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#Loeries2020: "Intimacy is the algorithm of creativity" - Swati Bhattacharya

I chatted to the international jury presidents ahead of the upcoming Loeries Creative Week. Kicking off the series is this year's film jury president Swati Bhattacharya, CCO at FCB Ulka.
Swati Bhattacharya
Swati Bhattacharya

Bhattacharya is one of only eight women who form part of the 100 most award-winning chief creative officers in the world. She was awarded the Creative Professional of the Year by ET Now's Stars of the Industry Awards.

She was the jury chair at Clio 2017 and Athena Awards. Under her leadership, FCB Ulka won 50 awards including four Cannes Lions, Clio Gold, D&AD Yellow Pencil and a Spikes Grand Prix for her Sindoor Khela #NoConditionsApply campaign.

This Times of India campaign is one of her most powerful campaigns to date. The campaign challenged longtime traditions of exclusion. It took a celebration traditionally restricted to married women and opened it to all women. And then The Open Door project for Millennium Schools encouraged private schools to make space for underprivileged children. This won a sustainability Gold at Cannes last year, where she was the ambassador of Cannes' See It Be It initiative, which aims to increase the number of women in creative leadership positions.

Bhattacharya spent 22 years at JWT India, then joined Dentsu India to run a project about motherhood. On an awards jury, she crossed paths with Susan Credle, FCB global chief creative officer, who saw her potential and hired her in 2016 and whom she refers to as her "Beyoncé" and "Santa".

I chatted to her about her judging expectations, what we can expect from her talk and more…

It’s always an honour to be asked to judge international work, especially as an international jury president for the Loeries. How did you celebrate the news and what does this mean to you, personally?

I celebrated the news with my mom. It’s a moment of great pride and honour and as I shared the news with my mom, she just reacted to the word ‘president’ and that was enough to make her day. We watched a movie and had a good meal. Now all my relatives know about Loeries even before the news is out officially.

Perhaps you can speak to this year’s theme, #CreateChange! while commenting on the impact of Covid-19 on the industry and the Loeries judging more specifically, the format for this year and so on.

Covid has come into our lives to teach us about ‘unlearning’. Changing not just our habits, our comfort zones, what we fear or what we do not fear… I think in a way it’s systematically dismantling our belief systems about life and learning.

I think it’s a strict teacher and we will remember these lessons for life.

What are you most looking forward to from Loeries Creative Week 2020?

I am looking forward to seeing some great work. I judge internationally but I don’t get to see too much work from the Middle East and Africa. I see some work coming out of Dubai, but it’s so nice to see really good local work that connects you with cultures and traditions! I am really looking forward to it.

Loeries Creative Week 2020
Loeries Creative Week 2020

Issued by Loeries 1 Oct 2020

What’s the biggest trend in advertising that you expect to see from this year’s entries?

I think the biggest trend in advertising, for a bit now, has been ‘authenticity’, and it has become the most important tool that translates into how sustainable your creative thinking is and how authentic is the brand fit with the brand idea. If an idea doesn’t feel true, however beautifully you deck it up, it doesn’t matter.
BizcommunityWith so much advertising ‘noise’ out there, it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd. What will you be looking for in this year’s entries?

When I see work, the only thing that works for me is how it pulls me.

I keep saying everywhere that intimacy is the algorithm of creativity. Whether it is mobile or multimedia work or a small classified column in the newspaper. As long as it has the power to pull people towards it, it’s a contender!
BizcommunityThe jury presidents also speak at the seminar, which is being broadcast Monday, 16 to Friday, 20 November. What can we expect from your session?

What I will bring to the panel is the incredible power brands have to change lives and destinies. I want to be able to talk about the power of female instinct and how purpose can give the smallest brand the biggest voice.

Judging takes place from September to November with the results announced daily during Loeries Creative Week from 16 to 20 November. Tickets sales opened Monday, 21 September 2020. Book and pay for your early bird ticket from Loeries.com.

About Jessica Tennant

Jess is Senior Editor: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com. She is also a contributing writer. moc.ytinummoczib@swengnitekram

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