<b>Prahlad Kakar</b>, Ad Guru, Genesis Film Production
Films today have become boring and predictable, unlike those of the olden times. The art of storytelling is distorted. If in a 30-second commercial you can’t surprise people, can’t make them smile or sad, you might as well not do it. If you are only doing it for the money, then why do it?
Films today have become boring and predictable, unlike those of the olden times. The art of storytelling is distorted. If in a 30-second commercial you can’t surprise people, can’t make them smile or sad, you might as well not do it. If you are only doing it for the money, then why do it?Known for his brand of irreverent humour and memorable brand building campaigns, Prahlad Kakar is the doyen of Indian advertising. The ad guru, cigar connoisseur, gastronome and restaurateur, globe trotter and scuba diver is the brain behind campaigns such as Pepsi’s ‘Yehi hai right choice baby! Aha’, Gold Spot’s ‘The Zing Thing’, Maggie’s ‘2 minutes’, Britannia’s ‘Ting Ting Ti Ting’, Limca’s ‘Zor ka Jhatka’ and Maggi Sauces’ ‘It’s different!’, which have remained etched in our memories.
In conversation with exchange4media’s Twishy, Kakar speaks at length about how the ad filmmaking business has changed over the years, the growing importance of technology, his favourite ads and much more... Q. How has the ad filmmaking business changed since the time you set up Genesis in 1977?
But there are a lot of multinationals and MBAs, and as far as filmmaking is concerned, they want to know everything about everything. By doing an MBA you can’t learn everything, you only can learn it through experience. Films today have become boring and predictable, unlike those of the olden times. The art of storytelling is distorted. The youngsters of today who are in advertising are totally at risk, they like to stay in the middle ground and not do anything controversial or different.
Q. Do you think overuse of computer-generated imagery (CGI) is somewhat killing the beauty of storytelling in today’s ads?
Q. Who are the emerging talent in ad filmmaking that has made you sit up and take notice?
Q. From your vast repertoire of ad films, which are the ones that you consider to be your best and why?
Q. Which are some of the ads that you would rate as your all-time favourites and why?
Q. Ad guru, ad filmmaker, restaurateur, cigar connoisseur, scuba diver – how do you juggle so many roles? Which role is the closest to your heart?
I don’t keep any of these roles close to my heart. If I’m bored with scuba diving, I do ad filmmaking and when I’m bored with that, then back to scuba diving. It depends if I get to dive with a beautiful women or if its filmmaking, I get to work with a great actress, then I do it. I’m a man of very small and simple taste and most of them revolve around women.
Q. What goes on in your mind when you set about transforming an ad script to what we finally see on the screen? Which aspects do you focus on?
Q. You had assisted Shyam Benegal on some of his films. When do we see you coming out with a full-length feature film?
Q. What is your idea of humour?
Q. When you look back at your long innings in advertising, at what points do you wish you could go back and re-do things in a different way?
Q. How do you engage students in a meaningful dialogue at various institutes?
We should be able to handle rejection, the most attractive thing in a man is handling rejection, if he or she handles rejection with grace and humour, without it letting him down, then he is always acceptable at everyone’s table.
Q. What do you hate in a script? What is the key to a successful ad film?
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