Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Not a open mind behind closed doors

The big daddies of Indian advertising are all knowledgeable sods. They are the harbingers of change, disruption, integration, activation, three sixty, holistic ideas who can sway clients in their boardrooms. They create ideas which sell products in millions. They create brands which are always energized. They are those pathetic passionate professionals who will do anything to solve a client’s problem. They have a brilliant websites which has a long list of client and the creative portfolio. Yet none of the Indian advertising agencies have a blog. They don’t have a point of view about their own work. They have nothing to say to the world at large. They have but agencyfaqs, where they explain about ads they just created and why it is so unique. Why? Because no body in the focus group during the pre-testing of the concept understood it, so they need to explain it and generate PR, post the ad being on air.

So the forefathers of the most open minded profession lives behind perpetual closed doors in India. True reflection of the closed door policy in our industry. Indeed open minded they are. They fear if they talk, others might steal their unique concept. Their ideas will become public. Their clients won’t be happy. Or let’s just put it this way, they are too busy doing an offline for a 30 second TVC that they don’t have the time to do any faltu kaam. Advertising industry in India was always a closed door industry. So frightening the scenes behind these closed doors are most young people find it difficult to enter. Now there’s a dearth of talent. Huge tantrums about not finding the right person with right experience to do the task. Head hunters are running like headless chicken.

On the other hand, as I keep reading W+K’s blog, LB’s blog, Russell’s blog, Rob Campbell’s blog, Richard Huntington’s blog, Jon Howard’s blog, John Grant’s blog I realize how much these agencies and these people benefit from sharing their thoughts with unknown others. Open Intelligence Sharing is not a Linux concept. There’s nothing techie about it. It’s all about gathering collective intelligence and then refining them to produce and create bigger and better ideas for the benefit of all, sometimes even including the client. You have a marketing problem to solve, post a live brief/assignment on the blog. You get 100 replies. Filter and measure them based on the objective, you have your campaign ready in 7 days flat. But then, they are also the most interesting people on web. Thousands like me look forward to their next post, just to know, learn and contribute more. Selflessly. That’s why they create stuff, which we look at and say Wow.

I guess it’s high time for our big daddies to understand these basic principles fast and act upon it. No point going and selling User Generated Content to advertisers unless you start practicing it. No wonder GOG has become a case study.

Long live blogging. Long live planning.


Rob @ Cynic said...

Hello ... I read your post with interest but the person who really started this 'Open Intelligence Forum' was the founder of St Lukes, Andy Law.

I think the difference between many agencies and the companies/people you mentioned [including, very kindly, me] is that too many companies think 'being secrect equates to value' because they can't be easily copied but ...

[1] that's not true as often the output is bland and very generic so incredibly easy to copy [though one has to question what the point of that would be]

[2] when you put a viewpoint out into the public domain, not only will you hear valuable - and much more truthful - feedback [which can shape your views] but it has the added benefit of [hopefully] increasing standards overall in the industry ... and by god does it need it.

Thanks for the plug, I've gone through alot of your blog and I love it - so who knows, next time I'm in India or you are in S.E. Asia, maybe we can catch up for a coffee and exchange our thoughts?

Have fun ...

pooR_Planner said...

Thanks Rob. A much needed moral boost up there. As you rightly mentioned, it gives you a truthful feedback, shapes your view, forms your half baked ideas and increases the standard of industry.

Will definitely meet you when you come to India or moi land up in Changi Airport.

Kapil said...

Roop, very interesting. I have been discussing about having an agency blog with my team for a while now and things look positive. Yeah, I think an agency blog is a great way to attract talent for the agency.

When I was looking for an agency switch about 9 months besides looking at corporate websites of the agency I also searched for blogs / blog posts on technorati and Google Blog Search. This is a a great way to know what's happening inside the agency. And trust me I found very few of the blogs which spoke about the agency's culture and creative juices.

Let's hope more agencies wake up to get a blog for themselves.

Rob @ Cynic said...

Can't wait - and given I might be in and around India sooner than I thought, maybe we can catch up in the not too distant future.

Thanks for the emails - sorry for the crappy response, been stuck in a hell preso all day - and I have tomorrow to look forward to as well, ha.

Speak soon and thanks for the assignment, will enjoy reading it.

pooR_Planner said...

@ Kapil - Hope they realise these soon and start projecting the true culture of their agencies to the world at large. Yes indeed it will help new people to know more about what's happening within the closed doors of their favorite agency and help attract people.

@Rob - When? When? When? Would love to meet you in person. Just buzz me and am there.