The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018 begins barely three weeks from now, on June 18. The complete list of jurors for this year’s festival has just been announced, and featured on various juries are 10 Indian industry stalwarts. Starting this week, we bring you a special series on India’s Cannes jurors, who tell us what it will take to bring home the much coveted Lions this year, India’s prospects, trends in each category, and more
In the first part of the series, we talk to Lulu Raghavan, MD, Landor India – who is on the jury for Design Lions; Valerie Pinto, CEO, Weber Shandwick India and Ishteyaque Amjad, VP, Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola, India and South West Asia – both on the jury for PR Lions; and Lyndon Louis, Senior Creative Director, Havas Live Sorento, India who is on the jury for Pharma Lions.
‘Our strengths are in insight, ideation and story-telling’LULU RAGHAVAN
MD, LANDOR INDIA
Firstly, I’m hugely honoured and excited. It is a gift to be able to spend so much time with the creative work. As I start to go through the work, what I will be looking at is a real narrative arc in the work and in the story-telling. So it could be everything from the insight to a brilliant idea, which is then beautifully executed and creates impact for the consumer and the stakeholders it is meant for. The brilliance of the idea and the beauty of its execution will be of essence. I will really be looking out to see how brands are pushing technology and using it to create effective design. I’m hoping to see story-telling both in the work itself, how stories are borne in design work and also in presenting and sharing the work. Apart from that, how the use of technology has helped an idea go viral will also play a role. I’ve already started pre-judging and it’s very impressive to see the use of technology in brand identity work, the design, website, etc. There are so many ways in which technology can be used, from the analytics that feed the content to technology that creates algorithms to technology that then delivers and enhances the experience. I’m really looking to understand the different ways in which technology improves the brand experience and the use of design. As for India, our strengths are certainly in insight, ideation and storytelling. Where we can really improve is in the craft, perhaps, in leveraging technology, inserting technology in making the idea more impactful.
(As told to Venkata Susmita Biswas)
SENIOR CREATIVE DIRECTOR, HAVAS LIVE SORENTO, INDIA
As a juror, I would primarily be searching for the ‘Why’ in the work. Conventionally, I believe brands and companies – particularly in the pharma/health segment – have been concerned about the ‘What’ and ‘How’ of their business, for the most part. They focus on what they offer and how they go about it, and that ‘I, Me, Myself’ syndrome reflects in their communication as well. There is hardly any distinctiveness in the way most of them sound and feel (although there have been notable exceptions). The purpose behind the brand communication is often missing – the ‘why’. As a juror and a participant at Cannes, I am hoping to learn the art of looking at a subject from different vantage points and from my fellow jurors. From the work I have seen, one campaign springs to mind: ‘The Story of Kaveri’ film recently done by Reforest India. Every frame seems to have thought invested in it, every word is there for a reason. It was a seamless convergence of cause, concept and craft. Overall, Indian work in this category, is becoming increasingly patientcentric. There is a conscious effort being made on some fronts to listen to patients and care-givers, understand their journey and accordingly converse with them and walk with them.
This is especially considering that there are many challenges waiting to be addressed and so many stories waiting to be told in the Indian healthcare scenario. It is still a small start, but nonetheless an encouraging one. This shift in tone and manner in Indian healthcare work helps humanize the brands, lends them a voice distinctly their own, and when that happens, even the award shows acknowledge and appreciate it.
(As told to Venkata Susmita Biswas)
VP, PUBLIC AFFAIRS & COMMUNICATIONS, COCA-COLA, INDIA AND SOUTH WEST ASIA
Personally, the biggest parameter for me while judging the entries is the impact that a particular campaign can have. That impact can be trendsetting, social, emotional, it can be larger than life or aspirational. That to me is a very important aspect of any campaign. Therefore, last year’s Savlon Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks campaign stood out, because it is such a fundamental campaign. When we were growing up, PR was very straitjacketed, simple, and more relationship based. All of a sudden, there is a complete leap-frogging of ideas, mediums, vehicles and issues. They are touching sensitive subjects which were never talked about before. Take the example of the film Padman. It was made on a subject that was considered taboo and look at how much publicity it got! We can take pride in it because the more you talk about a subject like that, the more you can help solve the problem. So, the PR revolution has been extraordinary.
People say that Indian entries lack presentation skills. I would both agree and disagree with that. I have started judging the entries and some of our presentations are world class. Typically, we are a communication-oriented society, so we communicate well. However, we are not a society which packages this communication well. That’s a fact. That is who we are as a country. For example, look at the way a 5,000-yearold monument in India is packaged and projected to tourists versus a 100-year-old cathedral in Europe. It’s probably also the problem of abundance. We have everything in abundance; issues as well as campaigns. But we are slowly getting there and our presentations have improved significantly.
(As told to Neeta Nair)
CEO, WEBER SHANDWICK INDIA
In the PR Lions, apart from looking at things like insights, the purpose behind the campaign and the results, we are also looking at something different from the strategy point of view. With every awards event, we keep challenging the normal. Earlier, when reviewing the Cannes entries, we would look at factors like credibility and purpose, but this time we are going deeper to find out how application has impacted results. So what becomes important is the method in which the entire ecosystem and the stakeholders have been used to deliver results. We have moved beyond only numbers, which could be digital impressions or media articles. Communicators are now engaging the entire ecosystem to deliver an outcome, a business result. So in a lot of the entries that we are judging, you will observe that while old tools may be used, agencies are delivering a far bigger result, and are no longer limiting themselves to one medium or channel. The differentiation we are seeing in the industry is the different use of influencers and communities. PR teams are using employees differently and even involving government bodies to bring a campaign to life. Communication has moved beyond awareness to drive engagement. One of the things that works in favour of Indian entries is the fact that the country has a huge base of audiences. Therefore, from an impact standpoint, the engagement that you can have from a particular campaign overtakes the kind of engagement campaigns have anywhere else in the world. Also, we have so many social issues that we are grappling with as a country – brands are making a difference by addressing issues confronting the country. However, Indian agencies can definitely market their entries better.
(As told to Christina Moniz)