As the worlds’ most prestigious advertising festival Cannes Lions kicks off, high electricity and energy fill the corners of Palais des Festivals. We catch up with ad guru Prasoon Joshi, Executive Chairman and CEO, McCann Worldgroup India and President, South Asia and India’s very first Titanium & Integrated Lions Jury President, who talks about the responsibility of leading the Titanium Jury, seeing himself as a creative soldier on the quest for excellence and more…
What are your thoughts on being the first Indian to lead the Titanium jury?
Titanium is a quest, you put people who you think will be soldiers in this quest. I am just a mere soldier. I see myself as a creative soldier on a quest for excellence together with a great team of creative people, together we will search for the best gems. I am honoured that I have been chosen to lead this quest, but I am just a soldier.
What are thing things you keep in mind while leading the jury?
Everybody is looking for good work to award, an award like Cannes and especially titanium gives a signal to the industry on the kind of work the industry is applauding. You have to take out of the cream of all the thousands of pieces of work which will become the future of the industry.
There is no sacrosanct guideline to the jury, it is a great responsibility to be on the titanium jury. Whenever I chair a jury I always encourage a discussion so different perspectives can be shared. Discussion also brings a lot of learnings for me. The jury members on the Titanium Jury are the best creative minds of our times.
Understanding creativity in the context of the times we live in is very important while judging . To my mind Cannes, has been a torch bearer as a festival, it has included important categories like direct and creative effectiveness as well and made clients a very important part of the festival, which is integral.
Q) You have been on various international juries, also been one of only Indians to edit the Gunn Report last year and now you are the only Asian to be heading the Cannes Titanium Jury, can you analyze for us, how is each jury different from the Andys to Cannes ?
All different jurors bring their own sensibilities to the table, all these different sensibilities come together to form the philosophy of the particular jury.
One jury cannot be compared with another.
What do you think it will take India to win a Titanium, what are the areas we need to work on?
Titanium is a tough category, the work has to be transformational in nature, it is not easy to do that kind of work. Is India incapable of doing that kind of work? Out of the question… India is capable of achieving anything; it is just a question of time and nothing else. I think we should keep working, we should push ourselves more. Our aim should be to do good work; Titanium should be a benchmark. It is a process of learning, and bettering ourselves.
India has never fared well in the Titanium jury, as a country we don’t seem to strike the right the chords at this much coveted and prestigious jury, wouldn’t it then be paradoxical for an Indian representative to be heading the jury? What are your views on this?
That would be a negative way of looking at the whole process of judging, it is quest for getting good work together. By that logic, Indians would not be able to lead a lot of international organisations that they are leading today.