RS Sodhi, Managing Director, Amul India held one of the most popular sessions at the Advertising Conclave on the first day of Goafest 2013. He elucidated a number of points on the different aspects of a client – agency relationship in his characteristic humorous style that struck a chord with the audience. He shared real-life examples and case-studies of Amul as a brand.
Sodhi, a veteran with 31 years of experience in the media and marketing business, confessed that he does not like seeing advertisements himself, emphasising that ads today need to be high on the creative quotient to be able to enrapture the consumer.
He then continued to give the audience pointers culled out of his experience and learnings, which included the importance of stability in the core team, having complete trust in the client – agency relationship and the partnership being of equals; “When in rough weather, we face the music together,” he stated. On the same note, he urged clients to trust the agency to be custodians not only of the brand values and ethos but also the advertising budgets.
“It is very important that core brand identity remains the same. If the campaign and brand strategy is working, do not change it.” He cited the example of Amul, which has retained its core identity since 1956, at the same time keeping the brand relevant and contemporary in today’s times.
The brand’s mascot, the ‘Amul Girl’ has kept the brand young as well as played a pivotal role in retaining brand recall with audience who are associated with the brand since the last five decades, stated Sodhi.
Never underestimating or cheating the consumer, focus on selling the product and not the creator of the company, and the importance of advertising being integrated to give a uniform message across media, were among some of the other aspects highlighted by Sodhi.
“Understanding the consumer is not about listening to the client, feedback from sales people is integral and nothing is better than feedback from the consumer himself.
Sodhi also strongly advocated against doctored research to fit the creative produced by the agency, striking a chord with many present in the audience.
“Anticipate future media avenues and explore them ahead of others,” Sodhi citing the example of Amul being the first brand to sponsor Surabhi, now popularly remembered as Amul Surabhi.
“The importance of thinking, conceptualising and executing in a local language cannot be replaced by translation or customisation to achieve the local pulse and flavor,” he said.
The highlight of Sodhi’s session was doubtlessly his suggestion to the industry to do away with advertising awards in their current format. “Do away with advertising awards, when they are being judged by people within the industry; instead, get clients and consumers to judge the work,” he added with his characteristic panache.
Goafest 2013 coverage on exchange4media is presented by Patrika group.