Shweta Mulki

Piyush creates 'Pandeymonium'

"Multi-cultural is more important than multi-national," says ad guru Piyush Pandey whose much anticipated book on 'life and advertising' has just been launched.

One of the most well-known faces of the Indian advertising industry, Piyush Pandey launched his book 'Pandeymonium' in Mumbai, amongst the cream of the advertising and media world. The chief guest was actor Amitabh Bachchan, and also adding heaps to the celeb quotient was cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar.

Piyush creates 'Pandeymonium'
Piyush creates 'Pandeymonium'

'Pandeymonium' has been published by Penguin Random House. The publishers said that in this book, the author 'shares his journey, his body of work, his philosophy, his inspirations and failures, and also address how you can inspire people, how to communicate effectively, how to lead, and convey messages simply.

'Anant Rangaswami, who curated the book, and 'championed it through all stages' had a quick chat with Pandey on the book. The 60-year-old executive chairman and creative director of Ogilvy and Mather, India and South Asia, said 'Pandeymonium' is not just about his experiences in advertising but a personal memoir as well, and also a tribute to his mentors. He spoke about his childhood memories of 'spontaneous poetry' in his family, and the influence his parents and siblings had on his creativity.

There was a longer discussion between Pandey and Bachchan, who has also written the foreword for the book, where both narrated their experiences of working with each other. Pandey emphasised the 'twin responsibility of doing justice to the celebrity, and also enabling the brand to win'. He cited campaigns such as the one on polio eradication, Cadburys and Gujarat Tourism, among others. The polio campaign is said to have played a good part in India's polio-free existence today. Pandey recalled using Bachchan's 'angry young man' persona to 'reprimand' parents of infants. Tendulkar too cited stories, where he was encouraged and motivated by Pandey. He also mentioned an anecdote where, as a 17-year-old shooting a commercial for a bike, he ended up riding it inside a stadium, as he was underage and wasn't allowed ride it out on the roads.

Some other highlights of this discussion moderated by Suresh Venkat, included Pandey's thoughts behind 'staying relevant and staying nervous' during campaigns, the people who were his sounding boards, and the influence of his mentor Suresh Mullick. On working for a multinational, and also with people across cultures, Pandey said,"Multi-national is only a location but multi-culturalism denotes respect for that location, and is more important when making an impact."

When asked about the fascination for the Hindi language in his personal life, and also in his commercials, he said, "How can there be 'fascination' for your mother tongue? and added that, "there may be this hurry to learn the English language at the expense of Hindi, but it should really be in addition to the latter."