Imagination is more important than knowledge, said Albert Einstein the physicist who gave the world the theory of relativity.
Call them innovation, intellectual capital or intangible asset as financers call them. Ideas are of such paramount importance that we live and die by them. Some smart ones have helped countries tread the tail of success, while some other flop ones have even lead to the fall if civilization.
Every human endeavor starts with an idea and our ability or potential to realize our ideas makes us what we are. Innovation Drives Excellence in Action is how one ad-guru defines an Idea. He in fact goes on to say the wealth is measured by ideas, not money.
India has become the brain box of the world as the country has now taken to exporting intellectual property – it is most bounteous and highly-valued asset. In the global circuit, India is reigning supreme, for it has realized that good ideas, marketed well can be a major driving force of a developing economy like ours.
Ideation is so big and prime these days that like marketers and financers, we are consciously creating for innovators too at our workplace.
No idea can be foolproof. It is the implementation that distinguishes a bad idea from a good one. Sometimes apparently small ideas click big because if their well thought of execution. One ad legend fondly reminisces the time when the idea of using Charlie Chaplin as a mascot of Cherry Blossom shoe polish was slammed by all. The argument was that how could a comedy character be associated to a shoe polish. Later the ad became a phenomenal success and proved that it is all a game of implementation presentation and consumers.
Also, there are evolutionary ideas that simply take a concept from the past and improve upon it. Take for instance Fair and handsome – a fairness cream for men by Emami, developed on the lines of an already existing Fair and Lovely. The strategically positioned product with a leading Indian movie hero as its brand ambassador went on to become the fastest growing FMCG product of all time. If presented fresh and better, an old idea can also sometimes become a success story.
In times when advertisement and brand building have become the biggest corporate expenditure unique ideas are the sole way to stand and survive the competitive times. With brands scrambling for shelf life, innovative advertisement is the key to survival.
When asked to comment on comparative advertising that has almost become a norm these days, one leading ad man vehemently criticized it saying that an ad should be conceptualized to bring to surface the highlights of a product. Prime time should not be wasted in criticizing competitors.
With ads being compared on the scales of creativity agencies are vying to create innovative commercials to strike a chord with the consumer. However, with ads becoming fancier than ever the basic objective of advertising is not being met. The whole concept of advertisement has morphed into ‘advertainment’ and consequently even the consumers successfully register ads but fail to relate and recollect the brand advertised.
An advertisement veteran condemns too much of advertisement. Excess advertisement becomes a distraction and steals the charm of the show. The adman who says that remote is a ‘kiss of death’ feels that unreasonably long ad breaks encourage viewers to flip channels and nothing can be more disastrous than that.
When asked about his favorite ad, the genius behind Cherry Charlie, Hamara Baja and the Kamasutra couple very nostalgically smiles and confesses that it is the rennet Hutch series that he best relates in.
For young professionals a word of wisdom is to hone creativity and to have a never say die attitude.