One needs to structure an agency based on advertisers’ needs. We can’t tell our client that we will give you only creative because we are a creative boutique after knowing that his need is one-stop solution for his marketing or business problem. It’s like selling a golf club without a putter.
Both Manish Bhatt and Raghu Bhat started their careers as engineers. They have been creative partners for the last 15 years, having worked in agencies like Ogilvy, McCann Erickson, Contract, and Ambience Publicis. Between the two, they have over 100 national and 50 international awards/ finalists, including D&AD, One Show, Clio, Cannes Lions, AdFest, Abby and CAG.
In this interaction with exchange4media’s Shree Lahiri, Manish Bhatt and Raghu Bhat share Scarecrow’s success story, creativity in Indian ad agencies and more...
Q. How do you see Scarecrow’s journey so far since its inception in 2009?
The first objective was to survive. That we have done. The next objective was to thrive. We are doing okay now, but there is some way to go before we are a financially stable, strong, solid company. But we have gone beyond our expectations in every way, from accounts won, to the kind of office space and most importantly, the kind of people we have.
Q. Do you think we have reached a near standstill point as far as creativity in advertising is concerned?
The problem happens when you equate creativity with India’s Cannes tally. If you equate it with business results, the picture changes. Creative or not, the campaigns for brands like Cadbury, Oreo, Hero, Quikr, Maruti and Reliance Digital, to name a few, have resulted in record sales. Ultimately, what is creative is subjective. If we have to up our Cannes tally, India’s best creative brains need to take it up as an agenda, which they aren’t currently.
Q. What are the advantages of being a full service ad agency vis-à-vis a boutique agency?
Our industry is like the hospitality industry. For example, if you run a hotel, the guest is not going to expect just the provision of a bed to sleep. He will ask for bed, breakfast, couple of cuisines, housekeeping, room service, gym, swimming pool, spa, laundry service and other countless facilities and amenities. One needs to structure an agency based on advertisers’ needs. We can’t tell our client that we will give you only creative because we are a creative boutique after knowing that his need is one-stop solution for his marketing or business problem. It’s like selling a golf club without a putter.