Living down a famous dad’s name is never easy in any calling. Advertising is no different. For years, I pasted on a fatuous and moronic smile every time my surname came into play, invariably leading to the inevitable “Oh, so you are Sanat Lahiri/ Sanatda/Sanat Babu’s son? Naturally, advertising is in your blood!” Proud and happy as I was – and a bit embarrassed, awkward and inadequate too! – the truth can now be told since both my dad and the guy who turned me on to mosey across to Adville are up there, bogeying in the biggest Ad Congress of all!

No, advertising was not really in my blood; and no again, I did not come into advertising because of my famous [ex-Lintas, Dunlop, Tata, ICI. First Asian President of the IPRA, past President of PRSI & ABC, moving force behind Kolkata Ad Club, and Communication Consultant to the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia & Far East] dad. It was because of a maverick called Kersey Katrak, and an advertising agency called MCM (Mass Communication and Marketing)!

It all began in college when, accidentally, a couple of ads slammed my retina. It was my first introduction to the supernova and his audacious take on advertising. Sharp, in-your-face and brazenly unapologetic, the ads challenged you to ignore them, as they teasingly went eyeball to eyeball with you! It really shook me up! Instantly – I was in my final year of English Honours at Kolkata’s St. Xavier’s College – I dumped all thoughts of journalism and zeroed in on knowing more about the freako who’d made the ads and his shop. I had discovered my Camelot!

My dad [while not doing a tango as he listened to my breathless whoopee about those advertisements and wild plans for the future] was supportive. I am forever grateful for that. Coming from a different space and conditioned to the politically correct and conventional stuff dished out by the likes of JWT, Ogilvy and Clarion [Bates] of those distant [60s & 70s] times, Katrak’s provocative and way-out stuff could well have freaked him out – but he appeared cool. It was my life and he was there to guide – not monitor – my moves, if and when called upon to do so. In the break that existed between exams and results, I did a quick orientation course at JWT to get an authentic reality-bite into the industry I was dying to join. After completing it – loved it – I immediately left for Mumbai… Operation MCM!

After Kolkata and JWT, Mumbai, MCM at Colaba (Bakhtawar) and the super-hot dude who authored the show blew my young mind! The advertising agencies back home were nice n’ smart in an old fashioned, conventional way [“We’re here to do business, not entertain, deah boy!”] but what was this? The interiors were surreal and psychedelic! A pub, disco or an Adshop? I felt I was suddenly transported to Lucy-in-the-sky-with-diamonds land! Man, this truly was a life-after-death experience…! Just as I was recovering from this sublime and heady ambience, a tap on the shoulder got me face-to-face with the man himself…
 
Sporting Jeans, a cool Tee and comfy sandals, Kersey Katrak of the trimmed beard and glowing handsome face didn’t look a day older than 30, although he was reported to be in his mid-thirties. After warmly greeting me, ushering me to a small anteroom and ensuring that my Elvis-like trembling cooled off [was this for real?!] he did two things that made me love him – and the profession – for life. First he clicked a button that got the shades of the windows to part… in theatrical slo-mo… offering a spectacular view of the sea. While I stared zombie-like at the impossibly amazing visual, he politely enquired whether I would like to join him in enjoying a Pink Gin or Gin n’ Tonic? Seeing my chloroformed look, he assured me that it wasn’t fatal, my dad would approve and most importantly, a great way to connect with creativity. “Leaning on the juices and wetting the old tonsils does wonders for anyone keen on waking the dead, son!” intoned the great one. [I was to understand the full import of this, with time.]

After a few sips of the magic brew and lots of help from the Guru, I let fly. I showed him some of my published poems and articles and gave him my expert opinion on advertising and my plans, once I entered the business. He listened with great interest to this greenhorn [whose tongue was loosened by a drop and friendly encouragement to keep going], sometimes inviting me to recite some of my favourite poems. He confessed he loved poetry too and even wrote some “in my lighter moments”. Suddenly, without any reference to context, he said “You’re on, buddy! Join us first of next month. You will have to relocate, struggle, stay away from family and girlfriend. You will receive a stipend but will have to be supported by your old man. Once we see that you are settled and flying, everything will fall in place. Just remember one thing. MCM is not an ad agency. It’s a temple and disco which worships and celebrates ideas that transform lives… good luck!” Exit Kersey Katrak. Enter the incredulous beginning of dream, floating on air all the way to my host’s residence at Bandra… and later, all the way back to Kolkata! For a variety of reasons, alas, MCM didn’t work out for me and I ended up joining JWT, Kolkata, where I was privileged to interact with and learn my craft from another great and towering icon, Subhas Ghosal… but hey, that’s a story for some other time. This one’s about Kersey, who is widely considered the father of creative advertising.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2013

An Initiative of IIPMMalay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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There’s more to the indian car market than just hatchbacks. and M&m wants to prove this isn’t just theory. will xylo’s makeover make its task any easier?
 
