Harsh Shah, Managing Partner of dentsu Webchutney, shares his thoughts on the people he met in Cannes.
We concluded day 3 with yet another appearance on stage with a lion more difficult to see than the one at home. But today wasn’t about the lions. Day three of the Cannes Lions is all about the people who make it happen. People I met today who will stay with me for years to come.
Let’s start with a group of very bright university students we met on our way from the palace. These children were hypnotized by the fact that we were holding a lion and, with joy in their eyes, asked us about this feeling. As we tried to convey this sentiment to a set of strangers, they mentioned the possibility of a shortlist for them.
This moment brought me to the next orbit of what this place means to so many creative minds around the world. The fact that they were hoping for a shortlist at such a young age tells you a lot about the profession you have chosen. These kids, who I’m rooting for, must be nervously hoping for a shortlist, they don’t know they’ve already won.
Then I met a survivor. A person who has been shortlisted 7 times in a row. I immediately felt a sense of honor flow through me. I’m not the most networking-savvy, but I had met one of the most creative minds that day.
Just when I thought my day couldn’t get any better, this person told me that with all these shortlists, she never converted. In that moment, I learned 2 lessons that I will remember for life – resilience and hope. If this place brings someone back for 7 years, with so much hope; this place really has magic.
Then I met (technically not) – Ryan Reynolds. The sheer brilliance this man brings to the table is unmatched. Not because he is an actor of international fame but the agility of which his company speaks, he personifies it. His unapologetic take on systems and targeted advertising makes you step back and rethink advertising in the new age differently. A scene like Cannes is used to say “Advertising should be fun”.
Sign with a few of these people in my heart. A few hours from day 4.
(Guest author is managing partner at Dentsu Webchutney, digital creative agency of Dentsu Creative India.)