There have been many works done in 2010 that have been interesting. Speaking about some work that came out of my agency, they included Idea Cellular, Tata Tea, Tanishq and Britannia. And outside Lowe Lintas, there was good work done on Vodafone, Cadbury and many more.
As far as the year 2009 was concerned, which we term as a ‘slowdown year’, I solemnly believed that slowdown did not affect good creativity, but creativity dampens creativity. There are always some high and low years; creativity doesn’t have anything to do with the economy. There are at times some agencies that do well in the slowdown period, while there are agencies who don’t do well, but that doesn’t mean the agency is doing bad in business. It depends on how focused one is in delivering creativity.
As far as awards and Lowe Lintas are concerned, we participate in the Effies because many of us want to meet the clients, and this is one awards platform where you get to meet the clients. But I have been very vocal that Lowe Lintas is not driven by awards, be it the Abbys or even the Effies, because awards do not reflect what advertising actually does. And I make it very clear that awards are not about effectiveness; I don’t believe in this term ‘effectiveness’ in creativity, because we really don’t know what has made the brand effective. Effectiveness could be counted via various channels like distribution, pricing or the communication.
Advertising is like a lottery – how well you play the lottery, how much one can head the bet, and how much one can reduce the risk. It depends on how sound you are and how interesting you are in your advertising. So, we can’t really say that advertising can work 100 per cent, it can just do a certain part of the job. Therefore, effectiveness is a very old fashioned way to judge advertising. In the same way, creativity is a very old way to judge advertising. There is a purpose and there is creativity, and that creativity is for that purpose.
(R Balki is Chairman & Chief Creative Officer at Lowe Lintas.)