By Arun Kumar, Global President, Cadreon
Being a jury member at Cannes is an honor. But before beginning my journey as a judge, I had mixed feelings. Creativity is a much abused word, and in an industry that faces challenges from tech disruption, ethical conundrums and the constant demand of greatness for the price of a cup of coffee, it can get quite tedious.
And then you sit in a room and see the work. Work produced by teams, some young, some old, from grizzled veterans to fresh faces. And you sit back and feel two contrasting emotions: pride and humility. You feel proud that you work with such talented people. And you also feel humble when you realize that some of the narrow conversations in the trade press or even in some aspects of your own work haven’t truly explored the vastness of creativity.
I was a judge for the Creative Data Lions, a category that has only now entered its second year. One of the first things I realized during my tenure was the depth and scope of what can qualify as a use case for data. Most of us have rigid interpretations of data and most tend to not associate data with creativity.
But the work broadened my own understanding of how data can enhance creativity. There were more than a few examples of outstanding work where I struggled to separate data and creativity.
And when you sit in that room with the rest of the jury, you will not hear the noise of our ecosystem. You will not hear the voices that are trying to profit from the atmosphere of mistrust and confusion that exists in the marketplace. You will not hear the sometimes sensationalist members of the press that dismiss nuance and individuality.
What you will see and hear are the results of thousands of genuinely creative and hard-working teams that are trying to solve real world problems. And it doesn’t matter if they came from agencies or brands or event shops. For those few moments, it’s just intelligent creativity on display.
As my stint comes to an end, I am grateful for those inspiring moments. Because I now walk away with reaffirmation in our craft and a desire to do great, creative things, the same passionate feeling I had when I first entered the business eighteen years ago.