The 55th Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival kicked off on June 15, 2008. Despite being a Sunday, the Palais de Festivals in South France was busier than normal, with people queuing up to register and attend the seminars of the day. This year, the Festival is bigger in terms of participation – both in the number of delegates and the number of entries sent.
This year, more than 12,000 visitors from the advertising and allied industries are expected to visit the city on account of Cannes Lions. Of these, over 9,500 are registered delegates. Last year, the number of total visitors was 11,000, of 9,200 were registered delegates.
The Indian delegation has seen a significant increase this year. From the 130 delegates who attended the event last year, the number this year is over 220 delegates. The first day saw quite a few Indian media and advertising professionals make their way to the seminar halls. KV Sridhar (Pops), NCD, Leo Burnett, attended most of the sessions. Also seen were Manish Bhatt of Contract Advertising, and CreativeLand Asia’s Sajan Raj Kurup with other members of his agency.
McCann Erickson’s Govind Pandey was busy between seminars too, as were the Radio Mirchi gang headed by CEO Prashant Panday and the UTVi team with CEO Arun Anant. RMG Connect’s Meera Sharath Chandra, too, was seen busy taking notes in the seminars.
Prasoon Joshi, Executive Chairman, McCann World Group India & Regional ECD, APAC, McCann Erickson, had a busy first day at Cannes Lions, but of a much different kind. Joshi had his hands full as Jury President for the Outdoor Lions, which has kept him busy over the past three days. Though not seen at the Palais yet, we believe that other agency heads like Agnello Dias are also already at Cannes.
Everyone seems to be looking forward to the days ahead. The reasons include finding out who takes how many Lions home; the opportunity to hear global thought leaders; the numerous parties from many agencies – in fact, McCann Erickson’s party theme this year is India; networking; and of course, the French Riviera.
Watch this space to see what keeps the Indians busy at Cannes this year.