Cannes Special: Cannes is the modern day Nalanda University - KV Sridhar
The CCO of Leo Burnett India & Subcontinent highlights the lessons in creativity garnered at Cannes Lions over the years & the proud India moments
Cannes is the modern day Nalanda University of higher learning for communication practitioners, it is the greatest creative library in the world and every year the ideas are curated by the best minds.
I believe excellence is infectious and I do get my dose of inspiration and courage from the best every year. We all live in a media-hyped world and it’s easy to get carried away by what people say or by your very own fiefdoms within or outside your agency, hence a rap on the knuckles every year does a world of good to keep you rooted firmly on to the ground.
Learning is what I focus on every year, be it by listening to the legends or by looking at the work or by interacting with the young. The knowledge seminars over the years kept me in touch with the future of the industry, I would have not learned about social and mobile if I had ignored Cannes.
Creativity is the new currency that brands are traded by; clients know better than the agencies the value of ideas. Imagine, absorbing an idea a day in itself is a daunting task, here you get exposed several every nano second. Can you imagine protesting ants for Greenpeace? Politicians’ portraits around the potholes of city roads in Russia? A camera with which the blind can take pictures? Where else on the planet are such life-changing ideas celebrated and showcased?
As far as Indian creatives are concerned, Cannes gave a platform to us to showcase our creativity and culture to the world and helped us to discover our place and potential. In 1996, only a handful of people used to visit Cannes. Today, we are amongst the top ten participating countries in the world. Testimony of our recognition came when Piyush Pandey became the first ever Asian Jury President and Agnello Dias’ Taproot was honoured with a standing ovation for being the hottest independent creative agency on the planet a couple of years ago.
My personal high will always be the night when India won her first Grand Prix and seeing the Indian flag firmly hoisted on stage by my dear Aggi.
On that note, let me sign off, while sipping my South Indian filter coffee from my apartment in South of France.
KV Sridhar is Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett India & Subcontinent
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