Cannes Lions 2019: Indie Forum decodes struggles & power of being an independent agency

Raj Kamble of Famous Innovations takes part in panel that concludes with technology making the playground even for everyone, the differentiator is going to be talent

e4m by Mithila Saraf
Updated: Jun 20, 2019 8:05 AM
indie forum

The Indie Forum hosted by The Network One and Little Black Book (LBB) at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity started with a mention of how there used to be an Independent Agency Showcase at Cannes Lions, but in the true independent spirit they now do things their own way. There was a subtle but definite feeling of f**k you to the main festival as the first panel took stage. 

Made up of independent agencies from across the world, the first panel touched on the pros, cons, struggles and the power of being independent. The audience got to see some inspiring work done by these Indies. From starting a brand of their own when none of their clients wanted to be too brave, to naming the agency “TBD” when they couldn’t decide their name, these founders had seen it all. On stage were Nils Leonard (Co-Founder of Uncommon, UK), Sharon Napier (Founder, Partners & Napier, New York) and Jordan Warren (Partner, TBD, San Francisco). 

Up next was a panel about ‘The State of our Industry’ that saw Raj Kamble, Founder and CCO of Famous Innovations, accompanied by a diverse group from Dentsu, The 4 A’s and IBM. They debated the industry’s take on technology, talent, creativity and what they thought the future holds. It was indeed a mixed bag of opinions coming from a large holding company, a consultancy and an independent shop. The panel displayed a healthy balance of optimism and pragmatism with a few interesting takeaways: 

  • The future is talent. With technology making the playground even for everyone, the differentiator is going to come purely from talent and going after great talent has never been harder. 
  • Agencies have always existed to help brands create desire and be relevant. What “being relevant” means changes from time to time, but the job doesn’t. And as long as we keep doing that, we don’t need to worry about the future. 
  • Everyone talks about this massive change that the industry is going through, but the truth is, there has never been a time when we weren’t going through a change. The process of transformation is eternal and every time you feel we have reached the end of one phase, another one begins. So there is no one destination that we’re all going to “make it” to, we’re going to keep moving and evolving together.

(The writer is Business Head, Famous Innovations and has been on IMPACT’s Top 30 Under 30 list.) 

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
WhatsApp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube

Stay updated with the latest news in the Marketing & Advertising sector with our daily newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.