I quite often have a chat with my Creative Director where we talk about creativity, day-to-day practices, life in other agencies along with the regular gupshup. He recently shared an incident with me that astonished me beyond belief. Here’s some background before we go forward:
We are the only advertising agency for a reasonably large innerwear company. We handle their ATL (above-the-line) & BTL (below-the-line) work, just not digital. I wish we did that too, the crass those buggers share on their page is painfully crappy (they, being their sub-standard digital agency). I’m pretty sure even the brand managers don’t pay much heed to the social media work. Perhaps they still don’t know the power of the tweeted word.
So, his acquaintance from a leading agency, who handles a competitive innerwear brand (I won’t tell which one, it can leave me in a toing) keeps traveling for brand shoots. Bangkok, Goa and some other outdoor have become their hub for innerwear shoots. In fact, they had recently gone for a packaging shoot in Goa. Yes, GOA. FOR A PACKAGING SHOOT! For those who don’t understand my frustration that I tried expressing by using the CAPSLOCK button… I’ll tell you how this works. When you buy, say an underwear, it comes in a box. There is a picture of the model in the underwear on the box. That’s the product shot on the packaging. Glossy underwear model on a plain background. A background that can be anywhere between the vast expanses of Mira Road, or the proverbial Lala-land, yet no soul from the consumer universe will ever know the difference. That’s your packaging shot, yes sir. So that agency managed to go to Goa for a product shoot. I just wonder how they got the client to approve that. I on the other hand have to give a 15-minute nervous explanation on how I had the audacity to suggest a tagline for a men’s innerwear brand. A brand that’s yet to decide on a USP mind you, after more than 40 years in the market. And I’m the one who’s questioned. SIGH. It’s just that frustrating at times! But then you think of the silver lining. For me it’s that I get to define the existence of a brand, while many others just have to abide to the guidelines created by their predecessors from ‘big agencies’. Maybe they keep planning such shoots to overcompensate their lack of control over the creative aspect. HA. who’s the loser now? Talk about making the best of a situation. It just helps me convince myself to hang around and toil harder, you know, keep myself motivated in the times of peril, a word that here means ‘marketing manager questioning my existence in the organisation’. But hey, it’s the thrill of the profession that makes it fun, right? So the next time you feel that the grass is greener on the other side, do think…
The grass on the other side just might be a plastic imitation, while your slightly less green crop is the real deal.