‘विज्ञापन व्यवसाय कला के इंद्रधनुषी रंगों से सजा विज्ञान है’

अपने पचास वर्षों के अनुभव के आधार पर विश्वास से कह सकता हूँ कि भारत में या फिर शायद सारे संसार में विज्ञापन व्यवसाय से जुड़े लोगों की एक जटिल समस्या है और वो है, इस दुनिया में हर व्यक्ति के दो व्यवसाय होना।

जी हाँ, हर व्यक्ति के दो व्यवसाय होते हैं, एक वो, जिससे वो व्यक्ति जुड़ा है, और दूसरा होता है विज्ञापन व्यवसाय। हर व्यक्ति समझता है कि वो विज्ञापन बना सकता है। उसका मानना है कि विज्ञापन आख़िर होता क्या है — सिवाए एक तस्वीर और एक नारे के। तस्वीर खोज लो। एक अच्छा, बुरा या ऊट पटाँग नारा लिख लो, बस, विज्ञापन तैयार है। तभी तो वो विज्ञापन अभियान जिसे विज्ञापन अजेंसियाँ महीनों की मेहनत के बाद तैयार करती हैं, उन्हें उत्पादक स्वयं या उनकी पत्नियाँ या फिर उनके कर्मचारी मिनटों में तहस नहस कर देते हैं।

जो लोग विज्ञापन व्यवसाय से जुड़े हैं और सही मायनों में व्यवसायिक हैं, जानते हैं कि एक नारा और एक तस्वीर तय करने में कितनी छान-बीन करनी पड़ती है। जिस उत्पादन का विज्ञापन करना होता है, उसके बारे में लगभग सब कुछ जानना और समझना पड़ता है। क्यूँकि विज्ञापन व्यवसाय कला भी है और विज्ञान भी, ये कहना भी ग़लत नहीं होगा कि विज्ञापन व्यवसाय कला के इंद्रधनुषी रंगों से सजा विज्ञान है, जहां तर्क भी खोजने पड़ते हैं और उन्हें कला के रंगों से सजाना संवारना भी पड़ता है। 

हर अच्छा विज्ञापन उपभोक्ता तक पहुँचने से पहले विज्ञापन एजेन्सी में तीन मुख्य चरणों से गुजरता है। पहले चरण में इस बात का फ़ैसला किया जाता है कि क्या कहना है जबकि दूसरे और तीसरे चरण में ये तय किया जाता है कि कैसे कहना है और कहाँ कहना है।

पहले चरण में, यानी क्या कहना है, में जिस उत्पाद का विज्ञापन करना है उसके गुणों और कमज़ोरियों का उसी समान या उसके प्रतिस्पर्धी की तुलना में अध्ययन किया जाता है और ये मालूम करने की कोशिश की जाती है कि वे कौन से गुण हैं जिनका उल्लेख प्रतिस्पर्धी ब्रांड अपने विज्ञापनों में नहीं कर रहे हैं।

उत्पादक के तौर पर, लिम्का से पहले और अब फिर शीतल पेयों के विज्ञापनों में रंगारंग तस्वीरें का बड़े पैमाने पर इस्तेमाल होता है। जब हम लिम्का पर काम करते थे तब हम जान बूझ कर तस्वीरों की जगह इलसटरे्शन का इस्तेमाल किया। उस समय, प्रिंट, सबसे बड़ा माध्यम हुआ करता था। इसके इलावा सारे शीतल पेय रंग जामने की बात किया करते थे। उस समय लिम्का सारे अभियान का आधार प्यास था. हमारा मानना था कि शीतल पेयों का पहला काम होता है, प्यास बुझाना और ज़्यादातर उपभोक्ता प्यास बुझाने के लिए ही पेय ख़रीदते हैं। 

इसी को आधार बना कर, विज्ञापन अभियान बना गया था। 

इस चरण में क्या कहना है का फ़ैसला होता है। 

कैसे कहना है और कहाँ कहना है, दोनों चरण पर साथ-साथ काम होता है क्यूँकि इस बात का फ़ैसला कर लेने के बाद किस प्रकार के उपभोक्ताओं से बात करनी है, ये फ़ैसला करना होता है कि उनसे कहाँ बात करनी है? टी वी पर, रेडीओ पर, डिजिटल मीडिया में या प्रिंट मीडिया द्वारा? 

