Saumya Tewari

Prasoon Joshi quizzes Sachin Tendulkar on advertising, at the IAA Summit

At the Indian Advertising Association India Chapter's Silver Jubilee Summit in Kochi, the ace cricketer shared titbits about his tryst with advertising.

On the last day of the International Advertising Association (IAA) India Chapter's Silver Jubilee Summit in Kochi, one particular session was the most looked forward to. Prasoon Joshi, chairman, McCann Worldgroup Asia Pacific, and CEO, McCann Worldgroup India, in conversation with cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar on the latter's tryst with advertising, drew a full house.

In his quintessential style, Joshi commenced the session by reciting a poem for Tendulkar which received a thunderous applause from the audience. He went on to say that 'Sachin' is no longer a name, but a metaphor brands have leveraged wisely.

Prasoon Joshi quizzes Sachin Tendulkar on advertising, at the IAA Summit
Joshi asked Tendulkar if there's a filter that he uses while selecting choosing brand endorsements, to which he said, "My father asked me to try and not endorse tobacco or alcohol, and I've tried to stay from it." A good ad, he said, is not only good for him, but also the brand and a bad one can harm both of them.

Known for his precision and dependability on ground, Tendulkar was asked if he ever felt that 'Brand Sachin' is in conflict with 'Sachin as a person'. Tendulkar recounted an incident in 1998 when Pepsi wanted to shoot an ad after India defeated Australia in Sharjah. "Pepsi asked me to bat with a fly swatter and yet the balls were going outside the stadium. I said I'm not bigger than cricket and would not insult the game which has given me everything in life," he shared.

Much to the audience's amusement, he shared a funny anecdote from another Pepsi shoot. His son Arjun after eating an orange went on to wipe his hands on Amitabh Bachchan's costume. "At that moment, I did not know where to look," Tendulkar said, visibly embarrassed then.

Joshi went on to ask Tendulkar if shooting with big Bollywood stars makes him nervous. "It's like them playing a cricket match with me. I have nothing to lose and only gain while shooting with them," he chuckled. The cricketer confessed that it took him years to open up in front of the camera and that he becomes uncomfortable when people start clicking pictures with mobile cameras during shoots.

Steering the conversation towards 'locker room' jokes, Joshi regaled the audience with what Rahul Dravid once shared with him. Apparently, Dravid had refused to do a particular shoot fearing that his colleagues may pull his leg.

Tendulkar said, while he did not face any such situation, his team members did make fun of one of Viru's (Virender Sehwag) ads which had the line 'Maa bula rahi hai'.

He spoke about his first ever ad with Kapil Paaji (Kapil Dev) for GlaxoSmithKline's health drink Boost. He recounted how Dev calmed his nerves and asked him to be natural in front of the camera. The same advice he gave to his junior Sehwag, years later, when they shot a commercial for the same brand. "I realised that when you are called 'Paaji', you can start giving advice," he quipped.

Speaking on how the advertising industry has changed over the years, Tendulkar noted that while it is way more professional now, the earlier generation has done a phenomenal job. He attributes the change to growth in technology and digital platforms.

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