There should be honesty in messaging, remarked Arundhati Bhattacharya, Managing Director of SBI Capital Markets, while speaking at the Advertising Conclave at Goafest 2013. The Conclave, themed ‘Time to Listen’, had senior advertisers as speakers, pointing out shortcomings in the working of media and creative agencies.
Bhattacharya made the point that several ads are difficult to understand as they deviate from the message in trying to be ‘cute’. Citing the example of the Vodafone pug ad, she said by virtue of its ‘cuteness’, it had an instant recall value and sent across the message for the client in a simple yet sweet way. “If you want to be cute, be very cute. There has to be honesty in the message,” she stated.
According to Bhattacharya, everyone loves to be creative, but there have been several instances where the agency gets over-awed by the client and allows them to dictate in the creative aspect. “The person paying the bill will be creative. You need to tell the client to stop,” she said, explaining that creative agencies are hired because of their professional expertise in the first place.
Bhattacharya, who has spent more than 35 years in the BFSI sector, shared her experience of dealing with media and creative agencies by companies in the public sector. She insisted on exploring non-traditional or new media for the sector. “Agencies are not recommending new media and things which ought to happen are not happening,” she observed.
According to Bhattacharya, “Agencies should partner the organization and the concept of a campaign should continue irrespective of key people in a company being transferred in the public sector.” She pointed out that SBI’s ad campaigns, starting from ‘Surprisingly SBI’ in 2005, ‘Purse Banking’ during 2006-07, ‘Banker for every Indian’ and ‘Proud to be Indian’ campaigns in recent years, were executed by different agencies, but they worked in sync.
Goafest 2013 coverage on exchange4media is presented by Patrika group.