Rahul Mathew, Executive Creative Director, McCann in a freewheeling chat shares what changed his perspective at Cannes this year, the power of one idea, getting mixed signals from some of the work awarded and how India needs to take a step beyond types of media.
Mathew has been on a number of global juries including Cannes and AdFest this year.
Please share your experience of Cannes Lions 2013. What are you takeaways?
One of the learnings that has stood out for me and changed my perspective is the power of one idea. If you look at the Indian work, McCann for example, we picked up 19 shortlists on the Penguin campaign, out of which we won two Golds and two Bronze Lions. Same goes for Ogilvy…most of their metals have come from the Philips campaign.
The biggest piece in Cannes this year ‘Dumb ways to die’ is one work. It is done with such love and such finesse. It’s been made as an ad and they have stretched into an integrated campaign. My perspective change is the power of that one idea that you give your full love and attention; volume is not helping anymore. Taproot is another example of this.
What has this 60th year celebration meant to you as a creative professional?
I think the work that was being awarded was from the time the Jury Presidents belonged. Maybe, they felt it would have worked well in their time. This is going to start confusing us as a generation if you are looking at a benchmark in creativity. I am getting confused signals, and now I am referring specifically to the Press Grand Prix; it wasn’t so refreshing as an idea to me today, maybe five to six years earlier it was. It is conflicting worlds for us. It did not make me look at it and say “Oh wow, I wish I had thought of this”.
On the other hand, I saw really great stuff in Design. Design has become so involving and interactive, it is beautiful. You would only react to design in an aesthetic sense but today you are actually reacting to design emotionally – that is the kind of inspiration that I was seeking from work at Cannes.
If you look at Taproot’s entry it, while it was maybe a print ad, a poster, there is activation to it. It doesn’t end there; this is what makes it bigger than a static medium. This is moving people. This is the way we all need to approach what we are doing; the approach going forward it how do we involve people in what we feel.