The ‘Special’ Anchor: Ajay Kakar offers ‘100’ pointers MxM must remember in its journey ahead

01 Feb,2012

By Ajay Kakar


How time flies!


It seems like just ‘yesterday’, that I was invited by MxM to contribute to its first ‘issue’ to hit the net. I was asked to write on a potentially controversial subject; “8 indications when you know it’s time to bid adieu to your agency”.  While I clicked away on the computer late at night, I was afraid of the potential backlash that I could receive, from the industry that had given me an alternate career and an identity, two decades ago, and till as recently as 2005.


But I was fortunate to receive very warm and encouraging feedback from friends and till-then unknown names, alike, from both the advertising and marketing fraternities. Phew! That was a relief.


And today, once again, it’s late in the night/early in the morning. And I am clicking away on my computer for the 100th issue of MxM. While I feel honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to these two key milestones in the life of this ‘new entrant’, what frightens me this time is that I have an open mandate to write on whatever topic that I like. But with a request that the piece should cover a 100 points! “100 reasons why…”? Or, “100 reasons what…”? Damn! Where do I start?


Having been at the client and agency end, I know the importance of a ‘client brief’.  So here goes…


100 pointers (in no particular order) for MxM to remember, as it continues on its journey towards the next many centuries…


1. The Indian advertising, media and marketing fraternity is a small family. It’s as if we know everybody and all that there is to know.

The opportunity is to widen our horizons. Introduce a fresh perspective. And increase/improve our learnings by making us realise that there is still a whole new world out there, waiting to be tapped


2. Advertising. Advertising. Advertising. Our world seems skewed towards the visible and glamorous world of advertising, and more specifically the 30 seconder

The opportunity is to make us realise that there are many powerful weapons in the communication armoury that remain untapped or inadequately used


3. The same few names. All the time.

The opportunity is to also bring to light the news and views related to the     yet unsung heroes, be they brands, agencies or people, who are blazing new trails, but are still below the radar.


4. India is now being recognised as a strong potential, in the world of brands.  And still, there are miles to go, before we can be acknowledged as an undisputed force to reckon with.

The opportunity is to bring the best of thinkers and doers from around the world to our doorstep, so that we can speeden up our learning curve.


5. The media always has a pov on our industry.

The opportunity is to not only have a pov, but to also partner the industry, actively, rather than be a mere bystander and observer.  To become a platform for transformational thinking.


….As all the loyal visitors of MxM will say, in unison, what is the purpose of my Pointers! MxM not only believes in all the opportunities listed by me, but it has been practising the same for the last 100 issues.


I am a repeat and regular visitor to the site. I know that the site already believes in and practices all the Pointers that I have highlighted, above. I know that the site is addictive. And I join the site’s loyal base of visitors to salute the efforts of team MxM to remain an independent voice of the industry.


The purpose of my piece is not to ‘preach to the converted’ ie. MxM. But to remind them of the path they have chosen. And successfully stuck to, so far. My aim is to remind them of the opportunity. And the need to stay with this path for the many centuries ahead.


So today, let’s celebrate the century gone by, while looking forward to their journey ahead.  For, if you have set off on a path to perfection, the journey never ends. As they say, the match has just begun.


PS: What happened to the brief (100 points)? I have exercised my right as a “client”, to change the brief.


The client (and columnist) is always right! Lol – Ed

Ajay Kakar is Chief Marketing Officer – Financial Services, Aditya Birla Group


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