Cannes Lions 2019: Indian ad world should shock them with creativity than surprise them: Anish Varghese, Isobar India

Anish Varghese

Anish Varghese, CCO, Isobar India talks about the highlights of agency’s entries for Cannes Lions 2019, India’s creative showcase at the festival, and much more.

India has time and again proved it’s mettle at the biggest International festival of creativity- Cannes Lions 2019 and this year the agencies have brought home 16 metals so far. India is indeed putting up a great show at Cannes and Anish Varghese, CCO at Isobar India is witnessing the glorious days live.

In conversation with Social Samosa, Varghese sheds some light on the entries from Isobar India for Cannes Lions, learnings for the Indian ad world and much more.


Tell us about the entries from Isobar at Cannes

We always send entries which has a robust insight, the one entered has a strong regional connect and a marvellous creative play.

#HerCourageLessons for, they believe that every child should receive a quality education from the start, be it in school or outside. This campaign allowed the brand a way to bridge the gap between how a girl is being raised since her childhood versus a boy. As childhood lessons leave a profound impact, the brand wanted adults to impart lessons that make little girls grow up to be fearless.

We laid two tasks strategically: First, make parents realize how they are unintentionally fear training their daughters. We achieved this, through a series of short films that tweaked popular nursery rhymes, showing that just like rhymes, fear taught in childhood can be unforgettable.

The second task was to help parents start courage training their daughters. For this, we created a new vocabulary — vocabulary of courage, which redefines the letters of the English language, e.g., A for Ambition. N for No. V for Voice. This vocabulary would help parents to imbibe courageous traits in their daughters one letter at a time.

We developed Amazon Alexa skill that would allow parents to check whether they are fear training or courage training their daughters. One has to simply add the skill ‘Her Courage Lessons’ on the Amazon Alexa app and invoke it by saying “Alexa, open her courage lessons”/ “Alexa, start her courage lessons”/ “Alexa, launch her courage lessons”.

Any other Indian campaigns you think has the potential to win at Cannes 2019?

I observed winning befalls when we have strong yet regional observations and very powerful creative play as a solution. It will be best in class when the creative play is with technology. That keeps ‘Samsung – Bixby Voice Assistant’ distinct from the clutter. Afterwards, ‘Jimmy Nelson – Blink. And they’re gone’ the usage of craft and editing is marvellous. Finally, I’d seen the trend for rewarding smart thinking, that’s what ‘Alexa – Play my Song’ done with YouTube pre-roll as a format.

Also Read: Cannes Lion 2019: Our ideas are good but we haven’t learned how to package them properly: Ashish Bhasin, DAN

I’m amazed to notice the ideas which came for mobile as a platform this year. Mobile is moving from one platform to connected platform experience. Out of the campaigns which I’d seen, I see ‘Flipkart’s – Hagglebot’ has a strong cultural connect which can impress the juries at Cannes.

How many metals do you think India can expect this year?

More the merrier, we’ve performed pretty well in the last 5 years, I’m confident that we will marvel the jury this year too.

What are the 3 most important elements to be kept in mind while making a case study for Cannes?

I think we’re still mastering the art of case study making, having said there are exceptions. Three things to be highlighted massively, problem statement, observations, and the aspects of creativity we’d addressed.

Keeping in mind India’s performance at Cannes Lions all these years, what have been some of the most important learnings for the Indian ad world? ‘

Think 10x, Shock them with creativity than surprise them, Amaze them with craft; so that we are at par with the global creative community.

Are there any trends or patterns in terms of Cannes Lions winners in the last few years?

I haven’t noticed a trend, but the winners from One Show, D&AD gets on the conversations which eventually get noticed by the jurors. Moreover, the above award shows rewards craft in big time, which also benefits.