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Why one should read Ambi & Medh’s casebook on Draftfcb Ulka

19-April-2011
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Why one should read Ambi & Medh’s casebook on Draftfcb Ulka

Draftfcb Ulka’s Golden Jubilee celebrations had a host of activities marked for the year. Reminiscing all the work done over the past 50 years and holding get-togethers for alumnus and clients was in order for the first quarter of 2011. Continuing the celebrations, the second quarter has begun with the launch of the book ‘Draftfcb Ulka Brand Building Advertising Concepts & Cases Case Book II’.

After three years of work, the book, co-authored by M G Parameswaran (aka Ambi), Executive Director and CEO, Draftfcb Ulka- Mumbai and Kinjal Medh, COO, Cogito Consulting, was launched on April 13, 2011. This is the second book in the series of Case Books from the Group. The first book of cases came out in 2001.

In a conversation with exchange4media, Ambi and Medh speak on why any professional in advertising, or aspiring to be in advertising, should read the book. Elaborating on the thought process behind the book, Ambi said, “As you may be aware, the first book of cases was greatly appreciated by not only Indian academic world but also by international experts such as Prof John Phlip Jones, Prof Jagdish Sheth and Prof David Aaker. As was the case in the first book, the thought behind this book is to present brand building advertising cases in a reader friendly form, of use to young professionals and students of marketing. Through these books we are making available to the larger community useful material that show case how successful advertising campaigns are created.”

Medh added, “While there are quite a few books on creativity, brands and consumers, there is a limited pool of available cases on successful Indian advertising. The idea was to add to the literature and knowledge available to the industry and students in particular. The book is aimed at students of advertising and marketing as well as young practitioners to help them understand that advertising that builds brands needs a clear strategy. That there is a process and methodology for consistently successful advertising, advertising that works in the market place and helps build brands.”

The book has 12 cases from work done in Draftfcb Ulka, broken up into three sections, consumer products, consumer durables and services. It presents a broad cross-section of products and services. In addition to these cases, the book also has some timeless studies done by Cogito Consulting unit on consumers, how advertising works, how they react to promotions and the role of celebrities in endorsement of brands.

The Reader's Take Away?
The work on the book started over three years ago when the teams working on the brands in the agency gave Parameswaran (Ambi) and Medh a first draft of the book. The duo then started working on the second, third and final draft. The process between Ambi and Medh took well over 18 months. The publisher, Tata McGraw Hill, wanted an ‘all colour’ book, so there had to be sufficient visual material in the book to make it colourful. The publisher also wanted ‘concepts’ to the book, to give the reader a deeper understanding of the problems faced when we start working on ad campaigns. Medh identified six articles from Cogito Journal archives, of which three were included in the final draft of the book.

For Ambi, the objective of the book is to create excitement around advertising once again. He said, “We want the reader to get excited about the profession we call advertising, how it is challenging and rewarding. We want the reader to get a feel that advertising is not all about funny television commercials and fun on the beach [they do have their role]. There is a lot of thinking that goes into advertising and it is a wonderful profession to be in. If through our books we are able attract more young people into the industry, we would consider our job done.”

Medh has a similar hope from the book, which is to highlight the role of advertising. He observed, “Apart from the information, knowledge and processes that it talks about, the book also aims to highlight the important role that advertising plays in building successful brands and thereby encourages young people to appreciate and take pride in their profession. Hopefully the book will also convey that behind its entertainment and glamour, good advertising demands a very serious effort. Lastly that consistently successful advertising is rarely the outcome of one individual or one eureka moment. It is the culmination of a lot of effort. It demands so much from so many different talents - psychology to analytics, from strategy to creative and craft of filmmaking to sophisticated media sciences. In a sense it is the ultimate team sport -- as demanding, as exciting and as rewarding.”

Ambi added, “We know that many young people in management schools who read our books will end up in marketing and sales. If they enter their career with a greater sense of appreciation of advertising, that would be a big bonus.”

While Ambi has been an author, this is the first time for Kinjal Medh in book writing. Speaking on his experience, Medh said, “It made me realise the effort involved in writing a book is not as easy as it seemed to me as a reader! But seriously, it was very exciting and perhaps took a little longer than we expected, but in hindsight it is perfect timing as we release it in the year in which the Draftfcb Ulka group celebrates its Golden Jubilee.”

The book is available in leading book chains such as Crossword and Landmark. It is also available in online book sites including Flipkart, and will soon be available on Amazon. In addition, since Tata McGraw Hill is connected with the academic community too, the book would also reach the 1000+ management schools of India.

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