Essential reading for the curious advertising mind

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In our growing up years in advertising, for many of us, essential business reading included books like ‘Ogilvy on Advertising’, ‘Truth Lies and Advertising’ and ‘Building Strong Brands’. While these were enlightening books, the content, especially of the case study variety pertained to US brands; and to that extent, alien to Indian ad wallahs. It is great to know about how ‘Got Milk?’ was created but for ad folks in India it would be even better to know how Amul’s ‘Real Milk. Real Ice Cream’ was created. It is great to know the thinking behind Porsche advertising but even better to know how Tata Indica changed the market.

The recently released ‘DraftFCB Ulka Brand Building Advertising Concepts & Cases is an answer to that need. Authored by advertising stalwarts M G Parameswaran and Kinjal Medh of DraftFCB + Ulka, the book outlines 12 case studies covering diverse categories: automotive, food, technology, durables, apparel, entertainment, services and more. Divided into 4 sections, the introduction covers areas such as the famous FCB ‘How Advertising Works’ Grid, use of celebrities in advertising and effectiveness of promotional campaigns. Then 3 sections covering case studies on Consumer Products, Consumer Durables and Services, follow.

In an interview about the book, M G Parameswaran says: “We want the reader to get excited about the profession we call advertising, how it is challenging and rewarding. We want the reader to get a feel that advertising is not all about funny television commercials and fun on the beach [they do have their role]. There is a lot of thinking that goes into advertising and it is a wonderful profession to be in. If through our books we are able attract more young people into the industry, we would consider our job done.

One of the issues plaguing the advertising industry today is the inability to attract talent at the entry level. Unlike a decade or two ago the advertising industry is not perceived to be as attractive an option as others. Targeted at marketing students and young professionals this book ‘aims to highlight the important role that advertising plays in building successful brands and thereby encourages young people to appreciate and take pride in their profession’, says Kinjal Medh.

Personally speaking, I was passionate about the advertising business even before I joined advertising. I used to maintain a ledger of sorts listing down the ads that appeared before and during a TV programme, cut out print ads from various magazines and sort them by category or agency…and so on. During my early years in the business, I was fortunate to be surrounded by people passionate about the business. It wasn’t just about being excited about pretty-picture advertising but being fascinated about the process of advertising creation. The magic of so many diverse talents coming together and having fun while doing so. As the authors say, it is the ultimate team sport.

It’s great that stalwarts like Ambi & Kinjal who are looked up to for knowledge & inspiration choose to share their experience through such books. Penning down observations on work done by others is one thing, sharing the experience of work created by yourself is another.

In all, the book promises not only to be enlightening but enriching as well.

You can buy the book online through Flipkart, or other online book stores. The book is also available at leading book stores in India.

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