The Roger Hatchuel Academy, Cannes: Inspiration found.

July 2, 2009

Ali Mahmoud Marashi is a batchelor of business administration student, marketing communications, American University in Dubai. He was sponsored to attend the Roger Hatchuel Academy by Motivate Publishing, publisher of CampaignME.

Well I’m not much of a blogger, so I’ll jump right into things with my one piece of advice: Every individual in this business, be they a creative director or account planner, should go to the Cannes Lions festival at least once in their lives.

Ali Grand PrixNot only was I lucky enough to attend the many incredible seminars and awards ceremonies, but I was also privy to the Roger Hatchuel Academy master classes, which were smaller more intimate sessions with major players in the industry such as Neil French, Bob Scarpelli and Akira Kagami.

And my experience wouldn’t be complete if it weren’t for Clive Challis, Rick Boyko, and the 34 incredibly smart, incredibly talented, and just plain incredible students with me in the academy. Having been a part of that, I feel I got as much out of the experience as it had to offer me.

Having just come back from Cannes I feel truly inspired, and inspiration is something I feel is sorely lacking in this region. What I witnessed at the festival this year reminded me of why it is I wanted to go into advertising in the first place. Somewhere along the line I forgot what that was, and the festival was exactly what I needed to jog my memory.

So go to Cannes and take a deep breath. Take it all in. And don’t forget what you see, feel and experience there. Now that I’m back I really want to do something with my new found perspective, and I want to do it fast as I don’t know how long it will last. It’s inevitable that at some point I’ll once again forget what great advertising should be and what it could be in the region, but at least now I have a solution to that problem – I’ll just go back to Cannes.


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