This is my first time at the Cannes Lions... So far, I have thoroughly enjoyed the sessions. The first session I attended was on creative renaissance and included art director and designer Jessica Walsh. I really loved the session, and what I took away from it was the fact that she looked at a creative brief in a completely different way - when she got a brief, she would un-brief it first, add her own rules to it and within the boundaries of the rules that were added, she would explore creativity in a way that had not been done. So the focus within the reference frame drawn up would really be the push for freshness, and push the envelope of creativity. I loved the examples - I really loved the way she approached them, outside of the final output.
Then there was a wonderful session called #Power of Now by Chris Moody of Twitter... it is really relevant for a country like India, which is not a mobile first but a mobile-only population... it dealt with different kind of events that can cause explosions on Twitter, and lead to major mass movements sometimes, and major habit change.
I must mention the session by Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox ... it is really awesome to see some of the product innovations happening in the mobile space, that are going to completely change the way people consume entertainment content, react, respond, share, like and grow with a brand, and how technology is at the forefront of building brands and building habits.
Another session that stood out for me was one on the Seven Deadly Sins of creating branded content - very relevant points on which marketers sometimes make mistakes, points around sloth or reluctance to take risks and push boundaries. Points around lust, which is the greed of pushing too many things rather than focussing and control on the main points... It was very useful and relevant.
The last session that is stuck in my mind is the Master Class on how to un -learn everything that you have learnt on advertising. It was a niche session, taking us to the history of advertising, how things have evolved... it broke a few myths that even marketers would have and it was very relevant.
Overall, I liked the versatility and spread of activities, right from very relevant topics of how Facebook and Twitter are impacting our lives, how mobile is going to change the landscape of habit building and brand- building going forward, to slightly niche topics like how music has evolved in terms of its role in amplifying branded content, what are the things to do on branded content... I found the spread very useful, the quality of speakers very good.
(As told to Srabana Lahiri)