Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri. The most coveted and prestigious awards that would make any civilian proud. We all have an opportunity to live up to their standards and be one of the recipients of these awards. But what if the award category does not recognise your field of achievements as note-worthy? Let’s come straight to the point. Where does the most notable inventor of ideas, educator of tangible and intangible products, precise shooter of thoughts that are rightly perceived by the consumer, artist, singer of amazing thoughts in advertising go? Is there no place for them among the outstanding civilians. Are they not notable enough? What about their contribution to mankind? How come as yet not a single creative head is seen to have won a national reputed award for their works in the field of advertising?
Advertisers create communication to make an impact, create awareness, evoke responses, change perceptions, reinforce attitudes, fulfill needs and create favourable impressions. Advertising in India is now an organized industry estimated to be worth Rs. 36,200 crores.
Advertising has broadened its horizons be it in creativity, reach, innovations or people employed. Advertising has also raised India’s standard at an international level where we are equals when it comes to using technology and innovative mediums, shedding the ‘bullock cart country’ tag. In a short span of time, the Indian advertising industry has evolved from mere word of mouth selling to innovative media that has well established itself. But where is advertising industry on the national map? Does the Indian fraternity recognise the advertising industry’s indisputable contribution to the Indian economy at large?
Products do not exist in a vacuum; they fit into people’s lives. The role of the brand, its use, people’s wants from their brand, their perceptions and feelings associated with the brand leads to the issue of realism and fantasy in advertising. This feeds the creative minds of Indian advertising who come up with concepts that catch people’s attention and sell products effectively.
Some creative people in advertsing have become trend-setters. A good example would be Mr. Piyush Pandey, who is the only Indian to have won a double Gold at Cannes and a triple Grand Prize at London International Awards. He has won more than 600 awards but none amongst the prestigious civilian awards. He is one of the most influential men in Indian business as well as in the advertising industry.
His campaigns like Cadbury’s ‘Kuch khaas hai’ changed the market like never before. It made the brand visible to buyers of all categories, also Asian Paints campaign of ‘Har ghar kuch kehta hai’ made the brand no. 1 in its category with people remembering it easily. Then Zoo Zoo characters for Vodaphone became a social phenomenon. Piyush Pandey is one but like him there are others like Agnello Dias and R. Balki who represent the Indian advertising.
So it’s time we encourage newer prodigies and give due recognition to older gurus of advertising who have helped grow the Indian economy. Let the world recognise that we encourage talent in all forms and justly so. Let advertising get its due recognition as a field with a lot of scope for ideas and worthy of appreciation at a national level, on par with other categories. It is time for the advertising field to be given the prominence it deserves.
Sandeep Bomble is the Founder & Creative Director of Palasa