Cannes Lions 2019: Put more real people at the forefront: Avani Parekh, Wavemaker India

In the second installment on young professionals from Wavemaker India at Cannes Lions 2019, Avani Parekh, Business Group Head, says she has been enlightened by the day's practical insights

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 19, 2019 10:03 AM
Avani Parekh Wavemaker

My day at Cannes Lions 2019 was very enlightening not just with respect to theoretical information but also practical insights.

What did I learn – I was very lucky to get exposure across various industry sectors.

Session 1: Wake up with The Economist

Three global CMOs discuss their perspective on industry issues and examine the true value of creativity in the challenges they face on a day to day basis.


Diego Scotti, CMO, Verizon Communications, stressed on how to not lose the balance between Data and Creativity.

Nina Bibby, CMO, C2, explained how one needs to understand technology even if you are techno-phobic.

Syl Saller, CMO, Diageo, talked about how you should be brave and do things that scare you. It will make you do things differently and that way you will achieve that was impossible at the beginning.

Key takeaways:

  • As marketers, we have to be more of journalists and fewer advertisers. 90% of messages should be real stories of real people. Put more real people in the forefront.
  •  These days people are ready to pay a premium for non- advertising option. This doesn’t mean we bombard with ads where they are available, rather we should raise the bar of creativity.

Session 2 – Merging the World of Wellness and Entertainment.

In today’s hyper-connected world, we are seeing the co-creation of healthcare and media.

Speaker: Gabriela Lopes, Senior Vice President for the Global insight team, Universal Music

Key takeaways:

  • Change in music listening behaviour. As earlier music was classified as genres like Classical, Rap, Pop, etc. these days music is classified as per moods like sleep music, relaxing music, etc.
  • Online searches for 'sleep music' have quadrupled in the past 10 years.

Session 3- The power of comedy in story-telling.


Ana Gasteyer, Actress and Writer, Former cast member, 'Saturday Night Live'

Britta Von Shoeler, President, Broadway Video Enterprises

Josh Feldman, Executive Vice President, Head of Marketing and Advertising Creative, NBC Universal.

Session 4: Maximizing meaning: Purpose-driven story-telling

Speakers: A panel with Linda Boff, Chief Marketing Officer, GE.

  • Key takeaways:  Dove created the largest stock image library of diverse women. Around 7000 images in 40 countries in just 2 months. They made a conscious decision to make images available to the public.
  • To keep purpose-driven marketing authentic, everybody in the organisation has to be committed to the purpose and not just business.

The most interesting thing about the day was the campaign 'Sakhi' which my team worked on was showcased at this global platform as one of the best case studies for purpose-driven marketing.

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