Thursday, May 8, 2008

Oh! That's Advertising! - Part 1

When people ask me what do i do - I say 'I help great services sell great'. That's me. Im a copywriter/advertiser. A creative thinker. But more than anything else, if i had to speak for myself, i'd say im a MARKETER.

Im not the advertising guy who believes great creativity is the same as great advertising. Im the kind of creative idiot who dosent hold 'creativity' awards in great regard. Im the kind of buffoon who is more concerned about using creativity as a TOOL to garner business rather than vice versa.
Im the creative dumb who loathes scam ads - the ones they release just to bag awards, im the fool who'd rather win over a client or a business award than win an award that displays my skill at convincing my client to dump his money into releasing shit that would never attain any of his business objectives.
That's me. And that's MY world of advertising. The kind i've learnt from my idol - the late great Albert Lasker. And quite a bit from the man i consider my godfather in this Industry - Mr. Rajesh Makhija.

But then hello. Welcome to the real world. Im but one guy.

Thanks to a gazillion awards shows and the great media rape (don't get me started on that one unless there's time) advertising has evolved - just the way we humans have - its 'evolved' into something more complicated, more refined AND MORE SHALLOW than ever before.

A million new avenues have opened up. Almost every part of people's lives is now touched by the persuaive charms woven by advertising creatives. TV, radio, billboards, paper cups, buses, bus tickets, door handles, mail, more mail, events, dishes, railways, airways, freebies, pay-bies - and what not and what so ever! Almost every thing that now touches your consciousness is likely to have a BRAND behind it.
There are a million brands. A million brand wannabes. And a million agencies promising them their exclusive BRAND status in the minds of the people who are almost zombiefied by the inflow of BRANDED stimuli on their half dizzy conciousness.

What aspect of a creative makes the difference between finding and maintaining that space in the consumers conciousness and just flickering away into oblivion is just one thing - the perception of 'CREATIVITY'.
There are three ways to go about it:
1. Creativity is everything.
Creativity is god. All we do should be creative creative. Wow! whoa! Great etc etc.

2. Business communication is everything.
Stats. Facts. Explanations. Convincing. Profit - loss. This that. I'm better so buy me. Creativity can go take a hike. And so on.

3. Creativity is the Tool.
Business is the objective. Creativity is the lever to set the displacement in the right direction. Garner your business with a spoon called creativity. Creative - Business. Business - Creative.

The first perspective is what often bags some brilliant cannes, one shows and great ad awards et al. It stands out. It amuses. It creates an impact and How! Unfortunately, often many of them take the business nowhere. Look back at history and you shall find some brilliant campaigns. Look a little ahead and you shall find how badly they failed. (some of the companies that released them probably got erased out of existence over time.)

The second perspective is what gets and ad lost like a needle in the haystack. Like just another ad. Like just another hawker screaming to sell his wares. In a world where its proven that men are looking for heuristics (mental shortcuts) to reach decisions, this perspective provides just the opposite! What do you expect?

The third perspective is that what makes advertising a true art. It's the perfect balance. It's the yin and yang. It's what results in the kind of advertising that allures and seduces you with such finesse, it almost seems effortless.
It stands out. It connects. It convinces. And it's trust worthy.
This is the perspective that often wins an award called the EFFIES. (damn i love it!)
And this is the perspective that advertising is truly about.
This is the perspective that has the potential to win a CANNES GOLD as well as an EFFIE GOLD. (just for the record - only 2 campaigns have ever done that, and rightfully so - 1. 1984 and 2. Dove 'Evolution')
Simply speaking, 'creativity as a tool' is the perspective that got Tom Sawyer an Apple in exchange for the 'fun' experience of painting a fence.

Aint it?

for now, shall leave it here... shall discuss a little more in the next segment. Do keep your comments flowing in if there's anything you'd like to discuss.

- Pushkaraj Shirke


  1. Ever heard of "Art for art's sake"?

  2. being a guy who paints but never tries to shove them down his clients' throats as 'ADS'.... its very likely i have.

    Art for art's sake isn't advertising. its just art.
    That's what i have discussed here.

  3. Small Man From SevagramMay 21, 2008 at 3:16 PM

    B I G M A N
    B I G M A N
    B I G M A N.
    Spielberg + Lasker = Pushkaraj.

  4. HI Pushkaraj,

    Very interesting blog indeed. From a clients perspective it is absolutely apt. What i'd need as a client is more bang for my buck. Cheers to you.

    P.S: Who's Rajesh Makhija (some writer or something?)

  5. nopes. Mr. makhija is my ex boss.
    The MD of Makhija Advertising. and in a way my guru and guide for marketing driven copy writing.


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