Shaken by the Mumbai terror strikes and somewhat hit by an economic slowdown, India’s mad ad world is not really in party mood, at least not the wild festivities of the previous years. There is more introspection as most prefer to stay close to their families and dear ones.
For Rohit Malkani, Senior Creative Director, Bates, who lost his father this year, it will be a quiet time. Like any Mumbiakar, he too is in a somber mood. “The normal upbeat mood is absent,” he says, adding, “There is a wait and watch feeling due to the economic slowdown.”
Keegan Pinto, Creative Director, Rediffusion, too, blames the Mumbai terror attacks for the dampened Christmas spirits, which is otherwise celebrated with the entire family, friends and, of course, Santa Claus. “For the advertising fraternity, it is the end of the awards season and time to get work ready for next season. So, creative wise it’s a time of madness.” On a personal level, he hopes that Mumbai gets a gift by way of better and more thoughtful people. He also hopes for quick justice in the Mumbai terror attacks case rather than mere rhetoric from authorities. Pinto vehemently believes that the city needs a bit of gratitude. Amidst the recent horror, he feels, “Christmas is the only sweet little festival and for that very reason will be the best ever”.
Ajay Gehlot, Group Creative Director, O&M Delhi, too, points out that that the usual vibrant and boisterous mood has been replaced by a more subdued mood due to the terror attacks. “Even though the Indian economy is fairly protected from the kind of effects that is being seen in Europe, no one really knows where we are headed as the economy is fairly connected globally,” Gehlot says, adding, “The extent and impact of recession is still not very clear and everyone is adopting a very cautious approach right now.” He believes in the philosophy that “whatever happens, happens for the best” and has faith in humans beings, who are a resilient lot and will bounce back.
Navin Khemkha, Senior VP, Zenith Optimedia Delhi, states that earlier, buoyed by a strong economy, celebrations were blown out of proportion. Now it is back to reality. “Surely, this time too people will celebrate with family and friends, but on a more subdued level at home. Finally, the realisation is dawning that recession is setting in,” he says, and on a positive note feels that the elections in 2009 and a new Government will see money being pumped in next year and things will stabilise slowly.
On a different note, Manish Mathur, COO, P9 Integrated, is in a more raring to go mood as he says “the need of the hour is to cut down on celebrations and work 100 per cent harder towards what you propose to do. One has to live with things beyond control and be more positive”. Mathur feels that things are beginning to look up and people are moving on. Sounding confident, he is of the view that next quarter will be really good and define the course of 2009.