Backed with experience in handling leading brands at agencies like Mudra and a creative bent in play direction, and lyrics, Pushpendra Misra launched his brainchild by the name of Flying Saucer, dedicated purely to television commercials.
Referring to his organisation, Misra says, “Advertising is always looking for great ideas. It's a pity that in a country like India, with an amazing sense of humour, we continue to generate below-average commercials. In fact, the new sense of humour is nothing but the old one. One needs to find it in our scripts and execution. At Flying Saucer, we are engaged in a constant search for better, funnier and appropriate advertising idioms.”
As he believes, the only way to prove the uniqueness of an idea is to make it in your own way. “At Flying Saucer I have tried to handle scripts with delicate humor to scripts with loud humor. In recent times, we have executed diverse campaigns; for instance, with Paragon Chappals, we took on a campaign which came with strong connect to the product. With a campaign such as this one, you don’t really need to worry about your target audience or which SEC are you attempting to get to. Everybody – from rural to urban masses, gets the idea at the same platform. And, this strengthens our belief that local is fashionable. Local culture and ideas are global in appeal. The sharper we are to our local appeals and sensibilities, the more cutting-edge we shall be,” says Misra.
Among other campaigns that make him proud, include Prestige Pressure Cooker’s ‘Saadharan pressure cooker to rulaenge hee’ campaign and the Nutrine ‘Mmmm’ campaign. “Both these campaigns were experiments of a different kind. The off-camera voice enquires which pressure cooker the housewife has, and she starts bawling instantly. The voice over continues – ‘Sadharan pressure cooker to rulaenge hee’ (ordinary pressure cookers will surely make you cry). We shot the same story with four different housewives in different settings. This was an instant hit in the south. I would call this an example of effective advertising. Using a very Indian idiom, we could create a piece of communication which was a notch above the rest,” says Misra.
Switching to the Nutrine campaign, he elaborates, “We planned to cast adults in a commercial which should ideally have featured kids. So, there are two men who are sitting by the sea and a beautiful woman passes by and they go in unison ‘mmmm.’ No prizes for guessing that they are actually relishing a Nutrine toffee. Casting was prime in this case. The idea was to take perfectly suited characters, who would appear thoroughly natural in their actions. Boman Irani and Vihang Naik were good together and they added a subtle touch of humour to the entire thing, without making it crass and loud.”
However, the adman made a successful foray in play direction with his adaptation of the Girish Karnad classic Nagamandala (into Hindustani). Shifting to the role of a playwright, Misra created ‘Ji Shabnam Bibi’ – another mega play dealing with the trials and tribulations of a prostitute and the notion of beauty. Two other plays he authored, are ‘Ikkiswan Khat’ and ‘Kadoo Ke’.
And, what’s next? Misra sounds optimistic. “Well, to bring on some noteworthy advertising for key brands and to market Flying Saucer a lot more aggressively than we did in the past. We have maintained a low profile so far. Now its time, to scan the market and assert ourselves better,” he says.