True power of Cannes lies in connections and shared experiences: Mowin Dias of DDB Mudra Group

Dias, Brand Strategist with DDB Mudra Group, in his very first year of advertising career is one of the 30 young marketers selected from across the world for the Cannes Lions Brands Marketers Academy of 2024. He talks about the shared experiences and the spark that ignites when creativity from around the world gets together.

By  Storyboard18Jul 11, 2024 8:24 AM
True power of Cannes lies in connections and shared experiences: Mowin Dias of DDB Mudra Group
"Within no time, the week got over, leaving us with overflowing suitcases of inspiration to have fun with our brands and enough pictures to fuel our creativity for months to come," says Mowin Dias, Brand Strategist, DDB Mudra Group.

By Mowin Dias

“People love advertising in particular but they hate advertising in general. They will tell you that they hate ads but if you ask them what’s their favourite ad, they’ll get all excited about it. So how do we make people love advertising in general is the real task”, I couldn’t agree more with Cindy Gallop as she expressed her point so beautifully, in-fact almost every session at Cannes reminded me about this.

As a part of the Brand Marketers Academy, I had the opportunity to experience Cannes Lions from a slightly different perspective. I got to share a room with 29 exceptionally talented marketers from 18 different nationalities who bombarded every CMO who entered the room with questions that made me feel like I was starting from zero all over again. Every single person in the academy came with extraordinary stories and an undeniable passion for creating work that impacted people while leaving their accomplishments at the door. Over 6 days, we had about 25 different interactive sessions with global CMOs, CCOs and coaches over the occasional rose and a lot of “Is this really happening” moments.

When you’re a first-timer at Cannes, you can get too ambitious about the things to do, a list of people that you want to bump into and the insane thought of attending all the possible 927290 sessions. But reality hits fast, and the focus smartly pivots to cherishing every unique encounter.

My very first day started with P&G’s brand mastermind, Marc Pritchard talking about his experience and the power of brands to influence human behaviours, we discussed how this impacted the way we looked for insights because they’re all about existing human behaviours, something as small as changing the way people use baking soda in the kitchen. He also took us through his keynote speech which was scheduled for later at the Debussy theatre and it was all about finding creativity in everyday moments and leveraging brands to elevate these moments and making them matter more. One of my favourite campaigns was the world cup delivery done by PedidosYa, It was one of those super timely, very emotional moments and the brand just hit the nail with something that was so unexpected and relevant for the PedidosYa and made this moment even more special.

Following this amazing session, Fernando and Louise from NotCo, a billion-dollar unicorn startup took us through the behind-the-scenes of building a brand that uses AI to create plant- based products. One of my favourite campaigns was their recent Cannes-winning NotMayo campaign, A mayo-hating Reddit community was tricked into taste-testing a plant-based mayo (NotMayo). Their disgusted reactions, despite being told it wasn't real mayo, highlighted how similar NotMayo tastes to the real thing. Campaigns like these became a benchmark of our conversation that week.

We later got to see Anselmo Ramos, Founder of GUT and the Jury President for brand experience on the Debussy stage talk about how anything can be brand experience and how agencies need to start thinking of the different touchpoints of the consumer journey and use them creatively to engage with consumers.

This highlight of this week was the series of “It Has to Be Heinz" campaigns. Diana Frost and Matthew Bull took us through their journey in an intimate setting, they also revealed a collaborative process that eliminated common roadblocks between agencies and brands by using WhatsApp chats over constant pitching, leading to a consistent execution of effective campaigns. This sparked a full-blown “Heinz" within our group chat, a flurry of pictures of crazy Heinz activations and merch flooded our screens. Heinz truly stole our hearts (and stomachs) with their creative genius, proving that even ketchup can be exciting with the right storytelling.

Within no time, the week got over, leaving us with overflowing suitcases of inspiration to have fun with our brands and enough pictures to fuel our creativity for months to come. It was a reminder that the true power of Cannes lies in the connections, the shared experiences, and the spark that ignites when people with their shared passion for creativity from around the world get together.

Mowin Dias is the Brand Strategist with DDB Mudra Group. Views expressed are personal.


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First Published on Jul 11, 2024 8:24 AM

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