On advertising as a strategic management tool

Advertising is as much about business as any other function—be it finance, distribution or strategy.

D Shivakumar, Vice-president and managing director, Nokia India Pvt. Ltd (Photo by: Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint)

Advertising can help achieve business goals, but it can’t help sell a bad product.

On current trends in advertising

The overall quality of creativity has improved tremendously in the past five years.

Geniuses such as Piyush Pandey (Ogilvy and Mather), Prasoon Joshi (McCann Erickson) and Agnello Dias (JWT), among others, have raised the bar, and Indian creativity today is being recognized globally.

The rise of creative CEOs has brought in thought leadership in the way the business of advertising is run. This is certainly a positive change for the industry.

There are, however, trends that I find a trifle disturbing. For instance, the overuse of celebrities in ads. Celebrities have become a sort of bad habit for most advertisers. They think getting a celebrity is the sure shot way of breaking clutter and being noticed. This is not a healthy trend. Unless one has a strong saleable creative idea, no celebrity will be able to see you through. A lot of the celebrity advertising that I see on TV today is not creative or well thought through.

On Nokia’s advertising mantra

On diverse media platforms

I think television cuts across socio-economic, gender and all such diverse consumer groups. Television is a mass medium but, at the same time, it is quite effective, too. Besides, it is also a cheaper medium for building a brand at a mass level. If you can come up with a good advertising idea, you can strike an immediate connect with consumers riding television.

My favourite ads

I like the campaigns of Vodafone, Airtel, Paras and Fevicol.