मान लीजिए कि हम आफ्टर शेव लोशन पर काम कर रहे हैं और सर्वेक्षण द्वारा मालूम होता है कि क़स्बों में रहने वाले रईस किसानों में आफ्टर शेव लोशन ख़रीदने की सम्भावना अधिक है। उस स्तिथि में पत्र-पत्रिकाओं की जगह टी वी और डिजिटल मीडिया बेहतर विकल्प होंगे। 

इस बात का फ़ैसला हो जाने पर उन माध्यमों के लिए उपयुक्त विज्ञापन अभियान तैयार करने की प्रक्रिया शुरू हो जाती है। 

मिसाल के तौर पर आयोडेक्स द्वारा ये तय कर लेने के बाद कि उपभोक्ताओं से कहना है कि आयोडेक्स दर्द भी दूर करता है और अच्छा भी करता है। तीन शब्दों ‘ऊह, आ, आउच’ का चयन किया गया होगा । यही उनके विज्ञापन अभियान के चिन्ह बन गए।

The Audio Medium

https://www.freepressjournal.in/weekend/from-clubhouse-to-twitter-spaces-audio-platforms-are-offering-a-break-from-video-overdose-amid-the-pandemic

Nostalgia reloaded | My thoughts on Clubhouse in The Free Press Journal

The audio medium has always been music to former adman and Urdu connoisseur Jameel Gulrays’ ears. Having worked extensively in the field of aural communication during his advertising days, he is a firm believer in reading through one’s ears. 

“A voice playing on any device serves as the perfect background to many activities. A listener can interpret a voice visually, just the way they want,” he says, talking about how his six-year-old read-aloud stories’ project Katha Kathan has found a new home on Clubhouse. But unlike the Youtube and SoundCloud uploads, he finds storytelling sessions on Clubhouse more interactive and engaging. 

“Everything in writing begins with language. Language begins with listening. We give these storytelling sessions a feel of the radio play. I also get to speak to the audience, clear their doubts, discuss the story and get their feedback in real-time,” he says.

Gulrays and his Team Kathan perform dramatised readings of the lesser-known stories of Premchand on Saturdays at 10 pm as part of Jashn-e-Premchand and those of Saadat Hasan Manto on Sundays at 10 pm for The Other Side of Manto.  Gulrays’ storytelling sessions on Clubhouse has listeners across the world joining in.

The Other Side of Manto and Jashn-e-Premchand evoke nostalgia, reminding me of the good old days of the popular radio show Hawa Mahal.

An avid attendee from London, who grew up listening to the show on radio during her early years in Bhopal.

There’s a huge uptick in the user base of these platforms because as Gulrays says, “After all, you can truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.”  

विज्ञापन क्या है

विज्ञापन एक प्रकार का अनलिखा अनुबंध होता है — उत्पादक और उपभोक्ता के बीच । जहां उत्पादक यह वादा करता है कि वो अपने उत्पादन की क्वालिटी बढ़िया बनाए रखेगा और उसके उत्पादन में किसी प्रकार का दोष होने पर उपभोक्ता उसे, उसके पते पर धर सकता है। वहीं उपभोक्ता का कहना होता है कि चलिए हम आपके दावे पर भरोसा किए लेते हैं और आपका उत्पाद ख़रीद कर देखते हैं।

यही कारण है कि आम तौर पर उपभोक्ताओं में विज्ञापित उत्पादनों के प्रति अधिक विश्वास दिखाई देता है। आप खुद कभी ना कभी ऐसे अनुभव से ज़रूर गुज़रे होंगे। मान लीजिए आप टेलिविज़न सेट ख़रीदने जाते हैं। आपको चंद नाम याद आते हैं — सैमसंग, एल जी, सोनी, आदि, लेकिन दुकानदार आपको एक ऐसा सेट दिखाता है, जिसका आपने कभी नाम भी नहीं सुना है। माना उसके दाम आपको याद आने वाले नामों की तुलना में काफ़ी कम हैं, लेकिन आप हिचकिचाते हैं और अंत में निर्णय करते हैं — “नहीं भैया, भले कुछ अधिक दाम देने पड़ें, हम लेंगे वही सेट, जिसे हम जानते हैं”।

एक और मिसाल ले लीजिए, आप अपने लिए जींस ख़रीदना चाहते हैं और आपको एक ऐसी जींस नज़र आती है, जिसका नाम ना तो लीवाएज़ है और ना ही रैंगलर, ना ही डीज़ल है। बल्कि उस का नाम है “टिनपॉट”। हो सकता है उसकी क़ीमत कम हो, यहाँ भी आप झिझकेंगे। उसे नहीं ख़रीदेंगे।

