In advertising, the focus continues to be identifying the big idea, making it relevant to the brand and keeping the consumer engaged, Bobby Pawar
tells Sangeeta Tanwar
. Edited Excerpts:
Publicis says it offers marketing communications solutions to clients, as opposed to advertising solutions. What exactly is the difference? How does it help the client?
The starting point for a campaign is understanding the proposition for developing the communication. One has to start by understanding the problem that the brand suffers from and move on to finding a solution. So the communication message that you come up with becomes the solution. Next, you innovate with the communication message to create buzz and curiosity around the brand. To achieve that Publicis
has done away with the dominant layers governing various groups or divisions. We do not believe in labels or compartmentalisation of creativity and talent. As a team everyone under the roof is free to come up with solutions. For good work to come out of an agency, it is important for people to buy in each other’s vision.
There have been very few examples of product brands built in India in the last few years. But we have seen hundreds of brand extensions. How would you compare the challenge of building a new brand versus sustaining the leadership of an existing brand?
The task of building a new brand in a cluttered market is more difficult than working on an established brand. This is so because a new brand does not have big budgets to work with. Start-up brands, by and large, have to disrupt the market with a new idea or innovation with limited resources and budgets. On the other hand, working with established brands can prove less challenging because as category leaders such players are often trapped in their own success. Since, leader brands have a momentum of their own, these brands stop experimenting and tend to play safe. On the contrary, start-ups are more likely to innovate as they need to create chaos in order to disrupt an established category or to create a new one. A relatively new player cannot hope to succeed by doing more of what an established brand has been doing. A new brand has to offer a differentiated product and an equally different purpose for its existence.
Can you give us examples from recent years of what you deem cutting-edge communication?
We can look at the Ambuja
campaign starring the Great Khali, the wrestling champion. A lot of people ask us how we cracked the campaign. Primarily, when we talk about a house, what we look for in it is stability and strength. And what better ways of highlighting these elements but bring to the forefront the troubles faced by a giant like Khali. The campaign goes to prove that brands need to stir the pot differently so as to bring back excitement to a low-engagement category like cement. Similarly, the Makemytrip campaign featuring actors Ranveer Singh
and Alia Bhatt
takes the lead in turning the conversation towards offline users at a time when everybody is talking about online users. The objective here is to target a large section of travellers that continues to reach out to travel agents for planning their trips. The idea is to partner with these travelers and help them migrate to a better travel and hotel experience. Another interesting campaign which has managed to create buzz is the Bajaj V campaign by Leo Burnett.
Are marketers now actively demanding data-led insights or is it still more of a supply phenomenon?
led world is in a nascent stage. More than advertising, data
driven offerings dominate and play a larger role in media. Data
plays a big role in generating leads on different media platforms. In advertising, the focus more or less continues to be on identifying the big idea from what’s happening around the world, making it relevant to the brand that I am working with and keeping the consumer engaged. The focus here is to engage in topical advertising
and along the way leverage available data
to leapfrog the brand on the back of a great insight.