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Miguel: When an ad has to cut across cultures, it's images, not words

12-February-2004
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Miguel: When an ad has to cut across cultures, it's images, not words

Communication is graduating to a level where more people, irrespective of language and culture, have to be addressed. Consequently, that is how advertising is evolving. In this progressive age, for a creative, the way is to employ smarter visuals than copy. This is what cuts across barriers and this is what Miguel Angel Furones Ferre, CCO, Leo Burnett Worldwide explained in a presentation organised by The Ad Club.

The Advertising Club, Mumbai conducted a session on 'Images That Talk. Miguel, who is also the Chairman of Vitruvio, Leo Burnett made the presentation. He was largely addressing young advertising minds in the audience in this gathering, where he delved in the usage of images.

"When you write a word, not everyone is going to understand it. For instance, an elephant in English and Haathi in Hindi and something else elsewhere. But when you show the image, everyone across the globe will know that it's an elephant," explained Miguel. As per him, it is first the images that make a smart ad, Second comes sound that people worldwide identify with. Copy should be crisp.

But aren't we seeing longer copies in advertisement these days even for categories like cars and oil apart from finance? "That is only locally," Miguel replied "When you are addressing a local audience, then it makes sense to speak to them in the language they understand. But if you have to design an ad that has to work on an international or even a national level, in a country as culturally diverse as India, then you cant really play with words."

In his presentation Miguel demonstrated various international ads that were acknowledged and commended for their creatives. He asserted that an advertisement was a successful one when it was effective enough to attain the objectives of the campaign and a good creative makes all the difference. "Creatively done ads influence market performance," he remarked, "That is why there is a need for a thought process to be there behind the creative."

Speaking more about the creative scenario in India, he said, "India is the fastest growing country in the world. In time to come, it will be second only to countries like US and China and this is how the advertising scene is developing as well. Every year, we see Indian ads getting more recognition on the international platform in various events. And the Indian advertising is only getting better by the day."

A growth he attributes to the economic growth? "Not really, Spain won a number of awards for its advertising endeavours but that could hardly be substantiated with an economic growth. Indians are very professional in their approach of understanding what is required from a campaign. They have the concept in place and they take it from there. A parallel economic growth is only a part of it," expressed Miguel.

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