‘Campaign life span is short now’

Advertising has lost creativity to short -term projects for short-term gains, says ad man Prasoon Joshi

joshiHow do you think the Indian advertising industry has changed over the last 25 years, both in terms of creative and non-creative aspects?
Like any other industry, advertising too has changed over the years. Back when I had joined, unlike today, there was a dearth of creative people who’d give presentable ideas. Creative team would not meet the clients. Now things have changed. Creative people are not a rarity and clients want creative team to be present during meetings. Nowadays, clients want to hear from the horse’s mouth. Earlier, planning and strategic departments were separate. Now, these have been merged. Creative people are now leading the agencies. Also, media is a different entity altogether. Culturally, advertising has become more demanding. Earlier, a campaign had a life span of three to five years. Now a fresh campaign is required every other month. The advent of social media has also changed the equation.
Do you think advertising has now become more focussed on the target consumer base? Or was it always the case?
Advertising has and will always be focussed on the target consumer base.
Many people think that while ads have become very chic and crisp, the industry is not producing iconic stuff anymore. Is there any meat to this or is this just simple nostalgia speaking?
Yes, to an extent, advertising has lost creativity to short-term projects for short-term gains. The creative people are under tremendous pressure.
Please mention a few landmark campaigns over the last 25 years and why these can be construed as such for the industry.
The Coca Cola – ‘Thanda Matlab Coca Cola’ campaign, created by me, was a success because it reached out to the grassroots. It did not use celebrities as celebrities but as actors.
The Cadbury Dairy Milk – ‘Asli Swaad Zindagi Ka’ campaign of the 90’s was a success because it catered to the child in everyone.
How do you think the Indian advertising industry can prosper further? What steps are required?
We got to keep evolving without straying from the context. We should be in sync with the changing times and demands of the same.