Lessons from [email protected]

Anant Rangaswami, June 21, 2019

Four lessons for all agencies, digital or otherwise.

As I write this, on Friday morning, Dentsu Webchutney has won SIX metals (one silver and five bronzes) and has another 11 entries that were shortlisted but did not convert to metals at the Cannes Lions festival 2019.

This is the first year that Webchutney has taken part at Cannes.

That’s stunning. I cannot remember any agency from anywhere in the world doing as well in their debut at Cannes.

If the debut is a stunner, the width, depth and quality of work is of even greater consequence.

EVERY entry that has won is for work that has been created to address a real business problem for a real client. Consider this: the winning work has been for the e-commerce major Flipkart, the food delivery unicorn Swiggy and a Bollywood film, Uri.

Each of these campaigns was backed by the conviction of the clients – and further backed by large media spends.

So Webchutney has won a stunning 33 points at Cannes, all for REAL work.

And as Webchutney celebrates, there’s many a lesson that can be learned from the Chutney success.

The first, and most important, lesson is that juries are clearly moving away from scams to work that has worked in the market place.

The second is that ‘digital’ agencies (like Webchutney) are no longer digital agencies. They’re like any brick-and-mortar legacy agency when it comes to understanding brands, positioning and strategy – and they use digital better because they understand digital better.

The third lesson is for those who run network agencies and make an acquisition. When you acquire, let the agency you bought carry on doing the things that made you want to buy them; don’t change the culture and the thinking and destroy the very soul that attracted you. Dentsu has allowed Chutney to remain Chutney in their culture, attitude and idiosyncrasy.

And finally, (which I’ll discuss further with Sidharth Rao, co-founder of Webchutney, when I meet him), stay rooted. As people and as an agency.

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