For as long as anyone can remember, India has been counted as a market where versions of A, B or C car models have a greater chance of being lapped-up by buyers if they come in the sub-4000 mm length. Over last year however, the two-million-a-year selling four-wheeler market has been in flux. What has forced the change in equation is the emergence of Utility Vehicles (UVs) as powerful volume-selling products. Count this. Between April and June 2012, sales of UVs (volume) in India grew 50.85% y-o-y (to 117,711 units). This when the overall passenger vehicles market grew by 9.71% goes to show how the UV segment has outpaced the overall market in recent years. What is most encouraging about this change is the manner in which the segment has started contributing greater volumes to the 4-wheeler market in recent months. Three years back, the UV category was actually declining. Between April-June 2009, its sales shrunk 1.52%. A year back, the category accounted between 11-13% of the total sales in the four-wheeler market in India. Today, this figure has reached 18%. The story of how the Indian automart is battling slowdown is really one where the UV market is playing the oxygen tank.

Call it a coincidence but the growth story of UVs in India began during the time when Mahindra & Mahindra started showing its seriousness beyond the Scorpio and Bolero. Today, after the sensation-of-a-launch of the XUV 500 (whose production schedule is running a delay of 5-6 months due to excess demand), the company is doing its best to market the latest avatar of its other big bet launched two years back – the Xylo (the ‘Stylish new Xylo’ as M&M brands it), that was launched in February this year. Strategically, where M&M scores a full 10 is the choice of category where appears to have neatly settled in. Today, it commands a 52.9% share in the sub-Rs.15 lakh platform, the only sub-segment where it sells. And going by how the company has introduced incremental innovation in the Xylo – enhancing its exteriors, interiors and overall performance with new features like stylish headlamps, sporty rear spoiler, glossy wood interior panels, mHawk turbocharged CRDe engine, a voice command technology to adjusts speaker volumes and unlock doors et al – expect its share in the sub-category to inch closer to the 60% mark in another quarter with ease.

To ‘again’ put this steal of a buy in the public eye [the first TVC of the campaign was launched in February 2012. It showed the original Xylo’s exteriors getting a makeover in a car washing station, and being rolled out as the new Xylo], starting June this year, M&M chose to air the second sequel of its ‘happy legs’. As before, creative agency Interface Communications injects a fresh feel into the 30-second spot that highlights the new stylish Xylo. The challenge this time was to move beyond selling just the proposition of adequate legroom space. The idea of a makeover had to surface – challenging when on the screen, you have three leggy beauties accompanying ace fashion photographer Atul Kasbekar.

Sharing the idea behind the project Robby Mathew, NCD, Interface, tells 4Ps B&M, “The new Xylo TVC picks up exactly where the last one left off. In the last ad, the vehicle wandered into a car wash station, but ended up getting a makeover. Now fresh from the car wash, Atul and the girls continue their journey in the stylish new Xylo. The core proposition of the Xylo has always been its roomy legroom, crystallised as ‘happy legs’. This campaign had to educate people know about the restyled exterior and interiors, but it quickly comes back to the Xylo’s core strength of space, especially the voice command technology system.”
 
The TVC opens with Atul driving around in the new Xylo with three models. They travel through a scenic beach town, down to a pier for a fashion photo shoot. En route, the four play around with the new Voice Command System and even change into costume in the Xylo’s spacious interiors, delighting a few fishermen. Actually, the fishermen shown between the 12th and 15th second of the TVC weren’t in the original cast plan. They made their way into it, while the shoot was in progress. Reveals Alan Rego, writer of the new ad-film (Creative Team – Interface), to 4Ps B&M, “For the sequel TVC, there is a scene where the models had to change clothes in the new Xylo. Even though they weren’t actually doing so, we got a lot of attention from the fishermen out there who were feeling shy. We realised their importance and included them in the script. We captured their natural expressions who weren’t possibly aware of the ad being filmed there.” The signature track ‘Can’t get you off my mind’, which worked well in the previous formats adds life to the sequel. In the last five second of the TVC, the VO says, “Happy legs in a stylish new Xylo”.

For more articles, Click on IIPM Article

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2013

An Initiative of IIPMMalay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned Links

SC slams AICTE's illicit control on MBA courses
MBA, MCA courses no longer under AICTE
2012 : DNA National B-School Survey 2012
Ranked 1st in International Exposure (ahead of all the IIMs)
Ranked 6th Overall

Zee Business Best B-School Survey 2012
Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri’s Session at IMA Indore
IIPM IN FINANCIAL TIMES, UK. FEATURE OF THE WEEK
IIPM strong hold on Placement : 10000 Students Placed in last 5 year
IIPM’s Management Consulting Arm-Planman Consulting
Professor Arindam Chaudhuri – A Man For The Society….
IIPM: Indian Institute of Planning and Management
IIPM makes business education truly global
Management Guru Arindam Chaudhuri
Rajita Chaudhuri-The New Age Woman
IIPM B-School Facebook Page

IIPM Global Exposure
IIPM Best B School India
IIPM B-School Detail

IIPM Links
IIPM : The B-School with a Human Face

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