Friday, September 03, 2010
Scene setting – A local Ad club’s annual meet
Participants- a host of them.. the ad guys, big names, media barons etc
The star- the big name of the Ad Industry who’s name seemed to have driven the entire crowd…
Posh conference hall of the best Hotel in town, AC, soft music, the camaraderie, fellowship waiting, hugs and taps in cheeks, brand talk and so on…
I am just an Ex Ad man, now an academic and hence kind of lesser mortal and was attended less to.
The programme as usual got delayed ( the ad man is perpetually busy and hence never arrives on time..) and no one seemed to regret, they have in course of time learned to take it in a stride.
I sat there thinking of the pitches that agencies would have lost and accounts that would have walked out of their lethargic offices that pretended to be full of activity even when a paper refused to move from here to there. Perhaps for the one classical exemption of Peter Marsh and his team at ABM (Allen Brady Marsh) winning an account (of the British Railways) for being appallingly bad behaved with the client, all the rest have been losses and yet very few lessons learnt…
At last the programme began.. The ad speak, mutual admiration societies, you scratch mine and I will do yours- gleefully… !
The star rose to speak, he dealt with the fact that Advertising is a talent centric Industry or rather IT IS THE TALENT CENTRIC INDUSTY and why and how it should encourage ART and NOT mere CRAFT! He spoke and I sat to attend (for a change) on the profusion of trash, pretending to be talent and why talent is needed in abundance to take the Indian Ad industry to where it belongs. He left in me a ray of hope that very few speakers who were practicing ad professionals could leave. The tiny burst of brilliance that fresh blood throws in- he said is needed and I applauded for the very simple reason that I know how hard it’s for a fresher (with passion and devotion) to get in and survive in the ad industry. As an academic teaching advertising, I have seen the entry barriers that the talent centric industry keeps with impunity on approaching talent ….
Fellow ship time, when others indulged in the pleasure of wine and froth, I thought of engaging him and getting to hear more.. He seemed to be speaking from his heart, and he meant it.. He told me how hard it is to get the right people for the right job and those people who can do it their way and not waiting for some one to tell them.. the DOERS.. The undying doers who will defy rules and create new ones.. Only to defy them and thus go on from excellence to more excellence..
I had met the right man to send the list of talents I have in mind.. the guys and gals who sat in my classes with Ad ambitions, and (in spite of my teaching ) hang on to the ardor and wanted to be in the Ad mad world.. The list of young men and women who would fit into his list of DOERS would for him look like a treasure cove, I was sure.
Call me…… he said as he left with a deep impact on my mind… I have saved your number…
After a long time I had met an Ad guy who was so pragmatic and addressing the Human issue of Advertising …
I tried calling him many times but no response.. In fact for the last 547 times I had called him I got to hear some 2 different Hindi songs ( Rukh jaa oh dil diwaneeee and Hum tum ek kamare mein bandh ho ) and a dozen times it got busy..
Surely and Ad man of his stature will be busy but when you need talent, you cannot be so busy that you cannot even meet them?
I am now sure, he had saved my number ..