The year was 1997. India was about to complete 50 years of Independence on the 15th of August. I got a brief from Somany Tiles that they wanted to do an ad in the special 200-page edition that India Today was commemorating. The edition, I was told, would cover five decades of India’s Independence. The client, Mr Abhishek Somany and Jaskeerat Sandhu, two very lovely people, asked us to do an iconic ad. It was supposed to be a full-page magazine ad.
The tagline for Somany Tiles was ‘Create a world of your own’. The idea was built around that. The ad was mostly white space. It asked a simple question in the centre of the ad in 8-point size:
Istad Usa created the Taj Mahal.
Qutub-ud-Din created the Qutub Minar.
Fariborz Sahba created the Lotus temple.
What are you creating?
I think if they ran it in the 100 years edition, it would still work.
Another campaign that I remember in this context is the one we did for another country which is still struggling to get free. It was for Afghan Telecom, Afghanistan’s official telecom brand.
When we visited Kabul, we found the national fabric of life strained and massacred. We wanted to give the nation its voice back.
Thus, the print and television ads spoke of forgetting the past and looking ahead.
I think in some sense, this holds true for India. Instead of glorying about the past, as a country I think we should look ahead. The only way we should reflect on 1947 is to be grateful, and use the freedom that we enjoy to create a something new and make advancements as a nation.
(Titus Upputuru is National Creative Director at Dentsu Marcom.)