July 11, 2018

BY JAYANT SAVANT, Creative Leader, Brand Custodian, Problem Solver

In June, we saw the entire advertising and marketing fraternity flocking to its favourite destination – the French Riviera. For decades, Cannes has been the place for advertising and marketers alike, to showcase their creative and marketing muscle. It’s a jamboree that has been revered and debated over, but never ignored.

It brings us to the big question. Why is it important for countries, from this region (apart from India), to win a Cannes Lion? This importance of winning the coveted Lion can never be overemphasized.

So how do we achieve it?

In my humble opinion, there isn’t a ‘formula’ for winning. It’s a combination of varied factors. But it all starts with a single point- the great idea. An idea that is new, refreshing, and has the power to engage and possibly, change human behavior. An idea that has never been done before. Simply put, solving a business problem in a new and innovative manner. Sounds easy; but it is easier said than done.

The work that has been winning at Cannes has certain edginess and freshness to it. This reminds me of a statement made by one of the CCOs of a network agency- ‘If it looks or feels like an ad, it’s probably not a good ad’. This is exactly how most of the winners were, this year.

A Lion on the mantelpiece is a reflection of the audacity of the agency to come up with such path-breaking work. But let us not forget the important role played by the client, who actually believed in this edgy stuff and endorsed it too. It’s about partnerships between client and agencies that are behind these wins. So a win at Cannes isn’t just a win for the agency, but clients as well.

This year, we saw some path-breaking work from India. The Savlon ‘Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks’ was a case in point. Simple, yet mighty effective. Another such example was the brilliant ‘Project Free Period’. A unique and a new way of looking at the lives of sex workers, and making a difference in their lives. Such ideas elevate the inspirational level of others who aspire to win the most chased advertising creative trophy.

As an agency guy, I strongly believe that the agencies, and the clients should join hands and work in tandem and chase the Lion. The road ahead is not easy, but not impossible as well. There are enough brands that are willing to break the mould, and challenge the creative status quo. It’s a matter of believing and applying oneself to this great cause.

Winning a Lion not only does wonders for the agencies, but for brands as well. Usually it is seen, the brands that win at Cannes have seen their popularity soar, which in turn, has positively impacted their market share and sales. This has also made the brands more recognizable on the global platform and has given them leverage to play the game at the global level.

For agencies, it’s a great boost for the people involved and the agency as a whole. It just adds to their confidence and propels them to work harder for their clients, which will yield better results and better advertising solutions. This ultimately helps the clients too. So it’s a win-win situation for all.

And speaking of winning, it’s high time the agencies and clients start taking this dream seriously and work together towards it.

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