e4m TV First: Bharat Puri & Piyush Pandey discuss the essence of good communication

At the e4m TV First Conference, Bharat Puri and Piyush Pandey, in a fireside session, share their views on the nuances of brand communication on television

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Apr 28, 2021 8:48 AM  | 5 min read
TV First

Pidilite Industries MD Bharat Puri and Ogilvy Worldwide Chief Creative Officer Piyush Pandey go back a long way. The two have teamed up multiple times to create memorable ad campaigns across multiple brands. Puri and Pandey took some time off on a busy Wednesday to participate in the e4m TV First event. In a fireside chat, they field questions from exchange4media Chairman & Editor-in-Chief Dr. Annurag Batra. The theme of the event is 'TV for Brands - Most Trusted, Most Effective'.

Pandey said that the time has come for people to create ads for digital and delight people on digital. "You have to make a brand impact through digital. Digital is here to stay but unlike other places TV is going to be here much much longer. Both will co-exist and there will be some people who will be watching both. Just ensure that you do not fall short just because the device in his hand is a little bit smaller," he said.

Puri stated that the essence of good communication will never change. All good communication rewards the viewer or the reader as the case may be for their time. He also commented that many of the ads that are aired during the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) lack quality. "It is wonderful to see that the IPL is on but it is sad to see the quality of a lot of advertising on IPL. It seems to be made hurriedly. You remember Dhoni and Ranveer Singh but I don't remember many of the ads," he said.

The Pidilite Industries chief also said that digital is a reality and must be embraced by organisations. The last 12 months have given digital a five-year leap in one year. "As a marketer, my main aim is to communicate and change the behaviour of consumers wherever the consumer may be. I don't believe that the attention span or ability to entertain is going to change. We must reward consumers for their time," he asserted.

Both Pandey and Puri said that the biggest challenge thrown by the pandemic is the lack of physical meetings with employees and other stakeholders. "There are testing times as I have not been with my people. In a communications company, physical interaction with people is very critical. But I think we managed quite nicely. I am not a Zoom guy but now I have gotten used to it. We have shot a lot of stuff in ways we had not used earlier. Where there is a will there is a way. We have lived up to the challenge," he noted.

Puri said that the pandemic like any other adversity comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities. "There are gifts of Covid and pains of Covid. Both personally and professionally we had both. The biggest pain of Covid is the lack of social capital. For me and Pidilite, the two keywords are Adaptability and Resilience," he added.

On the evolution of communication, Pandey said that communication has not changed and it will never change. It will always be about engaging with people and building relationships with consumers. He also said that any communication guy has to take circumstances into account. He cited a Cadbury ad to bring home the point. "There was a Cadbury ad which was created under the circumstances where smaller businesses were feeling the pressure more than the larger ones. The brand actually used shops that were not selling Cadbury and promoted them through the ad," he stated.

Queried if the budgets for shooting creatives have gone down, Pandey noted that the budgets depend on script and script will depend on the process of execution.

He also said that his relationship with Bharat Puri has grown over the years. "We have become friends very quickly and the relationship can be defined as a bond. Nothing has changed at heart," Pandey said. On his part, Puri revealed that his friendship with Pandey began with his stint at Asian Paints. As a young copywriter, Pandey had come up with the tag line 'Har Khushi Mein Rang Laye Asian Paints' which lasted for about 15 years. "That's how we got together and I told the agency that he will be my creative partner," he said.

Pandey said that the biggest factor in a relationship is trust and it also played a key role in cementing their partnership. "Mera Wala Blue was a print ad and half a page on Times of India which was not cheap and I told Bharat what the idea is and Bharat saw the ad in the newspaper the next morning. He had not seen the ad and I had only told him on the phone. That's trust. We have to trust each other and we have to put our necks on the line only then magic happens. That is how some of the good work across brands happened over the years when we were working together. When you place trust in a person you believe in that person will work 10 times harder," he elucidated.

Puri added that the right inspirational brand/positioning and a tight creative brief is fine but finally all advertising is created by a team that has a common purpose and a common passion. "Two out of ten times you will also get it wrong. We have to hold hands take it on chin and move on. The 8 out of 10 times that you get it right it more than makes up for the two failures."

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