22 Nov 2019 14:55 IST

Do not force nobility on brands, says filmmaker R Balki at MICA

Filmmaker and veteran adman was speaking at the institute’s annual marketing festival MICANVAS

“Do not force the weight of having a noble cause on to brands — sometimes they just cannot take the weight and will fall flat in the desperation of corporates to be associated with doing something good,” said adman and film director R Balki, while addressing the students of MICA on November 22. “Consumers may not see the nobility — only the company sees it. Let brands do the work of brands,” he added.

Balki, who is known for movies such as like Cheeni Kum, Paa, Padman, and Mission Mangal, and some iconic advertising campaigns of his career, was speaking as part of ‘Mindspeak’, the inaugural guest session of MICA’s annual marketing festival MICANVAS. The three-day Inter B-school festival showcases all aspects of marketing and branding as part of a mix of challenging events, fun competitions and performances.

Reminiscing about his days of being a part of the foundation programme at Mudra Advertising Agency that led to formation of MICA (formerly known as Mudra Institute of Communications), he said, “I was a MICAn before MICA and my connection with MICA is very deep. I was possibly in the first ever batch to get trained in creative advertising conducted by Mudra. No one believed that advertising people could be trained. AG Krishnamurthy got the idea of building MICA and his vision founded MICA.”

Speaking about strategy, he said, “Strategy is said in action, not words. Strategy is not something about bombarding people with technology everywhere where the customer is, but cleverly executing the media strategy and not interfering their lives.”

Shedding light on one of his most successful ad campaigns ‘Daag Ache Hai’, he said, “It was a strategy that came about when someone with a very confident personality always praises his enemy. To celebrate its biggest competition ‘dirt’, the brand invited people with a tagline ‘Daag Acche Hai’ as the brand was confident of its abilities.” The campaign initially was conceived for the reassurance of the cleaning property ‘Surf Hai Na’ which then evolved to ‘Daag Ache hai’.

Balki went on to showcase the ongoing campaign of Amitabh Bachchan for Bikaji snack food and how he came up with the idea of the resonating tag line ‘Amitji love Bikaji’ seeing his actual love for bhujia snack.

He showed his personal favourite ad as one he had done for Tanishq jewellery that showed a woman’s remarriage.

He said the students should be aware of what is coming at them. “Content is intimidating. Do not let watching overpower your creativity. Be aware of what is coming at you,” Balki said.