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Writer: Anil Ralph Thomas - Tuesday, Jun 21,2011 1:47 PM

Anil Ralph Thomas @ Cannes: Separating veterans from newbies

Well Day One (or was it Day Two)... 9:30 at the Venue, you could see the hustle bustle of the delegates getting in. At face value, you couldn’t make out the difference between the veterans and the newbies. The bleary eyed monster spared none. Reminiscent of the late night everybody seemed to have had... The only time you could make out the difference was in the body language when it came to figuring out which seminar or workshop to attend.

The virgins (first timers) as it were, you could see the excitement in their eyes at the prospect of experiencing their first ever (time) mental stimulation, but the post coital disappointment was inevitable. The studs (French Riveria veterans) were quite casual in their approach at the board showing the schedule of seminars. You could hear mumbles like ‘been there, done that’, ‘'could teach the guys a thing or two on this one’, etc.

The two seminars that I attended were merely refresher courses. One was ‘The Next Billion’, conducted by Richard Dunmall and Simon Bond (who, I must add, took his surname quite seriously, ‘the licence to kill’ my enthusiasm at the very first seminar).

‘The explosion of media platforms in our digital age has introduced an unprecedented opportunity for marketers to reach and influence billions of impressions, etc., etc…

Ok. Thank you for the info.

Then they went on to compare the screens (the TV, the PC, the laptop, the mobile and the note pad) with an 80-year old case study of Archetypes. Digital world, I heard someone say?

The second seminar was albeit a tad more interesting. ‘The rules behind breaking creativity rules - the creative thought patterns behind winning interactive and integrated campaigns - Yonathan Dominitz.

Now wait a minute. Breaking creativity rules and seeing a thought pattern in the same sentence. Bit ironical, isn’t it?

At least the case studies were interesting and insightful, the bad roads of Costa Rica, the universally loved Andes Teletransporter, etc.

After trying to figure out the pattern within the nine case studies, everybody started looking for one. I, for one, found mine. The pattern of the tiles to the exit!

The tension outside was quite palpable. On the upcoming Promo Lions shortlist. It’s exciting times for McCann Worldwide, Romania who are set to win their first ever Grand Prix Promo Lion. A big achievement for a country like that.

Yes, the tension was palpable, everybody trying to get the shortlist. You could smell it in the air. Or was it just the Pork Spare ribs being cooked at Mocha’s just outside the venue.

And that’s where was I headed.

Until tomorrow. And some really good seminars and workshops are in store…

[Anil Ralph Thomas is Regional Creative Director at McCann World Group (South India)]

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