Hip and hot
Advertisement guru Alyque Padamsee.
ALYQUE PADAMSEE is to the advertisement world what Sachin Tendulkar is to the cricket world. He has been there, done that longer and more stylishly than people have imagined. He discerns a new wave of "youth-centric" advertising gripping India, the "Indianisation of advertising", "controversy" as a route to capturing consumer mind space, and advertising diminishing as a "preferred career choice" for tomorrow's bright sparks.
Over to Alyque:
Advertising has certainly become totally youth-centric. The kids call the shots, directly or indirectly.
Let's face it. The age of one-size fits all is over. Today, globally and locally, youth power - especially in the consumer goods segment - is rocking it! They are the prime movers and shakers and directly influence purchasing patterns in no uncertain terms. My personal view is that the target segment has come down from age 18-24 to age 13-22.
Today, a kid getting into his teens considers himself/herself a `young adult' and has views about a lot of things. They are not the innocent, naοve dumbos we were at that age!
I should know - I have an extremely savvy daughter who has definite opinions about most things in life! Sharp marketers are aware of this trend and continue to target this Gen Y with advertising that seduces them with fun and excitement they can relate to.
Hinglish is in
So does anyone, who can't think young but have loads of experience in the business, become marginalised?
Yes and no. Experience is a man who has made many mistakes and has learnt from them. The ad practitioner must realise that in the nano-second time we live in, this experience must be applied to the modern phenomenon, because we deal with the here and now. Forget yesterday. Think tomorrow. Hinglish is the new ad-lingo because that's the way new-age India speaks.
Contrary to popular perception, I don't think that vernacular language advertising has suddenly come of age. What has happened is, in a totally English-centric environment, the English-thinking writer has discovered that Hinglish is the way to go because that's the way today's convent-educated crowd speaks.
Which is why a campaign like Thanda Mutlab Coca Cola is such a huge success. Hence, despite most copywriters toeing the English line, bi-lingual writers are the new kids in the block and they are really making big waves!
Controversy as a route to cut through the ad clutter is fine provided it is relevant.
In this clutter, getting to be heard, seen and remembered properly is the prime challenge of every advertiser, and anything that helps towards realising this is cool - controversy included!
I had my share of ouch, oohs and aaahs when I put a girl in a bikini for Liril way back in 1975 and later in the '90s when Kamasutra did its number.
Questions were asked in the Parliament and strangely enough it was the women's lib that supported my campaign, saying that for the first time a woman was depicted enjoying sex without any accompanying obscene innuendo or cheap titillation.
Suddenly advertising is not so hot as a profession for tomorrow's kids. It's considered boring and insecure!
Until a few years ago, advertising attracted a slew of gifted, talented, even brilliant minds from the finest B-Schools around the country. Today, it is generally seen as something that is insecure and worse, boring!
The multinational invasion is one of the biggest reasons. You see, the basic take on advertising is extremely conservative, orthodox, and regimented, leaving little place for innovation or exciting, daring out-of-the-box stuff.
The ones that are prepared to do breakthrough stuff - Nike, Apple, Adidas, Benneton - are organisations invented by a visionary with an agenda of constantly pushing the envelop further and they have flourished!
In this kind of boring and assembly-line, predictable scenario, it becomes truly difficult for the brightest and the best to chuck their dice towards the ad biz. Sad, but true...
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