विज्ञापन व्यवसाय में इन अनुबंधनों के मसौदे तैयार करने वाले कापीरायटर कहलाते हैं। यह वे लोग होते हैं जो उत्पादनों में छुपे गुणों को खोज निकालते हैं । इन्हें मसौदा तैयार करने से पहले कई बातों का ध्यान रखना होता है। सबसे पहले वे उन गुणों की खोज करते हैं जो केवल उनके उत्पादन में हों। जैसे लिरिल साबुन में नींबू की सनसनाती ताज़गी का एहसास। जब लिरिल का विज्ञापन अभियान शुरू हुआ था, तब लिरिल नींबू की ताज़गी वाला इकलौता साबुन था। अगर ऐसी स्थिति पैदा हो जाए, जहां अपनेउत्पादन और प्रतिस्पर्धी उत्पादनों में कोई फ़र्क़ ना हो, वहाँ ऐसा गुण खोजने की चेष्टा की जाती है, जो प्रतिस्पर्धी उत्पादन में भी शामिल हो, लेकिन प्रतिस्पर्धी ने उसका दावा अपने विज्ञापन में कभी ना किया हो।


इसका सबसे अच्छा उदारहण लिम्का है । जब हम लिम्का पर काम कर रहे थे, तब यही सोच रहे थे कि लिम्का के बारे में क्या कहा जाए जो दूसरे सॉफ़्ट ड्रिंक्स से अलग हो । सारे प्रतिस्पर्धी उत्पादों का अधय्यन करते हुए, हमने पाया कि जब पानी में कार्बन डाईआक्सायड मिलाई जाती है तब कोई बैकटेरिया जीवित नहीं रहता । पानी, पीने के लिए पूर्ण रूप से सुरक्षित हो जाता है । उसी अधय्यन में हमने ये भी पाया कि कोई सॉफ़्ट ड्रिंक उत्पाद ये दावा नहीं करता है । हमने, लिम्का के लिए “ज़ीरो बैकटेरिया सॉफ़्ट ड्रिंक” का दावा इस्तेमाल करना शुरू किया। ये दावा इतना कामयाब हुआ कि सन 1988 में, भारत अकेला वो देश बना जहां, कोला ड्रिंक की जगह, नींबू स्वाद वाल सॉफ़्ट ड्रिंक, नंबर एक सॉफ़्ट ड्रिंक था ।

अर्थात्, लिम्का के उस दावे को स्वीकार करते हुए, उपभोक्ताओं ने लिम्का को अपनाया। लिम्का, आज भी लोकप्रिय सॉफ़्ट ड्रिंक है, हालाँकि कोका-कोला ने इसे समाप्त करने के लिए अपना ज़ोर लगा कर देख लिया है । वैसे वो एक और लोकप्रिय सॉफ़्ट ड्रिंक, गोल्ड स्पॉट, को मौत के घाट उतारने में सफल हो चुके हैं।

ये अनुबंध टूटते भी जल्दी हैं । इनके टूटने के कई कारण होते हैं। सबसे पहला कारण होता है, अनुबंध में किए गए वादे पर पूरा ना उतरना। अक्सर लोग विज्ञापन बनाते समय यथार्थ की सीमाएँ फलांग जाते हैं और ऐसे दावे कर बैठते हैं, जिनका कसौटी पर खरा उतरना सम्भव नहीं होता है।

मुझे बड़ा आश्चर्य तब होता है जब राजनीतिक पार्टियाँ अपने अनुबंधों में किए गए वादों से बार-बार पलट जाती हैं लेकिन जनता का मोह फिर भी उनसे भंग नहीं होता है। कोई अगर राजनीतिक दलों का यह जादुई फ़ार्मूला हमें बता दे तो हम उस फ़ार्मूले को अन्य उत्पादों पर लागू कर हर विज्ञापन अभियान को सफल बना सकेंगे। 

World Chocolate Day

Amul Chocolate was one among the many brands that I nurtured during my 18-year stint at Radeus Advertising Pvt Ltd, Mumbai.

“A gift for someone you love.” These words are etched in our memories, yours and mine, and for obvious reasons. A mere mention of this slogan leaves a sweet taste in the mouth. It serves as a reminder of how Amul Chocolate’s six flavours – milk chocolate, crisp, orange, fruit and nut, bitter and coffee – transformed a bar of humble chocolate, till then considered a luxury product meant for the elite class, into a household name, loved by one and sundry. Today, on World Chocolate Day, I can’t help but remember my sweet association with the brand. Undoubtedly, it remains the most loved advertisement for Amul Chocolate from the 80s and 90s when the market space was dominated by two other giants, Nestle and Cadbury. 

