Ogilvy to participate in Abby @ Goafest!

01 Apr,2014

By A Special Conespondent

Mumbai, April 1, 2014: In a meeting that ended late last night concluding in a firm handshake, it is learnt that Ogilvy has decided to participate in the Creative Abby to be held in the 2014 edition of Goafest.


MxMIndia learns that it took Srinivasan K Swamy a couple of months of persuasion to get the Ogilvy bossman to change his mind.


How the agreement happened – Convincing the subconscious:

Mr Swamy, who is also President of the International Advertising Association’s India Chapter, had recently interacted with Piyush Pandey on the Creative Abby. This was at an event where Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev was in conversation with Mr Pandey.

A few days later Mr Swamy met with Mr Pandey at the airport where, the creative guru evinced interest in a suggestion that Ogilvy creative talent must meditate and how that can assist in helping the creative juices flow thicker, faster and fresher.

Mr Swamy suggested on Swami Sathyabhooti from Chennai who is very good in corporate meditation. He gave the Swami a background of the Goafest Abby issue and how Ogilvy’s participation was in “national interest”.

An invitation to Ogilvy was organised and a special meditation session was arranged a fortnight back at the Westin Hotel. Representatives of the Ogilvy offices in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Singapore were also invited.

At the session, the Swami asked just one question, as a conversation-opener:

What is it that makes you happy?

The rep from Sri Lanka said:  “A Happy Client, especially when our advertising has worked for him or her.”

A senior rep from Singapore said: “When my wife and daughter like the ads I write.”

A creative director from Mumbai said: “Awards for our work.”

Swami Sathyabhooti got the response he wanted and asked the group what are the kind of awards they feel happy about. “Cannes Lions, D&AD, One Show internationally and Abby in India, but we don’t participate in it”

SS: “You don’t participate in an Indian award?”

O:  “Yes Guruji, we have issues, there are problems which we have highlighted but haven’t got resolved”

SS: “Young men and women, I don’t know your industry. But don’t you have a problem with your roads? Or Mumbai traffic? Or find the petrol rates very high even though they will fall a bit from April 1?

O: Yes

SS: But you still travel on Mumbai roads, right? Despite all the problems?

O: Thank you for your advice

On the group’s return, Mr Piyush Pandey asked everyone about their experience and they then discussed the Abby issue and decided to send in a token of 51 entries. According to a representative of Swami Sathyabhooti this conespondent spoke with, what was done was to elicit an answer to a problem from the people directly and then send a message to the subconscious.



Bigger, second try:

The second try made was even bigger and happened thanks to Mr Swamy’s IAA conference where the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was felicitated and presented an honorary membership. Recently Amitabh Bachchan was also felicitated similarly at the Olive Crown Awards.

To achieve his objective, Mr Swamy made a trip to Ahmedabad for a meeting with Mr Modi at the Sabarmati Ashram.

As it happened, Mr Modi was busy with electioneering but his aide Hasmukhbhai Desai was going to be seeing (and clearing) the newest campaign on Gujarat which would be out days before the state and urban Indian goes out to vote.

At the Ashram, Mr Desai was present with Messrs Pandey and Bachchan. The aide liked the work, and then in his inimitable style asked a question: “Is baar humko AB milega na?”

Mr Pandey laughed and said “Of courseji, Desaibhai. Amitabhji will definitely come again. He really likes Gujarat and the campaign.”

Mr Desai: “Nahin, nahin. Main inki baat nahin kar raha hoon. I am talking of your AB, arre those Abby Awards. Our Gujarat campaign must win that award. We should try at least. If nothing else, the jury members will be motivated to travel to Gujarat. Plus the PM sir, I mean CM sir will be happy too.”

Mr Bachchan quipped: “Zaroor, we must win the Abby awards. I have also been a Chief Guest in fact at an Abby event, at first I thought those awards are named after me.”

After an hour, Mr Pandey spoke to Abhijit Avasthi and Rajiv Rao on a conference call, and explained what happened and said that for Mr Modi’s sake, Ogilvy may need to participate in the Abby.

Someone even suggested that the campaign can be in the running for an award by getting the film’s producers to send in the entry or even the client, to which Mr Pandey said he wouldn’t like to take any half-measures that could upset Mr Modi, or his office.


Sensing success from the twin efforts, Mr Swamy convened a late evening meeting on Monday, March 31. The meeting went on till the wee hours and finally a settlement was hammered out. Ogilvy will send in the token entries, and will also be present, but only the younger talent. The meeting was held at Elco Pani Puri Center at Bandra. Apparently both Messrs Pandey and Swamy are very fond of Pani Puri.




At the time of writing the story, it wasn’t known if Mr Swamy was able to convince Mr Pandey on sending more entries. But we have some more information on the issue, for which click here.


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