Make this a Happy Diwali for everyone

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The last few weeks have been such a delight to see the bunch of Diwali Ads of TV. No, I am not talking about the happy families sharing gifts, the oh-so-good husband giving jewellery to his wife or the kids getting a larger TV for their room.

This Diwali there seems to be a consensus, at least in the minds of the planners, creative teams and the brand managers. Let’s make this Diwali not about consumption but about sharing.

The true joy of Diwali is probably not just about gifting yourself the new iPhone 7, its about getting a new set of clothes for your house help’s kids.

If God has given you the opportunity and ability to share some joy, do your bit. Trust me its a blissful experience and you shall have a HAPPIER DIWALI.

Some of the ads are wonderful messages. They are heart touching and I am glad to have received the opportunity to do my bit for those around me.

I do hope you all too will make this a HAPPY DIWALI not just for yourself but for someone else too.

Client Servicing – Learn these skills and do better

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Client Servicing. Often a thankless job. At times the road with a dead-end. The cause of burn-out and makes many jump from the agency to the client side.

Like many others I started my advertising career as a client servicing executive. I think its one of the most exciting jobs where you get to know the business of so many different products & services. Its truly a learning experience and I am glad that I made the switch many years back.

After spending close to 6 years in the role, I look back and see what I have learned on the job. Activities which I should have done more. Roles I should have taken on more seriously.

I share my thoughts to make client servicing a role more powerful than just ensuring that the meeting room is ready and facilitated with tea/coffee for those big client meetings.

Know Your Brand and Beyond 

Often when we work for a brand’s communication needs we get too focused on our JOB LIST. The idea is to go beyond. If your agency handles only the ATL work find out what the brand is doing as part of their BTL, digital and more. If possible buy/use your client’s products. Experience them first hand.

Keep an Eye on Competition 

Do you know what your client’s competition is doing? What’s their best selling product? Is their customer support any match to your client’s? Keep yourself updated. Be aware and alert your client when you spot something of interest. Will earn you brownie points.

Understand the Industry 

As a client servicing person your responsible for the client’s business both in helping them sell their products and also help the agency in billing more work from the client. And this cannot be accomplished if you are not aware of the category in which your client operates. What are the factors which are impacting sales? Are their new customer segments which your client should be tapping into?

Make Love Not War

Creatives & Client Servicing is a combination always setting off fires. But you can make a difference. Spend time, make friends, make partners. Understand their job process. Facilitate them with information which can spark off a better idea. Don’t PUT IN a brief. Work WITH THEM.

Be a Catalyst 

GIGO – Garbage In Garbage Out. Don’t brief your team what was briefed to you by the client. Add your value, sketch your idea – let the creatives laugh. But if you can think of something silly, they gotta do better. Set expectations for yourself and in a way for the creative teams.

Network 

This applies both externally and internally. Meet people at the client office beyond just the marketing team. Have you interacted with the sales team – the people on the ground? What do they think about the brand? What are the challenges? Have you ever visited your client’s factory? Do you know how the product is manufactured? Meet people, know their work, improve your knowledge. Do field trips. See how your client displays their products, how does their store look and feel.

Client servicing does not mean only briefing the internal teams. Meet your colleagues in media. Ask them what all that GRPs and TRPs mean? What goes into making an effective media plan? Planners – the thinkers! Join them on research trips. Observe their insight picking skills.

Get Aggressive

The role of a client servicing is demanding. Agency heads want more billing. Creative teams want more time, quick approvals and minimal changes. Clients want the work yesterday. And your job is to get the work done and ship it out. Which calls for super powers and smart thinking. Get aggressive. Be demanding. Ask clients for information. Set down expectations without which work maybe hampered. Give creative teams a reality check. You are here to produce marketing communication to sell products NOT art.

Be humane. Be a consumer. 

Finally, think of a marketing idea which you will buy into. Does your work excite you? Does it trigger you enough to go out buy the product? Remember what David Ogilvy said – The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife.

I really can’t comment on the industry trends but from what is there to be seen; the role of client servicing is minimizing and some new agency models don’t even have those job profiles as part of their team structures. But while you are on the job, I say pick up the skills, learn a lot and make the most of the opportunities coming your way.

Picks from Cannes Lions 2010

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The Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival 2010 is currently underway in the scenic Cannes, France. Earlier in the week the awards for Press & Outdoor were announced. If you’re interested in seeing the award winning work, see AdsoftheWorld archives.

But what I am going to share is some of the work which caught my attention and is surely worth seeing. [Click on image to view full-sized images]

CafiAspirina
A copywriter’s delight.

Hot Wheels
Can’t resist it but this is one of those “I wish I had done it” sorts.

Nissan Auto Insurance
Smart. That’s all I’ll say.

Bangalore Traffic Police
Mudra’s silver win at the Cannes

Super non-stick pans
Have always enjoyed ambient stuff done so well.

Film winners will be announced this weekend, so will share my picks later next week.

Can India be a cashless society?

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Saw this ad a while back. And although the creative team has taken the license to exaggerate the product benefit I am not sure if it really fits into our country yet so perfectly.

Visa Debit Card from Campaign India on Vimeo.

Can we hope that India will become a cash-less society? A major technology boost is needed before we can proudly flash our cards for every purchase. But hey we are getting there. What do you think?

New players in the airline war

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When I first read about the War of Words happening between the airlines, I thought the Go Air hoarding was a pure photoshop job. But then it seems agencyfaqs proved it was there on the spot, although I didn’t get a chance to check it myself.

Adding fun to the war I got this forward in the morning where there was some more extension to the hoardings. And these I am sure are NOT for real. But enjoy them anyways.

You last saw this

war of words

Then came the Laloo blow

indian railways

And how could the BEST stay behind

BEST

Update on Goafest

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The latest on Goafest 2007 is that we might be not going. It seems the organisers AAAI are having difficulty putting in all the over-subscribed 800 under-30 seats.

Of course the senior management is wrestling it out with AAAI, so let’s wait and watch.

Final update: I will NOT be attending Goafest, instead I will be spending my Sunday with the Mumbai Photo Marathon. Join us!