Santosh Padhi, Chief Creative Officer and Co-founder at Taproot Dentsu shares his observations from Cannes this year, he urges fellow creatives to get into that elusive 10% of metals winning Golds and Grand Prixs and stretch themselves to go beyond the brief to achieve excellence. “We need to represent ourselves as India at Cannes - let there be Virats and Dhonis who continue to dominate with Man of the Match and Series. Can we celebrate the India win first followed by other wins?” writes Padhi.
Getting into the Elusive 10%
With categories going up to 24 and 1726 metals given this year, around 10% of them in form of Gold and Grand-Prix, which are the only ones get to go on stage, since silvers and bronzes don't even get their work showcased on the giant screen, just their names clustered along with other 20 odd names in a single slide flashed for less than 10 seconds, so apart from you the creator, very few sitting in the auditorium get to know which is the piece from India that won a silver or bronze. So the race is all about getting under the spotlight and watch the audience applaud your work. (it's a wonderful feeling have witnessed few times).
To get into this elusive 10% we have to keep looking for that ‘Big-brand-social-tech-fresh-human-innovative idea.’
Going Beyond the Brief
I feel that ideas that have won big in the last two years, are the ones where the agencies have gone beyond the brief; they were very provocative, and proactively pushy in nature, some of them have even managed to redefine the medium.
Sometimes one wonders – are we running short of ideas?
But seeing the work by winners, gives us hope that there are endless ideas to think and execute.
Today we are living in a world where each of us is expected to do more than what we are supposed to do - be it at home or in office. That’s what these winning brands/ideas have demonstrated, they have gone beyond advertising, pushing limits and creating a whole new language in advertising.
These are brands that have gone beyond claiming the ‘whitest, fastest, brightest and sweetest.’ Well, there is no harm in doing so, but when you are a category leader, you are expected to set a trend and create waves.
There are some that continue following similar patterns, but those failed to get anything beyond bronze, at best, silver.
Every client wants every piece of communication to become viral these days, be it an activation, 30-sec TV commercial or digital that’s exactly what the big winners reflected with content that is very sticky and viral in nature, ideas that were loved and shared by consumers, ideas that lead to conversations and conversations that led to more eye balls.
It is very important for our country to keep winning at Cannes, of course, for business reasons. It's a simple math creativity = good business = money.
For the last few years, we are being closely and carefully watched. We have certain advantages already in place like we are an English speaking country, we are hard workers and a very passionate community.
We should get hired not just because we are cheap and affordable but because we are creative and are solution providers. If we continue creating path breaking work, we will soon attract global traction, as they say "Jo dikta hai woh bikta hai."
Can we celebrate the India win first followed by other wins?
It doesn't matter who is contributing how many metals to India's tally. We need to represent ourselves as India at Cannes - let there be Virats and Dhonis who continue to dominate with Man of the Match and Series. Can we celebrate the India win first followed by other wins?
It is very important that we put the nation first, as it helps all of us in the long run. In the last few years, India has been in the conversation purely due to our creative output especially when it comes to winning at Cannes.
Some of the local brands like Fevicol and Times of India are inspiring the globe with the kind of work that brands like these have produced in the past. We are looked upon as fantastic story tellers with a unique style and flavour of our own. We, as a nation, are celebrated outside of India in a big way. I'm thankful to our industry, whenever I or people like me travel abroad and meet industry guys, we get treated with huge respect, purely because I'm a creative from a country called India, who has produced great creative work in the past years. It is considerably easier for Indians today to get a job in any part of the world compared to many other nationalities because of the creative output that the nation as a whole has delivered in the last 5-7 years.
I feel 2013 was the best year for India where our total tally went up to 34, more than 4-5 agencies won Golds, more than 12 agencies contributed to the tally. In the last three years, we have become a lot better, but we still have to catch up with the pace at which the world is running, and that pace will help us communicate better with our audience.
I am happy to see that India has bettered last year’s tally, both in terms of quality and quantity of metals, and it is lovely to see the Mindshare and Medulla picking the big ones. I congratulate them at their big win and thank the Grand Prix and Gold winners for keeping the India buzz alive.