Top Story


Home >> Cannes Lions 2011 >> Article

Anil Ralph Thomas @ Cannes: The solution’s simple, it’s people that are screwed up

Font Size   16
Anil Ralph Thomas @ Cannes: The solution’s simple, it’s people that are screwed up

I was quite excited this morning. Excited because there was a seminar slated today, to be hosted by one of the finest minds when it comes to ‘thinking’ – Edward De Bono. Yes, we have all read his books, practiced it and it did help. But to see and meet him in person was another high altogether.

I was among the first in line towards the Debussy as I wanted to sit in as front as possible. And I got in on the second row. The man was already there, seated on the dais, jotting down notes. I looked closer. Age has not been kind to the great man. Maybe too much thinking can do that to you.

He was introduced by some guy from The Guardian whose eyes were twitching so rapidly, I thought he was clicking passport sized photographs of every member in the audience. The intro was long, though it sounded more like an eulogy to me. He spoke shakily, taking us through his conclusion that solutions to most problems are really simple, it’s we, the people, who complicate it. He took us through several examples of this. Peppered with a sense of humour that was as dry as his throat. In fact, he helped me today, with a problem that I’ve been grappling with for months now. A simple thing really. And I could swear he looked straight at me as I took in the full blow of the realisation that hit me. True, the answers are quite simple really. It’s the people that are screwed up.

As I staggered out of the Debussy, I saw people chatting, some cussing that it was truly a boring seminar. If they only listened!

The next workshop that I attended was the one hosted by Leo Burnett, where the speakers eloquently argued on the need to move from ‘Speaking Consumers’ to ‘Speaking Human’ and that all great brands have a purpose, and the ‘purpose’ had to be lived by the people to make it a truly iconic brand. The examples that featured here were Nike, Canon, Coke, Apple, The Simpsons and a couple others.

It was here that they unveiled the ‘Gandhi font’ in eight Indian languages, I think. And the purpose apparently was for people to see things through his perspective. Live the purpose. They exalted. Hmmm... Yes, the fonts were simply and tastefully designed, but living his perspective through the font might have been a bit far-fetched, I thought. But then the whole Debussy erupted in a thunderous applause. Strangely, it felt good. As an Indian. The Mahatma still arouses such aura and passion amongst people in the world. Although I’d bet my last beer that more than half the audience wouldn’t know more about him apart from the ‘half naked man’ who had something to do with the Indian war for Independence.

Next up is the award show for Press, Design and Cyber Lions, hopefully McCann Worldwide India will pick some metals today as they did last evening.

And then there is The Times of India party later. Where after four days of cheesy French food, the dal-roti craving Indian delegates will get to gorge on some Indian food. So all roads lead there and let the bhangra begin…

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


Kranti Gada joined the family business at Shemaroo in 2006 after a successful stint of over two years in marketing at Pepsi Co. She has been associated with the company for 12 years.

Exchange4media interacted with Jaspreet Chandok, Vice President and Head (Fashion) , IMG Reliance Pvt. Ltd on seamless brands integrations planned for Lakme Fashion Week, walking tall despite blazing trails like GST, demonetization and being a part of the larger cultural space

Their strategy to educate the consumers to make well informed decisions at all stages has worked out well.

Bobby Pawar, MD, CCO - South Asia, Publicis India, talks about his idea of chilling out

Launches third phase of TVC campaign ‘Think it. Done’

Based in Mumbai, Usha has nearly two decades of experience in the Indian media and entertainment sector and will serve as a strategic advisor to H+K’s diverse portfolio of clients with a special empha...

Report based on media channel data in 96 countries and detailed findings from the world‘s key ad markets, which between them account for approximately two-thirds of the value of global advertising tra...