears is embedded with a lot of cheers.
Cutting edge: Campaigns that stood out
Roy: The ones that stood out for me are where they either made a difference to the product so they include disabled people and how they are able to use that product. Or they have done something which is actually empowering people or enriching people’s lives. I think, the moment there is a purpose to what brands are doing, that really stays with you because somewhere it evokes emotion and somewhere it touches.
Some of the global campaigns that have stayed with me are something that they did in Indonesia, which was for a cat food brand. They worked with the environmental department to create a reef, and when you take a picture from above, it says 'Hope'. So, they have created a reef where they have actually created a new ecosystem. So, it cuts across and it doesn't require media.
Karmakar: There is this newspaper, and there was a country which was refusing to hold elections because they said there was insufficient ink and paper. The newspaper did not print for a day and they donated that entire ink and paper to the nation. They said that there are no more excuses to not hold elections.
Satpathy: For me the test always is, when I think it is good work, it is when I am jealous about it, whereby I think, I should have done work like this. So, when you see work and you say I can discuss it intellectually, it is fine. But it is not the kind of work, which is cutting an edge. I had to sign some papers like an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). So, I really can't get into the specifics on brands here.
First Published: Jun 20, 2022 3:28 PM IST
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