One Big Idea by Vidya Heble: Getting it right, making it clear

24 Apr,2013

By Vidya Heble


The big idea in media and advertising cannot be anything other than Clarity. Clarity in communication, thinking and action. Whether it is a news item or an advertisement, the aim is to communicate, and effective communication begins with clear thinking.


The outcome could be an easy-to-understand Tanishq Solitaire TVC, or a slightly more involved Vodafone Birthday commercial with an old man and a small boy. As I write, the air rings with “Hello honey bunny, honey bunny, toko toko.” It doesn’t matter what it is; like Kolaveri Di, it has stuck. For me, this is effective and if the purpose of the commercial is to make a tune and a brand sticky, then it has worked. I like ads that don’t pretend to be something they are not.


This goes for news, too. When a leading daily sang the praises of an industrial baron without touching on the negative aspects of his business practices which were even then in the news, a puzzled member of my family said, “This reads like an advertisement.” That, I explained, was probably because it was just that – a “news item” that had been paid for. Such obfuscation is the downfall of media. And the enemy of clarity.


This concept of clarity is in sync with MxMIndia’s credo of integrity, because clear thinking stems from straightforwardness of purpose. It’s not a new thing – Bill the Bard said it, back when: “This above all, to thine own self be true.” If you make compromises at the thinking stage itself, this reflects in the communication chain, be it advertising, PR or media.


And when effective communication is the goal, accuracy goes hand in hand with clarity. It is no use sending out a message if you have spelt the client’s name wrong, or misrepresented a fact. Which is why getting it right is important. Also.


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