Creativity in Indian advertising has a long way to go: Chris Powell

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | February 13, 2007
Chris Powell of BMP DDB says that Indian advertising is not yet outstanding in the international context. According to him, this is evident from the fact that India wins fewer international awards than the UK and US

Even as & #BANNER1 & # ad agencies in India pat their backs over various national and international awards, it may be worth finding out what international admen think of these wins. The question being asked is: are we creative enough? Do Indian advertising agencies have what it takes to create an international ripple, win credible awards year after year, and above all, create branding that is world class? Chris Powell, though an outsider to the Indian ad industry, is of the firm belief that a lot more can be done to improve India's standing on the international ad map.

Powell is one of Britain's most acknowledged admen, being the chairman of Omnicom agency BMP DDB, which he joined as partner at its inception in 1969. He has worked for leading commercial advertisers such as Unilever, Cadbury and Volkswagen.

Chris Powell
During a candid conversation with agencyfaqs!, Powell remarks, "Creativity in Indian advertising hasn't reached hallmark status yet." While that may shock Indian ad folk, Powell is ready with an explanation: "If we look at the Indian creative scenario, it is largely conservative. The fact that India wins very few international awards is proof of this."

Also present during the interaction were executives from A Advertising - the agency that was recently conferred the responsibility of the global 'Incredible India' campaign. Mohit Dhar Jayal, director, brand strategy, A Advertising, is not surprised by Powell's remarks. In fact, he nods in agreement.

"A large part of what Powell has said is true," he begins. "The whole advertising industry has an inward looking attitude and is in a self-congratulatory mode. On several occasions, I have seen Indian agencies go to any length to make a client happy, but out of the box thinking is rarely amongst their plans."

He adds that brand building efforts can see a lot of improvement. "We are good executioners," he says. Jayal also reveals that often, clients do not demand outstanding work or take risks. Subsequently, some agencies get complacent and produce mediocre work.

The talk concluded on the note that agencies need to learn the power of the message, instead of just publicising their work in the media.

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