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The journey from brand to religion

The journey from brand to religion
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First Published: Wed, Jun 20 2007. 12 29 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Jun 20 2007. 12 29 AM IST
It’s been three days into the festival, and the crowd is beginning to swell. It’s bumper to bumper Indian traffic. I even bumped into my sister here today (en route to a wedding).
Monday started off looking good for India. Across agencies, we had 58 entries in the shortlist—in categories such as Promo, Direct, Press, Outdoor, Media and Radio. Things were really looking up. It felt fantastic when we got the news that JWT picked up the first Promo Lion for its Nodding Bull idea for The Vegetarian Society. The other winners were Ogilvy and Everest. They won a bronze each.
It was party time after that. As we walked down (after receiving the award), there were lots of people trying to touch the Golden Lion. Some TV stations interviewed us, and we even got easy entries into uninvited parties. The night was long and we met many friends. McCann’s Prasoon Joshi was all smiles and praises for us, as was Contract’s Ravi Deshpande. We couldn’t have asked for a sweeter day!
But Tuesday was just the opposite. We’ve just got news that only two other shortlisted entries have made it to metal. Ambience and Leo Burnett have won a silver each for Radio. Indian agencies have won nothing in Outdoor or Media. Let’s see what Wednesay brings when they announce the winners for press. India has 20 entries in the shortlist.
There have been more than 15 seminars so far. There have been a couple of really interesting ones, but many have been boring affairs. Which is why I liked the honesty and simplicity of the speech by Sir Bobby Charlton.
He spoke about Manchester United, the brand. Actually, he never used the word, ‘brand’. To call Manchester United a brand would be blasphemy. It sounds more like a religion. That’s where brands go when they go beyond themselves.
Sir Bobby sounded like he had touched God. The stories he told us made me wish we had those stories for our brands. Maybe we do, but we haven’t bothered to find them. If we did, many of our brands would be as iconic as Manchester United.
Josy Paul, national creative director at JWT India, will write exclusively for Mint from Cannes this week.
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First Published: Wed, Jun 20 2007. 12 29 AM IST
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