At least 8 reasons to celebrate Cannes

27 Jun,2018


By Sanjeev Kotnala


The 2018 Cannes Advertising festival, reporting lesser number of entries and higher networking attendance is over. The powerful statements made by the speakers and the knowledge shared over drinks is slowly start losing its impact.

The social media post of short-term legal immigrants to Nice are becoming sporadic and slowly getting buried in the digital history.  However, the award celebrations will continue for some time, and then the year 2019 will be around the corner.

Post the festive revenue season, and the creative teams will start focussing on keeping up with the  fast approaching cut-offs for 2019 awards.  Unlike the Maharashtra plastic ban on ‘Single Use Plastic’, the jury and award organisers will fail to catch and penalise the award special  ‘single use creative’.


Saatchi won awards inspite of the parent holding company’s ban on entering awards. ‘Client is paying the bill’ made it possible. It reflects a client’s confidence, desire, agency relationship and hypocrisy in approach. Moreover, there is nothing more to discuss on the subject.

However, it gives an idea to the creative teams who feel deprived of awards recognition due to organisational or leadership misguided point-of-views and egos.


Here are few creative expressions and solutions from Cannes that you must watch. Quite a few of them must already be discussed, dissected and coloured with multiple points of view. Give them another see, just because they are part of this column.

You will agree, most of them are simple and straight in your face. Most professionals in the field will feel embarrassed for not being the first to exploit them for the brand. Many will say their constraints, and mainly the clients never bought such ideas. Maybe they were laughed at when they first presented such ideas. So that was the end of it.

If that is true, then they must introspect. Such ideas take strong relationship, mutual professional admiration, ownership, understanding of a client’s pain points, self-confidence, an internal infrastructure that encourages such thinking and perseverance of a different level.


These EIGHT works speak and represents the agency ownership and understanding of the situation. It shows their belief in living in a beta version and believing that perfection is work-in-progress.

I feel collective pride in it and think of the possibilities that exist with such work.

So without naming anyone, I share the top ones that made my day. Here to celebrating ideas in some kind of order of preference and impact on me.


Wow, fantastic, brilliant, sustainable and so very simple.




Give it to the brand for taking their business seriously and not remain confined to the digital constraints but exploiting the very constraint to deliver a solution.




It is, one of the outstanding global solutions from India.  It’s definitely a solution that makes every one of us proud.





WOW, it is not only the idea but the execution and amplification that makes it a star.





How a small country with a tiny population integrated their solution with tourists that outshout them in numbers.




A campaign, which makes it possible for the brand to show what it can otherwise never be able to do. Look out for how they took the idea to its logical end and did a 360-degree campaign.





They remind of Martin Lindstrom talk and need to be confident and to be able to SMASH the BRAND. It is simply interesting and hugely powerful. It can be implemented globally without worrying about possible socio-cultural differences.





Now this is a bit of technology and idea, and everything else put into it. I can bet, it is needed, however, we will never see this in India before the 2019 election.



After ages saw a brand0building print ad ‘811 Kodak Bank’. It has a decently long copy by today’s standards. However, it is well-crafted around the core proposition. The art director has done justice to the concept and lines. No doubt it lured the reader to read it.

It is not a large picture from TVC with the brand logo. For a change, the celebrity choice does justice to the campaign idea. It is good to see client not objecting to reduction in size of the celebrity picture in the print ad. In the 811 TVC, the star is upfront and is the spokesperson for the brand. In outdoor, the brand presents multiple faces across socio-economic strata to amplify the  #IndiaInvited concept.



Ramki of Cartwheel, the agency for the brand, tells me 811 derived its name from the date Modi announced demonitisation – 8 Nov. “An event that galvanised Kotak into taking leadership in the digital banking space. 811 was India’s first downloadable account, enabled by Pan+Aadhaar verification. The process itself eliminates any chance of judgement. It inspired us to take the high ground of a brand that believes in equal opportunity and inclusiveness. The fact that today’s world appears to be getting more divisive, polarised and insular only made the message more relevant. Ranveer helps to amplify this message with his mass popularity. He is an outlier to the mainstream in many ways, and the message seems credible coming from him.’  I agree with him.




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