Mr. Prahlad Kakkar, one of the doyens of Indian advertising, made a very interesting presentation to the students of Classes X, XI and XII of Isha Home School, on a very insightful theme, “What is 2+2”? He spoke about the awesome power of being able to think outside of conventional wisdom; 2+2 is not always 4.
He presented a series of path breaking advertisements, which not only increased sales of the products but also served as trendsetters in transforming societal values. He stressed on how the advertising paradigm shifted from just copying western ads to creating ads in Indian languages and using Indian idioms which have now made India a unique market. The visual effect was stunning, to say the least.
Mr. Kakkar specifically recalled some major changes in the field of Indian advertising and spoke of the era of the 1980s when a few talented young copy-writers and creative professionals from the Hindi speaking areas began to make a splash by designing ads that Indians could identify with and understand. He presented a particularly vibrant ad for Cadbury’s chocolate, which not only made the chocolate become an Indian household name, but also stoked aspirations in young women. This is considered as one of the classics of Indian advertising. He also recounted other anecdotes where ads written in English by the considered gurus paled into insignificance when compared with similar ads in the vernacular.
Mr. Kakkar ended his session with the mind-blowing national integration ad featuring the rendition of the National Anthem, by hearing-impaired and speaking-impaired children. This brought tears to many an eye. The students were enthralled and shouted out a famous slogan used in one of Mr. Kakkar’s famous Pepsi ads – “Yeh Dil Maange More!” –“This heart wants more”.