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Planning ahead to win

Bobby Pawar 

Looks like, the community has had an infestation of Zoozoos. Most ad folks are going, ‘******od, why don’t we have clients who let us do this kind of work?’ Clients are loudly wondering why their agencies can’t bring them such breakthrough ideas, maybe they need added motivation in the form of a reduction in fees.

Meanwhile, consumers of every stripe love the zany critters, unmindful of the deep introspection going on in the hallowed halls of

Before we go on, lemme add my spoonful of praise to the heapin’ helpful that has already doused Harit (Nagpal of Vodafone) and Rajiv (Rao of O&M). You guys deserve a toke from Jimi Hendrix’s hookah when you get to heaven. Another thing, I love and hate you in equal measure. But, hey, enough about me.

Let’s get back to us, as in “us” who wish we had thought of, or bought, the Zoozoos campaign. Or, an idea just as big. Heck, bigger. Yup, we can’t get there from where we are. Let’s admit it, shall we? If someone had come to us asking for six months and a budget to develop brand mascots, our reply would have been two words, one starting with ‘ f’ and the other ending with ‘ it’.

Let’s go over the statistics for the Zoozoo campaign. Six months: They started designing and crafting the characters six months ago. Most of that time, they didn’t know if they even had an idea to build on.

The next number is three. That’s how much pre-production time Nirvana Films took to figure out how to shoot the commercials. And I have a sneaking suspicion they did not do it for free. The last figure is 30. That’s how many television spots they made. I am not going to bother to count the number of print/outdoor executions, digital activities, etc., because at our age it is best to keep the excitement to a minimum.

Zoozoos happened because both the client and the agency planned way ahead. They kept at it, through everything. Then when they saw they had a winner they put their all behind it.

Is that how we work everyday? We think fast is great, don’t we? Some of the creative folks we admire the most are those who think on their feet. But the quickest ad in the West is no good if it is no good.

The creative process is a process. It takes a while for the brief to sink in and for all the obvious ideas to be flushed out of the system. It is only after that do the really interesting ideas begin to come your way and make your acquaintance. ‘Hi there stranger, my name is Zoozoo’.

I don’t say this because that’s just good for the creative, but because it is also good business. How many business owners you know will risk Rs 10 crore, or whatever your media budget is, on a few hours of thinking? Steve Hayden, the man who wrote the commercial of the century, once told me you have to write at least twenty scripts to get a couple of good ones. He would know.

The author is Chief Creative Officer, DDB Mudra

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First Published: Mon, May 11 2009. 00:21 IST