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Pratap Bose’s Blog@Cannes: Learnings from Cannes

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Pratap Bose’s Blog@Cannes: Learnings from Cannes

I thought the few extra vodka shots at The Times of India party would do me in this morning, but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t. So, there I was… early in the morning with my camera, shooting all the best pieces of work that had been put on display.

I thought it would be a good idea to cascade and show my comrades in office what they should aspire to do, and secondly, give them a “reality check” on what level they currently operate on.

The one thing I have learnt this year at Cannes is that whatever one does, one has to be able to be able execute a unique idea on scale and engage consumers in large numbers if we want to have any chance of winning big. In India, generally speaking, we either deliver great reach but without a winning idea, or we create a great idea as a mere one off. That, to my mind, is the lacuna we face, together with our inability to come to terms with our ever exploding social and digital world.

After the memory stick in the camera was full, I ambled into the DDB conference, hoping I would explore the world of mixed reality and in-context marketing.

I don’t remember the speaker’s name and I don’t want to know either, because he probably mistook Cannes for a tech conference. The crowd was so very eager to see how all the gadgets worked… that had been so meticulously put on stage, but he went on and on for 30 minutes explaining tech terms like “repetitive gesture based interfaces, proximity interactions, 3D mixed reality content”, etc., and he left himself very little time to demonstrate what everyone actually wanted to see.

The much awaited Saatchi and Saatchi new directors’ showcase was the showstopper of the day as is normally the case, and this, the 20th year, did not disappoint either. The show was slick and the show was WOW, and I’m pretty sure that this year’s reel will throw up a future James Cameron or a Steven Speilberg. That’s how good it was!

Is anyone saying that the growth of TV is in decline?

PWC didn’t seem to think so. In fact, they said it was growing, albeit slowly. From the current worldwide ad spend share of 35 per cent, it would grow to 37 per cent by the end of 2014 and it came as no surprise that Digital would grow from the current 15 per cent market share to 21 per cent in the same period.

If you are a media person, then there were two more interesting facts: (a) The US adverting spends of 2007 will not be reached again even till 2015; and (b) China will usurp Japan’s ad spend by 2014 to be the second biggest spending country after the US in 2014. Interesting!

The Y&R session on ‘Music is dead. Long live music’ was of particular interest to me. With Thomas Dolby in there, the conversations were heady. There was a lot of truth in what the panelists had to say of today’s music industry, and the five really key cues that struck me were, in no particular order:

• Today’s musicians know much more about business, and less about music

• No technology will ever change the number of hits in a year (the recording industry counts about 15 hits a year)

• Thomas Dolby’s advice to new musician: “Only do what you can only do”, referring to a musician’s individuality

• The Billboard Top 20 doesn’t relate to the youth of today anymore. It doesn’t reflect the mood of their society as they believe it

• Album sales are no indication of an artist’s popularity in our world today. It’s all about Digital downloads, Merchandising, TV rights and Live concerts

No binging tonight as I’m looking forward to tomorrow, with Yoko Ono and Martin Sorrell in the house. That should be a full house.


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