Cannes Lions: Indian agencies say they are strong contenders for the new category

Agencies in India say they are looking forward to participate in the newly introduced category at Cannes Lions – Creative Business Transformation Lions 2020

e4m by Shikha Paliwal
Updated: Nov 19, 2019 9:28 AM
Cannes Lions

Across the world, businesses are transforming to fit into today’s fast changing digital ecosystem and agencies too are constantly working with brands to provide solutions that are not only temporary in nature but can help them derive long-term results.

Recognising this evolving relationship, the Cannes Lions festival has introduced a brand new category called the Creative Business Transformation Lions for 2020.

For this particular category, the festival is expecting to see works from ‘across in-house and agency teams that work in consultancy, experience design, creative innovation, technology and digital transformation’.

According to the Cannes Lions website – “The Creative Business Transformation Lions are launched in response to the digital disruption that is affecting the way brands and businesses operate. As businesses invest in new ways of working in order to future-proof their business, this Lion celebrates the creativity that drives businesses forward, and the creative thinking that changes how businesses organise themselves, how people work internally and how customers engage. The Creative Business Transformation Lions honour this new breed of work.”

As businesses increasingly look towards creativity from a transformative lens, there is enough and more work being done in India too to help agencies showcase their talent at the festival. In fact from a competitive standpoint, industry experts believe they will have an edge over the others.

Isobar India group for one is looking forward to participate through Fractal Ink Design Studio - linked by Isobar. Experience-led transformation is something that Isobar was now evolving into as an agency group across the world, and here in India it is being led by Fractal Ink Design.

Shamsuddin Jasani, Group MD, Isobar South Asia, said: “Fractal is doing a lot of transformation work in India as well as in regions such as the Middle East, Africa and APAC. The idea is, experience-led, now what do I mean by that - we are coming from creative as a background but in creative we talk about communication as the main point. When we are looking at the experience-led transformation we look at the consumer experience as that is the main pivot for us.”

Jasani further said they were working with brands and helping them use 'Digital' not just as communication but also from a 'Business transformation' point of view.

According to Priyanka Agrawal, Co-founder, COO & Chief Strategy Officer, Fractal Ink Design Studio, this particular category was long overdue. “In Digital transformation, it takes years for the brand to see its impact versus a mainline advertising approach where you have aligned a specific timeframe. A transformation approach makes a difference at multiple levels. It is not only consumers; it makes a difference to partners and vendors but also makes a difference to the employees, their behaviour, work efficiency, etc. I'm pleased that this category has been included because this needs to come forward as a significant discipline now,” she said.

Another agency which is no stranger to the Cannes Lions and won the only Gold Lion at the festival earlier this year – FCB - too is looking forward to the new category. In fact given their body of work and the international recognition they carry, Rohit Ohri, Group Chairman & CEO, FCB India believes they are strong contenders. Elaborating on what he thinks the jury will be looking for from the entries, he said, “They will really look at the impact of the transformation. What has gone into the process of transformation and what has been the real outcome of the transformation? So, how has that transformation actually been engineered? What's the result of the transformation? What's the impact on business and on people, on clients? To really understand that and how those things have changed as a result of that transformation. I think that's really what they are going to be looking at, some real tangible, measurable results.”

Winning he believes is not just dependent on scale but the calibre of an idea, “It’s not really about budgets, it is really about quality of the idea, the impact of the idea, the novelty of the idea and how the idea is relevant and makes a true difference to a brand in an organization,” Ohri added.

Given the challenges for businesses in India today, Ekta Relan, National Planning Director, Mullen Lintas, is of the opinion that the current landscape also provides the playfield to come up with creative opportunities that are not to make anything merely look good to but to solve business problems by thinking about them laterally.

According to Relan, “This is a great category, not just because of how it will affect business, which is the power of a good creative, but because it will hopefully force us to come out of this rut of short-term buzz ideas that are not remembered beyond 3 months and do not yield a significant impact. This is about creativity that defines the business and brand strategy in the long run. India is absolutely ready for this. The best work of India in the past has been about ideas that have given a new turn to the brand journey.”

The themes at the Cannes Lions this year were developed based on detailed insights from 1,500 customers and interviews with CMOs, CCOS, brand leaders, strategists and CEOs.

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