There are 70 Indian delegates at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival this year, in comparison to the 140 last year. The number of entries too has come down from 1109 to 982 this year. However, one can already begin seeing the Indian delegates and jury members busily moving around at the Palais de Festival.
Bennett, Coleman & Company Ltd’s Dr Bhaskar Das, who is here along with wife Shomshukla Das, told exchange4media in a casual conversation at Nice airport (while he was sorting out luggage issues), that even as the number of delegates has dropped, the number of entries is still good. Many advertising heads had said that the broad intention this year was to send more entries and lesser delegates.
Some of the big names are here already -- Ogilvy India’s Piyush Pandey was seen at the Palais on day one. Also Genesis Burson-Marsteller’s CEO Ashwani Singla was seen on the day. An interactive screen, set up by WPP’s digital division Schematics, at the Cannes Lions 2009 attracted Singla’s attention quite a bit. Apart from that Singla attended quite a few sessions in the day. Another set of people seen attending sessions were Innocean’s Jt Managing Director Vivek Srivastava and Executive Creative Director Saurabh Dasgupta.
BBDO India’s Executive Creative Director Rajdeepak Das was busy making his way for the registration queue when we ran into him.
From the media owners’ side of the industry, Avinash Pandey, Head – Sales, Media Content and Communication Services, was seen in the Palais on the first day too.
Jurors Lynn de Souza (Lintas Media Group), Agnello Dias (TapRoot India), Abhijit Awasthi (Ogilvy India), Ashish Khazanchi (Publicis Ambience), K S Chakravarthy (Draft FCB Ulka), Leena Basrur (Direxions), Prema Sagar (Genesis Burson-Marsteller) and Atul Nath (Candid Marketing) are already here too.
The Times of India Group’s annual Cannes party has been moved from the beach to a hotel but the party is still happening. This in one way reflects the overall mood --- there is some caution, some tight fists, but the celebration of creativity continues.