Whether it is advertising for a local product or a national brand, what drives advertisers is passion and challenge. While Shrikumar Menon and Abhijit Avasthi may have completely different ideals, their love for their work led them both to the same thing – success. Success may not always mean money. For them, success is when their work reaches and touches the hearts of all the Indians and the recall of the brand brings fond memories.
On the second day of Animation Masters Summit 2017, the two ad-men shared their stories and respective journeys in advertising.
PUSH Integrated Communications, founder and creative head, Shrikumar Menon, who likes to call himself a “local boy” as he has originated from a local town in Kerala, spoke on ‘Local Brands, Global Dreams’. Menon, who works only on local brands said, “It all starts with a dream. Dream leads to an idea.” He had “to settle” for local brands as he did not get a chance to pitch for national brands. “And after 22 years in my career, I’ve realised that it’s all in the mind,” he said.
The man who has made local products like Kalyan Jewellers and Manappuram Gold Loan national brands sticks to one belief: We can do it. Dressed in a simple shirt and a mundu (a garment from Kerala that resembles dhoti), this man’s humility spoke when he said, “I am no master, I am still learning.” With a command in his voice and persuasive tone, he left the crowd with one message: “It does not matter however small a place you emerge from. You can do anything.”
Sideways Consulting, founder, Abhijit Avasthi spoke on how to look for inspiration. The former national creative director of Ogilvy & Mather said that ad and animation both create ideas and tell stories. “People ask me and I ask myself – how do I get ideas?”
Avasthi thinks he is a “hoarder” of ideas. He retains visuals, sounds, conversations and situations and they all come to him when he needs an idea. “I borrow shamelessly from all these,” he laughed. Having come up with taglines like “Kuch meetha ho jaaye” (Cadbury Dairy Milk), “Jo khaye kho jaye” (5 Star), “Dimag ki batti jalao” (Mentos), the modest ad guru said that he has not come up with these lines. “These are the lines we hear in our daily lives.”
The ads and taglines he has come up with are all taken from his life experiences. “We see things but fail to see the potential in them,” he explained, encouraging the artists in the hall to derive ideas and stories from their surroundings.
A wave of nostalgia ran through the crowd as Avasthi played some of the most heart-warming ads from brands like Google, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Fevicol, 5 Star, Center Fruit and a few more.
Sometimes we look everywhere searching for something that is actually right besides us – whether it is an idea, an inspiration or the answer for what we wish to do. The talks by both the Masters applied to any field that one may be working in. The simplicity with which they solved life’s conundrums left the crowd amazed and truly inspired.