The story of how we arrived at this slogan is interesting. My boss, K. Kurian, founder and chairman of Radeus Advertising, asked us to find out why a person buys a bar of chocolate before we started work on the campaign.

He told us that if we didn’t have enough money for a formal research, we must do “Janta Research”, but we couldn’t do without research. Accordingly, we got to our business with a sample size of 40. It included all the employees working for Radeus, who responded to this question. The answers were not surprising. The responses from 40 odd people conveyed the larger thought of 90% Indians of how a chocolate bar was something that people only bought to offer to others, as a gift, reward or a token of love or remembrance, but never for themselves. And that’s how we coined, A gift for someone you love or प्यार की मीठी भेंट. 

The slogan was more than just a corporate positioning or an advertising jargon. It conveyed a noble sentiment. It was all about the love between a father-child, mother-child, husband-wife, friends, lovers, etc., that made them buy chocolate as a gift. 

The slogan for Amul Chocolate — A gift for someone you love or प्यार की मीठी भेंट — cast a spell on the public and made them choose Amul above others because love was the defining thought; a gift of love bought with love for someone you love and to spread love.   

अमूल चॉकलेट। प्यार की मीठी भेंट
Amul Chocolate | A gift for someone you love

Public relations advertising

Public relations advertising as a single phrase seems almost a contradiction, certainly a paradox. Not too many years ago, and even today, public relations activities are widely separated from advertising. The debate about whether to build an image or to sell a product through advertising persists.
Building image generally is termed institutional advertising; rarely, public relations advertising.
If one goes the public relations advertising route, perhaps the precept to put high on the list is that it is a mistake to look upon paid time and space as paid editorial material.
It is far better to seize upon a cause, launch a genuine public service.
Public relations advertising is not designed to incite the public to rush out to trade with you.
Companies could take certain topics and pursue them through advertising for the betterment of the public at large.
In the recent past, the campaign to create awareness for Rotavirus is a good example in my opinion.
I would like to see companies promoting:
* youth fitness
* youth opportunity
* help prevent crime
* equal employment opportunity
* aid for higher education
* our Indian heritage
The list is just off the cuff.

Hitting the super six in media planning

The business of advertising is all about (a) What to say (b) How to say and (c) Most ignored, yet most importantly WHERE to say. While the what to say (strategic planning) has its share of brainstorming and nit picking and how to say (creative execution) its grand platform of glory, the where to say is often relegated to a mundane activity of droning off figures and figures at the end of presentations. All because, sadly no one ever thinks it is important to involve the media person at the strategic planning stage or the creative planning stage while working on a campaign. Often there is just a cursory representation of media in these meetings, in the form of a silent spectator who, if and when decides to speak up, will do so in terms of banal statistics and numbers and jargon that often puts the ‘creative’ heads to sleep.

The Media-Creative marriage

Advertising is communication. Effective communication is a lot about presentation of the message. One of the media planner’s most important jobs is to choose the best vehicle for the exposure of this message. Entire budgets may end up going down the drain if the valuable crores of rupees are not allocated appropriately to reach out the message to the potential consumer.

What one needs to make a brilliant campaign is to establish close communication between the media planner and the copy group right from the early stages of plans development. This will help in one, the copy group understanding the exposure opportunities and limitations early on in the planning stage and two, in the media planner understanding the intended creative approach to guide in the selection of media.

Today’s media scene

The dynamic nature of today’s media could be because of the umpteen number of entertainment and infotainment options that are today available to the consumers. Gone are the days of one doordarshan,, few leading publications, and even fewer options of entertainment and outings. The arrival of the various satellite channels and publications and the ever growing breed of more of such makes a planners job quite tricky and skilful. Paradoxically, today’s media fact is that though T.V. viewing has shot up (in terms of no. of hours), reading habits have not gone down. The high audience fragmentation; the ‘freebies’ survival tactics offered by many channels and publications who are giving ‘free’ spots and space to win more advertising revenue from clients etc. are only some of the snakes in the otherwise Eden of the media planners life.

No wonder, given this scenario, agencies often fall into the trap of getting caught in the ‘presented facts’ rather than delving deep within to look at and evaluate the core. For most agencies, making deals and bargains is the order of the day and the measure of their ‘media’ success. It would indeed be a rare pleasure if one came across the concept of reach and frequency from a young, maverick, planner today. The cost-benefit ratio has gone for a toss, often ending up in the agencies spreading themselves thin. It’s easier for today’s media person to be a part of a herd mentality (‘I must be on T.V. because everyone else is on T.V.) than to turn the clock in their favour with great plans and ideas.

