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Anil Ralph Thomas @ Cannes: Some masti, some sessions & split eardrums

24-June-2011
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Anil Ralph Thomas @ Cannes: Some masti, some sessions & split eardrums

Got up a bit late today. The TOI party was just what we needed. Loud Bollywood item numbers, firang women dressed garishly in Indian saris (why?), Indian women in western outfits (Again, why?). And yes, old advertising and media men gyrating to ‘Munni badnaam hui’, well if anyone became badnaam, it were these old fogeys dancing out of tune with lewd pelvic thrusts towards the amused white women, who probably thought it was some sacred Indian tribal dance. I am sure MJ would have turned violently in his grave. I had a blast too, met old colleagues from Mumbai, jived a bit and then some Bollywood Govinda dance steps happened. One sari clad firang woman asked me what kind of step that was, I almost said ‘Sarkailo khatiya’. ‘Never mind’ is what I heard myself say.

Found it difficult to get up the next morning. Shouldn’t have jived or was it the Govinda dance... Was kind of looking forward to the Saatchi New Directors showcase. A huge draw every year. But the line to the audi was just too long. It looked like the line outside the US Embassy office in Mumbai or the ration line in Ethopia.

Anyway, managed to get into the audi finally. And it was awesome, the atmosphere – psychedelic lights and electronic music. Then it happened. Some guy started singing loudly, at least he thought he was. Seeing him yelling I thought he was in severe pain and urgently needed a hernia surgery. I was looking around for the paramedics. Anyway, so mercifully he stopped singing and the audience gave him a huge applause, which surprised me. Or was it that they were thankful he stopped hurting their ear drums? Will never know.

The reel by itself was awesome. Some mind boggling techniques, treatment and some new age computer graphics. Film making seems to be in good hands.

Then I attended the McCann seminar, hosted by our Chairman Nick Brien. An imposing character. Will.i.am was funny. They spoke about creativity and technology getting together, and how the world of content creation and distribution was changing rapidly.

Then came the Ogilvy & Inspire session. And it was an absolute pleasure to hear Sir Ken Robinson speak. I’ve never heard a more humorous speaker like him ever. He had the audience in ripples throughout. I was beside myself, holding my sides and stomach and hoping the ham I had for breakfast didn’t pop out! That was the highlight of the Festival yet for me. And I made a mental note that I should buy both the books written by him – ‘Out of My Mind’ and ‘Element’.

With my funny bone tickled, I went out and had a T Bone steak (I know, bad joke).

Looking forward to dinner at the Mougins Village, hosted by my boss Prasoon (Joshi, Executive Chairman, McCann Worldgroup). That should be good fun!

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

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