Cannes is like the Olympics of advertising. Just like a doping case damages the credibility of just not the participant, but also that of the sport and the nation, an award controversy hurts the participant, the industry and the country in one go. That's why my biggest expectation from Cannes is that it be completely free from controversy of every kind. For this, judges should have the morality of a Mahatma, the advertising depth of a Subhash Ghoshal, the creative standards of a Michelangelo, the perfectionism of a Picasso and lastly, the ability to function without much sleep for days, like some of our ad film directors. I expect the judges to go beyond themselves and put up a stirring display. The advertising industry deserves nothing less.
I also hope that Cannes will unearth and reward gems of such brilliance that it will make all of us revel in the creativity of the human mind and take our mind far away from questions such as ‘Is it a campaign or a one off?’ I hope Cannes gives our industry tequila shots of positivity and leads to overall happiness. I refuse to go into the festival thinking of potential winning entries as that defeats the whole purpose of a pure creative contest. The underdog lover in me yearns for an outstanding entry from a not-so-traditionally-hot advertising destination like a Laos or Paraguay that the world will cheer for.
The Creative Effectiveness Awards and Innovation Lions are something I am looking forward to. It’s my belief that we are about to enter an era of scarcity - of time, natural resources and money. Both Creative Effectiveness and Innovation Awards don’t exist in a vacuum, but are rooted in context and encourage ingenuous solutions to real world problems of scarcity, and that’s why they are interesting.
Other attractions include Annie Leibovitz talking about telling stories and building brands through iconic images, Jane McGonigal’s session on creating brands and a happier planet through gaming, David Karp talking about creativity at Tumblr and of course, Grey's music session with the legendary Lou Reed. I also hope against hope that that free internet will be available at the Palais, even on the last day of the Festival.
Raghu Bhat is Founder-Director of Scarecrow Communications