Meeting Prasoon Joshi - Around the World in 80 Brands

I’m at the Cannes Lions Festival and I’ve just met Prasoon Joshi, one of the leading creative minds in India. Prasoon combines his work as the chairman of McCann India and creative director for the Asia Pacific region, with being a poet and lyricist – an unusual combination which I’m curious to learn more about.

This week he’ll be chairing the Cannes Titanium Jury – he’ll actually be the first Asian chair – and I ask him what he expects.

“Well it’s obviously going to be an incredible experience: chairing a jury made up the highest-caliber, most visionary creatives in the world… I’m looking forward to it!”

“I’ve heard you described as ‘one of India’s most creative people’, so you certainly have your place among such eminent company,” I say. “You do many different things and you excel at most of them. So how does it all come together?”

Meeting Prasoon Joshi - Around the World in 80 Brands
Meeting Prasoon Joshi – Around the World in 80 Brands

“I actually don’t have the feeling that I do many different things,” he says, “because all the different forms of expression – writing, singing and performing – are in the end just tools to reach out to people and impact their way of thinking.”

“So how did you come up with this mission? How did it start?”

“It actually goes back to my childhood,” says Prasoon. “I grew up in a small hill station in the Himalayas, far from the big city. My parents encouraged me to write poetry from a young age and also insisted that I pursue a formal education, even though I wasn’t that keen. Education is very important in India; it counts more than talent. Luckily I stumbled upon advertising and discovered I could do all the things I loved and earn money at the same time! I’m very lucky, because in advertising, you get paid for ideas!”

“Interesting,” I say. “So you create content with meaning to encourage change.”

“Excactly,” says Prasoon. “Storytelling and communication is at the core of everything I do.”

“How do you apply this in advertisting?”

“I try to humanize brands, because increasingly, people don’t consume products, they consume brands, images, colours and ideas. Brands are like people and I create a world around the brand. Without a story, a brand is dead.”

“But at the same time you’re a poet and a song writer.”

“Poetry is an eye, it’s a filter through which you see the world. It reveals the deeper, less visible layers of life. I am blessed with that eye.”

“And what are your core beliefs?”

“Integrity and good intentions are essential in my opinion. If your intentions are right, your actions will also be right. This is what I want to share with people. I truly believe that sharing can change the world.”

“In a sense that’s also what the Titanium Jury is about, am I right?”

“Absolutely, which is why I’m really looking forward to the next five days of intensive debate and exchange. It’s all about learning about and comparing different points of view, sharing knowledge and vision, and thus cultivating greater mutual understanding.”


© 2014 CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands

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Tags: #CBPersonal, #CBNWS, #CoolBrands, CBPersonal, CBNWS, CoolBrands, #CannesLions, Cannes Lions Festival, Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, CoolBrands Online Personal Reputation, Cannes LionHeart, Prasoon Joshi, Cannes Titanium Jury, Titanium Jury,

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