On the mood:
Day one as we emerged out of the registration counter an African man approached us and introduced himself as the editor of a Kenyan publication. He told us he was doing a piece on delegates from poor countries visiting Cannes during the recession. He asked us if he could click our picture for the cover. I introduced him to a few Americans standing near by.
Recession was on everyone’s mind. However, The Carlton terrace was buzzing as ever, it is the Gutter bar that suffered the numbers. Brunch at Le Columbe d’Or was a full house, it is the lunch at café Roma that took a beating.
On the seminars:
While the seminar halls weren’t as empty as the rest of Cannes, most of the seminars were a repeat of last years content.
On the work and judging:
I was particularly impressed with some of the Design, Interactive and Outdoor work. I enjoyed Akira Kagami’s simple yet graceful jury president address. It sounded like he had no agendas. He was truly at peace and it reflected in the judgment and the work.
Film, print and integrated work on the other hand were competent but uninspiring. I don’t know if it was just the quality of entries that were to be blamed.
A complete antithesis to Kagami, David Lubars (Jury President Print & Film Lions) was terribly uninspiring when he addressed the ceremony on two occasions and consistently had only one thing to highlight ‘I have tried to make sure you see less of scams today.’
How elementary! You are the jury president; your job is to make sure we see best ideas win. Let Scotland Yard do its job. The organizers are there to watch out, police, scrutinize, check and double check. While you were concentrating on the scams, a few good pieces you did miss.
On the Indian contingent:
It wasn’t as exciting as the year before when 100 of us opened our lungs out at the Gutter Bar to a cacophony of Hindi songs. Journalists and media reps had a majority over advertising people in the Indian contingent. And, the India party had more Goras than Indians.
On India’s performance:
While the number of metals look as good as last year, we tend to forget that there were 1000 entries from India this year. 25 won. That’s about 2%. This year, India spent over Rs. 3.5 crores on Cannes entry fees. It’s cost us approximately Rs. 14 lac per metal, irrespective of its quality. This is not including cost of proofing, material and courier; which could easily add up to more than a crore. Bad ROI.
On Creativeland at Cannes:
After 5 in the One Show, 3 in the D&Ad, a couple at the Asia Pacific Adfest and debuting amongst the top 10 at the Abby in our very first award year; just one shortlist out of the 6 campaign at Cannes was a bit tough to understand. Especially when 2 of them have consistently won at every show. We decided it was God’s way of telling us ‘Boys this is just the beginning, you can’t have everything yet.’ So, three of us put it behind us and lived it up in our (now famous) little apartment just off the Croisette. Some serious Curries, Malu food became staple as Senthil, Ali, Boski, Kamble and quite few others joined in.