Large Indian advertisers have gone one step ahead. They have started negotiating with most channels and publications themselves with the result huge amounts are being spent but these are hardly getting media visibility. There has been a steep rise in non-productive advertising expenses with media buying altering priorities to get better deals, rather than fine tuning planning, as is the conventional method.

The Science of Media Planning

So, what is scientific media planning? What could bring back a ‘planner to life’? What would resurrect the art of media planning in the face of stiff competition from media negotiating? A simple 6-Step process could help the young turks of advertising media give more brain meat to their media plans. This 6-Step process could help in making the intended campaign reach more incisively, drawing blood from deep or more sportingly you will hit a six with this super six step process.

Step 1: The situation analysis

As is the accepted ‘given’ in most agencies, a media person works on a ‘brief’ that he is given by the client servicing person, or if lucky, straight from the client, by being a part of the client meeting. A smart planner would exercise his grey cells further and clearly understand the marketing problem, delve into the company and its competitors, understand the dynamics of size and share of market, study the sales history, distribution practices (yes, it helps to know how the brand you are working on reaches its end user), method of selling, before finally coming to the identification of the prospect. Too much is never really too much, when it comes to gathering brand information, as the more we know the more innovative we can get in generating cut-throat media plans.

Step 2: Getting to the market strategy

Advertising is the means to achieve marketing objectives. Most of the ad people forget this and look at advertising as a creative field for fulfilment of creative urges. Very few of us realise the responsibility that rests on our shoulders in this profession. Good media planners however, do realise the value of the millions of rupees entrusted to them by their clients and judiciously spend each rupee to get the maximum mileage off it. Your media plan, as a good planner, must stick to this essence and revolve around activities that solve one or more marketing problem/s. To do this you must put the marketing objective in focus before you arrive at any media decisions. Based on these objectives you need to arrive at a ‘Spending Strategy’ which you would apply after the identification of the best market segment.

Step 3: Setting media objectives

Now that you have your spend strategy in line with the marketing objectives, the next big step is to translate these marketing objectives and spend strategies into goals that media can accomplish. To do this it is important to state the media objective in as clear a term as possible. For example if we are trying to sell a premium perfume that costs around Rs. 3,500/- for a 100 ml bottle, the media objective could probably be “To reach 80% women in the age group 25-44, in SEC A+ and A, living in major metro towns (specify the towns), ensuring that they are exposed to the message at least 4 times a week (average frequency). Compare this to a vague objective like “To reach all women in SEC A & A+”, wherein you could lose your focus as it does not offer you any direction to strategize.

Step 4: Determining the media strategy

Having got the objectives set now comes the time to translate media goals into general guidelines that will control the planners selection and use of media. Analyse all possible data available and arrive at the best possible media class that can deliver your message to the maximum of the audience set as the target in our objective. Should this media class be Television, Dailies, Radio, Internet, Outdoor, Magazines or do we need to innovate (innovation always helps if it is well thought out and relevant). If any particular medium is unable to reach out to all 80%, then we look at alternative media classes that will fill in the gap. Simply put, this means you need to choose broad media classes and determine the primary medium of message delivery and the secondary medium for message delivery to achieve the marketing objectives. Work out various strategies that can achieve our objectives, with the central point being simple audience delivery! Having done this, zoom in and select the best strategy alternative that will lead you to your next step.

Step 5: Selection of media vehicles

Having carefully picked and chosen the broad media classes, now you need to freeze on the exact vehicles that will deliver to the media objectives. It is best to know what you expect each of medium and the chosen vehicles to deliver. Herein you will address issues like who is each of these addressing from the targeted audience, what is the intended goal behind using this particular vehicle, etc.

After arriving at a probable shortlist, compare and select the best media within the broad classes- If magazine-which one? If television – which channel/s? If newspaper-which one? If radio- which channel/s? Analyse these options and allocate approximate spends to each of these.

Step 6: Media use decisions

Having chosen the channels/ newspapers/ radio channels/ websites etc., now answer crucial questions like what is the level of reach and frequency you think is needed to reach out to the target audience? Are there any specific days/months more important to help in achieving the marketing objectives? What is the optimum number of insertions/ spots required per week /month to fulfill the average frequency set in the media objective? Will having any preferred positions/ placements within the media help deliver a message better? The more specific our questions and answers are the more bang-on our plan will be!

