Joseph George, CEO, Lowe Lintas and Partners India is all smiles. The agency has bagged 3 Golds and 1Bronze metal at Cannes Lions 2014. The agency is seen to have been on an upswing from being the agency of the year at Effies, to a being globally recognised for its work on the Tanishq campaign that made waves last year.
George talks about a positive restlessness to do better each day that eggs on the core team at Lowe, resilient focus on the creative product, and the agency’s inbuilt sense of accountability to clients, and outlines more imaginative collaborations with partners and more imaginative remuneration models with clients as one of the focus areas for the agency going forward.
Kan Khajura Tesan brought in the metals and global recognition this year for Lowe Lintas and Partners at Cannes 2014. What led to its success on a such a scale in your view?
Besides being absolutely thrilled with its performance at Cannes, what is also great is that these wins were delivered on the back of a campaign that had all the elements that most experts speak about at seminars and conferences on how future facing agencies should be, including those held at Cannes this year.
Every box got ticked - collaboration with media partners and technology partners, using technology relevantly, unlocking the much spoken about and untapped ‘Indian Mobile’ potential, evocative branding, criticality of great content, ground activation to generate call-ins and measurement metrics.
And the biggest tick of them all - of delivering ideas that actually make a difference in the daily lives of consumers. And so when you win on real work for real problems with real measures like we did on KKT, and do it on a HUL scale, the appreciation in such forums is truly special!
2013 -2014 has been a great year for the Lowe Lintas and Partners, from being the agency of the year @ Effies to immense recognition for Tanishq campaign globally, the agency has seen an upswing, what are the factors that have led to this?
I believe there are a few factors. None of them are mint new, but all of them have been pursued passionately and aggressively:
1. Our collective belief in the strength of our agency brand. I still don't believe we are as big and fantastic as our brand and heritage demands of us. And this constructive dissatisfaction is what eggs us on day after day. Fortunately our core team in the senior management has been around for a while. We know the power and magic of our organization. And so we all get it!
2. The belief that our creativity is our lead ware. I am very clear that the primacy of the creative product has and will continue to disproportionately influence every other aspect of the organization.
3. A new business acquisition generates as much adrenalin in the system as a great piece of work. And believe it or not, they feed each other, which is why it is no coincidence that the last three years have seen our best creative work and our best new business performance in a decade.
4. Being accountable to whose money you are spending and whose time and attention you are asking for, i.e. the client and the consumer. We just try our darndest to make it worth their while. As often as we can.
5. Being clean in and about everything we do; internally and externally. It matters more than most think.
What are your focus areas for the agency going forward?
1. Continuing a strong focus on the creative product.
2. Building stronger verticals so as to be able to offer strong horizontal solutions. Because I personally believe that Full service 2.0 is coming back and just around the corner!
3. More imaginative collaborations with partners and more imaginative remuneration models with clients.
4. Mainlining digital - making it ubiquitous without treating it like a specialization especially when it comes to ideation and conceptualization.
5. New Growth strategies. Capitalizing on the new found optimism in the country across type and size of marketers.
What are your takeaways from Cannes 2014?
1. Living close to the Palais is a good idea.
2. Some of the seminars are just amazing.
3. Grin and bear it when everybody around is gushing on about the ample sun!
4. Dramatic transformation, power and impact of the solution triumph everything!
5. "They" still don't get our work completely.
6. Execution is now beginning to collaborate instead of competing with the idea.
7. You WILL drink everyday. LOTS.
8. Your ideas need to be scalable even if your execution may not have been!