No potholes on this StoryRoad

By Khushboo Tanna , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | July 25, 2008
Storyboard, the weekly advertising and marketing show on CNBC TV18 is currently in its seventh year and plans to have this event StoryRoad in other cities as well

After a & #BANNER1 & # successful event in the capital, StoryRoad travelled to Mumbai on July 23. StoryRoad is the on-ground event organised by Storyboard, an advertising and marketing show on CNBC TV18. The show is currently in its seventh year and plans to travel to other cities as well. The event was held at Blue Frog, one of Mumbai's best nightclubs. The event saw a healthy mix of advertising and media professionals.

Vir Das, a stand up comedian, started the event by setting a light cheerful tone for the evening. Soon after, Anuradha Sengupta, the host of the show, moved on to the floor and caught prominent ad men and media personalities off guard with her questions. She started by asking Bobby Pawar, chief creative officer, Mudra Group, about the one thing he missed during his long hiatus from India - to which he smiled and replied "street food".

Anuradha Sengupta
Sengupta then moved on to R Balakrishnan (popularly known as Balki), chairman and national creative director, Lowe India and complimented him on his move from advertising to movies and subsequently to producing an award show. She asked him how he found time to manage his interests. Balki laughed and said that there is nothing much to do in advertising, people just pretend to be busy. Sengupta also asked for Balki's views on how the business had changed over the years. Balki answered that business had remained the same but advertisements were getting better. He added that there was no dearth of talent in the industry.

Next, Sengupta moved on to Meenakshi Madhvani, chief executive officer, Spatial Access Solutions, telling her that she was the most popular guest on Storyboard, and a woman whom media agencies love to hate. Madhvani laughed off the claim by saying that she loved it when agencies hated her and that she was not out to win popularity contests. She also gave a bit of advice to all aspiring people, saying, "You have to believe in yourself and hold your head high and then charge the price you want, and clients will come running to you."

Bhaskar Das, president, Times Group, was asked how he felt about other brands investing in corporate social responsibility campaigns. Das very confidently replied, "It doesn't matter because at the end there will only be one Lead India."

The conversation then moved on to cinema and Sengupta asked Prasoon Pandey of Corcoise Films to throw some light on the iconic status of cinema. Pandey replied in a nostalgic tone that cinema is cinema and no one can get away from it. TV and cinema do not obstruct each other, and new things will continue to happen.

L-R- Meenakshi Madhvani, Balki, K V Sridhar
KV Sridhar, national creative head, Leo Burnett, popularly known as Pops was asked to give advice to politicians on image building. With a smug smile and an obvious reference to the recent happenings in the parliament, he said that they have already built an image for themselves.

Sengupta asked Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director, Madison World how he could buy over an international agency, when in fact it was the other way round. Balsara joked that it was very easy to cut the deal. On a serious note, he said that he did not agree with Balki's view. He claimed that a lot of things in the business have changed, some for good but most of them for worse.

Sengupta confessed that earlier, the team of Storyboard had to wait for two years to meet Martin Sorrell (chief executive officer, WPP Group). Now, they can meet him once in every two months as he has increased his trips to India.

While speaking to Ranjan Kapoor, country manager, WPP group, she wanted to know whether there was anything new in the optimism of international businessmen on India. Kapoor replied, "India is the jewel in the crown. Agencies say that they do not have enough margins, but in reality they have ample margins. India is the most under advertised market and it is going to reach its full potential in the next three to five years."

Paritosh Joshi, president, advertising sales and distribution, STAR India was asked his opinion on the launch of 'Colors'. Joshi said that they have an interesting line-up of programmes but STAR has nothing to worry about.

Towards the end of the show, Rajeev Raja, executive creative director, Bates 141 along with the club owners Dhruv and Ashu entertained the audience with their compilation of songs.