Cannes Lions has named Swati Bhattacharya, chief creative officer, FCBULKA, as the 2019 See It Be It Ambassador, guiding the participants through the program and leading the discussion around the theme for this year which asks participants to “Invite yourself”.
Through the See It Be It initiative, launched in 2014, Cannes Lions has fully funded over 70 women to attend the Festival, providing them with an exclusive learning experience and exposure to the global creative community. In partnership with Spotify, the program supports the next generation of female creative directors and takes an active role in shaping the industry to become more representative of the world we live in.
As one of the leading female CCOs in India, Bhattacharya leads a team of 113 people at FCBULKA, working on brands as diverse as The Times of India, Nestlé, UNICEF, GSK and Pizza Hut. She began her career as a copy trainee at JWT and throughout her 24 years in the industry she has won numerous creative awards, including Cannes Lions and the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke, India’s highest award in cinema. Her passion for equality and the development of talent is reflected in the work she creates and the culture she has fostered within FCB and across the Indian creative community.
As See It Be It Ambassador, Bhattacharya will champion the goal of gender parity in the industry and act as an advisor and role model for the women involved. She said, “I’m so honored to be named a See It Be It Ambassador. Sisterhood is the most powerful catalyst I have had in my life, and it has not only changed my career, but it has changed my life. In seeing these young, bright women from around the globe, I will unlock parts of myself and parts of them.”
Taking on the role from last year’s Ambassador, Chloe Gottlieb, director of product design at Google, Bhattacharya will work with See It Be It chair Madonna Badger, CCO and founder of Badger & Winters, in steering the course of the program. Badger commented, “I can’t imagine someone better to represent all that See It Be It stands for. Throughout her career, Swati has shown us that creative excellence and fighting the stereotyping of women do not have to be mutually exclusive. She truly exemplifies the power of what happens when you ‘invite yourself’--both in her work and as a leader in the industry. I am thrilled to be partnering with her and look forward to seeing her impact on the program.”
In her role as Ambassador, Bhattacharya has also set this year’s theme, saying, “As women, we don’t often feel deserving of the place we occupy. Our voices don’t always cooperate. I want us to leave Cannes believing that not only must we invite ourselves, but also leave the door open for our sisters.” Revolving around this theme the program will include executive training, intimate discussions with global industry luminaries, exclusive behind the scenes access to Cannes Lions juries and dedicated mentoring sessions with senior leaders from across the creative communications community.
Not only a curated executive learning program, See It Be It also provides access to an international network of peers, mentors and sponsors. It offers profile building opportunities and support to cultivate local communities and networks. As official See It Be It partner, Spotify helps brings this initiative to life through events at the Festival and around the world throughout the year.
Louise Benson,VP of Festivals, Cannes Lions said, “We know that investing in these women works. We’ve seen the power of See It Be It, in the access and the exposure it provides, the achievements of our alumna and the strength of the community that forms as a result. We’re absolutely delighted to have Swati as our See It Be It Ambassador. She’s a great example of the spirit of the program, breaking barriers as one of the first female CCOs in India, creating phenomenal work and space for others to thrive.”