Harsh Shah
Guest Article

Cannes Lions 2022 Blog: Day 3 - the people of Cannes

Harsh Shah, managing partner, dentsu Webchutney pens his thoughts on the people he met at Cannes.

We concluded day 3 with yet another stage appearance with a lion that’s more difficult to sight than the one back home. But today was not about the lions. Day 3 at Cannes Lions is about the people who make it happen. People I met today, who will stay with me for years.

Let’s start with a very bright group of university students we met on our way from the palais. These kids were mesmerised by the fact that we held a lion, and with a glee in their eyes asked us about the feeling. While we were trying express this feeling to a set of strangers, they happened to mention a possibility of a shortlist for them.

That moment took me to the next orbit of what this place means to so many creative minds across the globe. The fact that they were hoping for a shortlist at such a young age, tells you everything that’s right about the profession you chose. These kids, I am rooting for, must be nervously hoping for a shortlist, little do they know that they have won already.

Next, I met a survivor. An individual who has been shortlisted 7 times in a row. I immediately felt a sense of honor run through me. I'm not the most comfortable networking, but I'd met one of the most creative minds that day.

Just when I thought my day couldn’t get any better, this individual told me that with all these shortlists, they have never converted. That moment, I learnt 2 lessons I will take back for life - resilience and hope. If this place brings back someone for 7 years, with as much hope; this place truly exhibits magic.

Then I met(technically not) - Ryan Reynolds. Sheer brilliance this man brings to the table is unmatched. Not because he is an internationally renowned actor but the agility that his company talks about, he personifies it. His unapologetic take on systems, and purposeful advertising makes you take a step back and re look at advertising in the new age differently. A stage like Cannes being used to say ‘Advertising should be fun’.

Signing off with a little bit of these people in my heart. Just a few hours away from day 4.

(The guest author is managing partner at Dentsu Webchutney, digital creative agency from Dentsu Creative India.)

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