Cannes Special: Cannes is like a spa for my creative self - Josy Paul

I visit Cannes like a pilgrim seeking inspiration, knowledge and blessing, says the Chairman & Chief Creative Officer of BBDO India

e4m by Priyanka Mehra
Published: Jun 18, 2013 10:27 AM  | 3 min read
Cannes Special: Cannes is like a spa for my creative self - Josy Paul

Josy Paul, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, BBDO India has been to the Cannes Lions Festival on numerous occasions – as a delegate, as an award recipient and last year, as a speaker. In conversation with exchange4media, Paul speaks about his expectations from the advertising festival this year and which are the Indian entries that he thinks will make a mark.

What are your expectations from Cannes Lion 2013? How do you think 2013 will be different from last year?
2013 will be a year of the great equaliser. The world will be equalised by the power of ideas. There will be more players challenging the status quo with more winning ideas. Instead of a few agencies dominating the show, there will be more agencies creating a buzz. Because big ideas are coming from everywhere – more than ever before. Watch out for the top 10 agencies this year – the equation will change drastically from the past. My other prediction is that the work will be celebrated more than the award. Meaning that more people will talk about the work rather than the award it has won. One more thing – if in the past we came back from Cannes talking about 10 great campaigns, this time we’ll be discussing at least 25. Why am I saying this? Because I was on the jury at Clio and D&AD this year. I’ve seen the volume of great ideas out there. It’s only getting bigger, better and more newsworthy. In the process I realised something else… Only two things matter if you really want to make a big difference and impact the world of creativity – ideas and relationships.

Your most memorable moment at Cannes?
I have been coming on and off to Cannes since 1996. There have been so many memorable moments, especially when you come face-to-face with advertising legends or see a mind-blowing piece of work and are humbled and inspired by its greatness. But two of the biggest personal moments were when I went up on stage recently. Once to collect our award for Gillette’s Women Against Lazy Stubble – we won the world’s first Black Lion for Creative Effectiveness. The second was as a speaker last year – when I went up on stage to deconstruct the ‘I Am Mumbai’ film in front of a packed audience. The response was something I had never expected. I had so many people come up to me and thank me for my speech. Many of them insisted that I share a drink with them. They said I made them cry (in a good way!). I’d never heard that before. That was a revelation.

What are the Indian entries that you are betting on?
India has quite a few hopefuls. I think the ‘Lifebuoy Roti Reminder’ work for the Kumbh Mela and Lifebuoy’s ‘Walking on hands’ are both winners. I am sure we’ll also do well in categories like print, outdoor and design.

What has been the highlight of Cannes for you over the years?
Cannes is like a spa for my creative self! It rejuvenates you. Exfoliates the layers of old-fashioned thinking. You come back hungrier and younger. I visit Cannes like a pilgrim seeking inspiration, knowledge and blessing.

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