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Ameen Sayani, Bharat Dabholkar go down memory lane

19-August-2005
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Ameen Sayani, Bharat Dabholkar go down memory lane

In an event organised by RAPA (Radio & TV Practitioners’ Association of India), legendary commercial broadcaster Ameen Sayani and theatre wizard Bharat Dabholkar shared their respective creative journeys, which were laced with passion, humour and information on radio, press and other media.

Sayani, the man with the voice most listeners of AIR and Radio Ceylon are familiar with, said, “I share a great relationship with RAPA and have grown with it. I believe creativity in essence is a sum total of an individual’s personality. The personality in turn is a reflection of circumstances, background, upbringing, opportunities got and opportunities availed of in life.”

Bharat Dabholkar took the audience through a series of slides with some showing the work he had done for Amul’s topical hoardings and which certainly evoked a sense of appreciation for good work. He gave a broad picture of what good advertising was all about.

He explained, “In advertising, what matters is not what you say, but what is going to work for the client. It is also important to be very clear whom are you talking to and what is the target audience.”

Sayani said that he had come a long way from originally being a broadcaster for English to presenting the highly popular Cibaca Geet Mala. He attributed his success to an encouraging environment at home, support from elder brother, teachings from school and various shlokas and patriotic songs that became a part of his life.

He modestly said, “Everything I did reflected national interests just like the Amul ads. I also introduced integrated commercials, wherein an indirect advertisement for the sponsors was done by relating it to what the customer could easily understand. There were also breakthroughs achieved through concepts like ‘Paaydan’ and ‘Sidhi’ introduced for the Geet Mala countdown.”

Dabholkar added that advertising in India had to face the challenge of doing work that would find acceptance across different segments, which were drastically different from one another. Through the clippings of Amul hoardings, he explained, “Amul can easily be termed the best client one can ever have. A large part of its success should be attributed to the freedom that Verghese Kurien offered.”

Dabholkar also explained how subtle but intelligent work could easily be accepted as well as appreciated by the consumer. Giving specific insights, he said, “A company either has to have a product advantage or a marketing advantage, which in today’s competitive world is difficult to obtain with almost the same technology being used by all players. Here’s where advertising comes into the picture – differentiating two similar products so clearly that one becomes the consumer’s favourite brand while the other is ignored.”

Sayani stressed on the need to have clarity in communications. Commenting on the dismal state of affairs, he said, “Many of today’s advertisements are such that the listener is unable to make out what the product is all about.”

Quite a few insights were brought about in the session and one could almost feel like truly traversing the creative journeys of the two stalwarts through the forum.

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