These Super Sixes leave hardly any chance of erroneous planning you can encounter. The more you use these steps to plan, the more astute and precise you will get at the job of planning. With time you will realize that getting the best deal in media is not always about the best price at which you have bought media but is about how best you have got your target audience bought into your media selection so they buy enough of the brand you have been made a custodian of. So happy planning!

Jameel Gulrays

‘Brevity is the soul of wit’

I am borrowing this quote – ‘Brevity is the soul of wit’ – from English litterateur William Shakespeare to start my conversation on how to write advertising copies. These words were spoken by Polonius in Hamlet and written many centuries ago by the Bard, but these also happen to make up an enduring idiom, to sum up, a copywriter’s job. Apart from having a good command of the language, one needs to be smart in positioning the words. A dash of creativity with imagination in good measure makes an advertising copy stand out. And one must remember to follow the KISS (Keep It Simple & Smart) policy because being brief is the essence. One needs great ideas on which a product can piggyback and sell like hot cakes. Most of you would remember the famous, Tandurasti ki raksha karta hai LifebuoyIt was penned way back in 1964, but it is still in use today. The brand has been riding high on this one line alone for so many decades, and that’s the true power of words. In an advertising copy, imagination helps create an everlasting impression and etch the brand in public memory forever. 

Back Story

The Advertising Agencies Association of India or the 3As of I or AAAI was the national organisation of major advertising agencies formed to promote and protect their interests. The agencies that are members of AAAI together account for almost 80% of the advertising business. In 1984, advertising legend RK Swamy was the president of AAAI. There was a shortage of good copywriters in the advertising business back then. So, he suggested the idea to have a professional body for the training and development of advertising professionals. A sub-committee was formed under AAAI. It was headed by another advertising legend, Larry Grant, and Govind Sajnani and I were its two members. We first started a copy workshop under the aegis of AAAI. We realised that advertising can’t be taught; it is all about hands-on training, so we knew what we wanted and how we wanted to conduct these workshops and for whom. We decided to have not more than eight trainees for the training session. We released an advertisement in The Times of India, Mumbai, seeking applications for our first workshop. In response, we received whopping 500 applications. Well, selecting the right eight wasn’t easy to start. 

Eliminate to select

Many applicants had self-eliminated themselves by the way they had worded their applications. Next came the copy test to check the language know-how and the imagination quotient of the remaining lot. The pattern remained the same for all tests, but we used to change the questions. The first batch had to answer two questions – to write about AIDS but without talking about the disease or the aid pouring in from other countries to fight it and a profile of their favourite personality in 500 words. A personal interview followed the writing test. Out of 500, we managed to shortlist 16 people, and we decided to run two batches simultaneously. 

Write choice

I was in charge of three sessions in each batch, and my onerous responsibility included teaching them to write advertising copies in Indian languages. It was easier said than done. I have an interesting anecdote to share to elucidate this fact. Once, we had to design a brand name for a soap whose perfume, it was told, would linger on the body for long. A young copywriter came to tell me she had cracked it. I asked her the name that she had in mind. She told me, “It is Hug.” I smiled and told her, “I hope you know what it would be like to write this name in Devnagari script?” The name didn’t cut the ice and for obvious reasons. She knew quickly retraced her steps back to her workstation and put on the thinking cap to come with something that sounded good and read even better, in both English and Hindi.

Workshop funda  

Each workshop was of 13 sessions and was held once a week. We used to give many assignments, both individual and group, to launch a product or service and create its brand campaigns. These assignments use to give us an idea about a person’s talent, whether a person had some or none. At the end of the 13th week, the participants had to present these assignments before an advertising legend and based on that assessment, they used to get either a gold certificate, plain certificate, or no certificate and just a letter certifying that this person has attended the workshop. The first copy assignment was to write a matrimonial ad in 24 words for oneself to be published in the classified column to elicit responses from only three right people. 

We expanded our ambit to start creative, media planning, print production, film production, radio production and account management workshops under the three-member sub-committee of AAAI. We ran these workshops for 10 years. 

Looking back, it gladdens my heart to see that most of our students are well placed today. They are either Chairperson, Managing Director, Executive Directors and Senior VPs in India and even abroad. Their success gives me immense pride and satisfaction, and in equal measure. 

Are you ready to take a copy test? It’s simple. Write a matrimonial advertisement for yourself in 24 words. Once you are done, please email your entries to gulrayys@gmail.com. The best copy stands a chance to win a surprise gift voucher.