Saurabh Dasgupta, Executive Creative Director, Innocean Worldwide who is on the Promo and Activation Jury at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2015, says the Indian advertising industry has to learn and do better packaging of ideas to compete with international entries.
What are you looking forward to at Cannes?
First of all, Promo and Activation is, as I would like to define it, the cutting edge of advertising. It is the only real, experiential way of reaching out to your consumers. So in this sense, I think Promo and Activation is a very important category and it is the future of advertising.
My expectation at Cannes would be in the area of learning. I would love to look at a lot of entries and it will be a great learning experience for me.
Your comment on the level of work you have seen in general this year in the Promo and Activation category which you are judging?
I am under embargo to talk about the level of work, but I have been doing the online rounds already. I think the level of work is fantastic, with fantastic actually being an understatement.
I am seeing work from around the world and some of the ideas are completely mind-blowing. I think it is really nice to see what the current generation of creators are up to. You know the kind of ideas, the kind of connections… Unthinkable connections that they are making in their minds, and also making the proposition interesting for consumers. I think it is great.
How can the scope for this category be widened?
One can widen the scope by probably having a department within a department which specializes in Promo and Activations. Usually, Promo and Activations are handled by mainstream creatives and mainstream event guys. We need specialists for Promo and Activations. If one could look at a sub-department which specializes in doing such experiential on-ground activations, then I think that will bring a lot of value and lot of specialization as well as fresh ideas instead of having to think of a Promo and Activation idea within so many other ideas. You know, if one group is just thinking of Promo and Activation day in and day out, it would do the category much good.
What will you look for in the entries you judge?
I will look for the stuff which is unthinkable. I will not look for the usual connections and I will not be impressed by the clever ones. I will try not to get too influenced by a lot of results. Results are great, but at the core of an entry, I would say that I will look for the idea that is truly unthinkable, truly clutter-breaking and truly something that makes connections that are very difficult to make.
What can be the take-aways for the Indian advertising industry from Cannes?
I have said this before and I am saying this again. We are great with ideas. Where we lack is the packaging of ideas. I have looked at a lot of case studies from all over the world. The ideas are great. Some of them are nice and some of them are very nice. But the overall level of packaging is something else. The way we package an idea and present it to the jury is different. The Indian advertising industry will have to learn and get into better packaging.