Is the “Star” factor blitzing our Adbiz too? Are big names intimidating clients, wowing kids, unnerving rivals and threatening to hijack the agenda that defines the basic tenets of good advertising? Or is all that addition of glamour, excitement and interest a general indication of everything being ok? 4Ps B&M reaches out to the fraternity... and gets an overdose of answers
Piyush Pandey, Prasoon Joshi and Balki, are commonly perceived as the “Khans of Adland”. Then come the rest. The troika are celebrated across all constituencies and generally tagged as Big Daddies of creativity and talent in adland. At major ad-fests around the world, they are invited to grace juries or chair segments. This surely adds to their lustre. Question is – Is this lionising by one and all fair, justified and worthy? Is media, which is constantly looking at upping the ante regarding the chosen few to push the excitement, novelty and the USP factor, trivialising a profession that is after all, a business, like any other? Also, in the process, are loads of genuine talent being ignored and overlooked because they are not media-savvy? Or is it that the ad-land stars are actually worthy leaders deserving of their large shadows, enveloping their empires?

Ad and theatre personality Bharat Dabolkar, first of the block, believes that the “Personality Cult” syndrome is a good thing and in fact has existed in Adland forever. Says he, “Earlier on, there was Alyque Padamsee, Gerson and Sylvie D’ Conha, Kamlesh Pandey, Kersi Katrak, Frank Simoes, Mohammed Khan… they were known and acknowledged stars.” True, since those days, the media blare & blitz was considerably low on wattage, their glow, mostly, touched only the ad-driven fraternity. Alyque of course, due to his theatre activity, was a popular multi-dimensional figure. Dabolkar roots for it because he believes it adds glamour, excitement and buzz to the profession, as he says, “Charismatic individuals lend color and capture popular imagination, which acts as a magnet for youngsters to join the profession… and I can’t find a fault with that at all”.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2010.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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