Sunday, January 11, 2009

Isn’t it time for Indian Advertising to stop its fixation on Mumbai?

For years, Mumbai or more correctly Bombay, has been the capital of Indian Advertising. Most agencies are still headquartered out of Mumbai. The biggies still sit there. And like a creative bigwig once said, you get the best of creative talent in Mumbai.

We all know why this Mumbai fixation has been there for so many years now. It’s the financial capital and naturally home to big businesses. There are studios, production houses and other advertising related talent that Mumbai has in plenty. And there’s Bollywood, which advertising borrows generously from and vice versa.

All this is fine. But I don’t believe you need to be living and working in Mumbai to do your best work. Ideas can come from anywhere. A creative team sitting in Kolkata or Chennai can come up with work that’s as path-breaking as something that comes out of the maximum city. And in this day of information technology, it is absolutely possible to sit anywhere and service a client. We have started doing it successfully at Orchard.

Some of the finest advertising one has seen in the last two decades has come from Wieden & Kennedy. They set up their office in Portland. Far removed from Madison Avenue. Haven’t they been successful? Ditto with Crispin. Starting off at Miami they have now moved to Boulder in Colorado. Ever thought of Colorado as advertising heaven? I can think of many more of such examples.

What’s more, with Indian Advertising heavy on regional flavor, the nuances can be captured perfectly by creative people from that particular region / state. This democratization, as I would like to call it, will also help local agencies and branch offices grow, without making other cities look like pathetic outposts. Local talent will prosper. And importantly, one can choose to live where he / she wants to, do the best work and create a fabulous work-life balance.

Posted by Murali.

No comments: