August 16, 2022

As a child who wished to get into promoting, one of many adverts that impressed me was the Backyard Sarees business the place the mannequin is on a swing. I used to be a pupil of Chemical Engineering in Hyderabad and thru some curious configuration of the planets, I obtained into IIM Ahmedabad, however all alongside, I wished to work on the company that made these memorable adverts for Backyard Sarees, Jenson & Nicholson (‘everytime you see color, consider us’).

In these days, adverts solely had a key quantity and never the identify of the company. I did not realize it was Rediffusion. The road that did it for me was ‘The daybreak in each man’s life is touched by a Savage expertise’ within the advert for Savage blades. I need to work on this place, I advised myself, however I didn’t know the way.

Fortunately, at IIM Ahmedabad, Ashok Bijapurkar taught us promoting and I started pestering him. Lastly, he obtained me an interview with Rediffusion. Now, the very best factor you do if you need one thing badly is to maintain it at an arm’s size, and look forward to it to come back to you, moderately than go in the direction of it. However I wished it too badly and I screwed up my interview utterly.

After some time, I obtained a name in my dorm saying ‘Aapko placement workplace mein bulaya hai’. There, Bijapurkar and Ajit Balakrishnan requested me ‘What occurred as we speak?’ I stated ‘Sorry, I screwed up. I wished it too badly’.

That day, I learnt my first lesson in life: While you need one thing too badly, you then usually tend to make errors. They gave me the job given that I might by no means do an interview as badly as that one!

I bear in mind Balakrishnan had come to IIM Ahmedabad carrying a gray round-neck T-shirt, whereas everyone else was in ties and jackets, strolling round pretending to be another person! I assumed how cool is that! I need to work at this company. And by chance, I did. These two-and-a-half years at Rediffusion had been a number of the finest occasions of my life.


I knew what I used to be moving into, as a result of individuals thought promoting was a glamour enterprise. Fact be advised, to some extent, promoting was posh in these days. Promoting was English. If you wish to do an advert in Hindi and went to Kamlesh Pandey and pleaded with him, he would say ‘Woh Hindi translator hai na – unse translate karwa lena’.

So Bush’s marketing campaign ‘Tall darkish, good-looking and No. 1. -the Bush Baron, the biggest single mannequin’ obtained translated into Marathi as ‘Uncha, savla dekhna aani quantity ek’!

I knew I wasn’t becoming a member of the glamour trade as a result of I had come to Mumbai in 1984, once I was nonetheless learning, and for some cause I wished to know the whole lot about promoting and had met Ajay Shrikhande from Lintas. He had stated to me (in Marathi), ‘Can you may have pithla and bhakri sitting on the ground?’

He wished to ask if I used to be earthy sufficient to grasp individuals. Ultimately, promoting is about reaching individuals; about model creation. That is once I realised it was not a glamour enterprise, however the enterprise of making manufacturers.

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I bear in mind two issues from the day I first walked into Rediffusion – one, the workplace was the previous Readymoney Terrace. However we didn’t know which was the fitting entrance, so we took the unsuitable one and that led us to a primary ground touchdown and we ended up coming into the workplace by means of a window.

This, once we had been coming from India’s No. 1 administration college! Additionally on the very first day, I used to be fortunate to fulfill the legend Diwan Arun Nanda. Even as we speak, if I had been to fulfill him, I might be just a little tongue-tied. He stated one thing very attention-grabbing to us simply outdoors his workplace (the place all of the copy-writers of the ilk of Kamlesh Pandey, Bugs Bhargav, Suren Rao, Arun Kale, Avinash Godbole had been sitting): ‘All these individuals have labored someplace else as nicely, however at Rediffusion, they’re doing their finest work, as a result of we now have created a local weather the place they provide their finest.’

A few years later, once we began doing company talks and spoke to firms about classes from sports activities for managers, we talked in regards to the air you breathe in firms.

In sporting phrases, if the air you breathe is constructive, i.e, forward-looking, the place individuals care about and play for each other, the identical participant turns into twice the participant she or he is. I realised that’s precisely what Arun Nanda had advised me all these years in the past.


On the finish of our orientation at Rediffusion, we needed to make a model presentation. Current in that room that night was one of many senior bosses at Rediffusion, Ashish Chakraborty, and a beautiful man named Anand Halve. We did our presentation and later, Andy pointed at me and stated to Ashish: ‘Have a look at this man. Why did not you make a presentation to them, in order that they learnt from you, how issues are finished, moderately than you listening to from them?’

To which Ashish stated, ‘A bunch of youngsters come to Rediffusion yearly and I don’t need to show myself to them. I’ve been round 25 years.’ Andy replied, ‘However when you had finished the presentation, they might have checked out you in a different way. So as an alternative of listening to how nice you’re, they might have seen how nice you’re.’

That’s one thing that stayed with me all my life – If there’s a child, and the child is wanting as much as you, it’s essential to additionally present the child that you’ve finished one thing in life. Years later, I noticed this performed out on a TV programme known as TVS Sa Re Ga Ma hosted by Sonu Nigam. I did not perceive what a chord was till Sonu Nigam picked the errors that singers had been making and sang it in the fitting method.

Star cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle | File


We needed to undergo totally different elements of the client-servicing job and I met some real stars. Certainly one of them was Alfred D’Souza. He ran manufacturing and would take a look at transparencies by means of just a little glass prism and say one thing like ‘There’s a yellow solid’.

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He would educate us how to take a look at a transparency to determine whether or not it was good or not. He taught us to be very vigorous about understanding manufacturing. One other rockstar was Prabhakar Tendulkar. He used to take care of the studio, and if there was a mistake ever, he was a strict man. They had been the center of promoting.

After I obtained into tv later, my heroes had been by no means the gamers or the tv broadcasters, my heroes had been the cameramen and the editors, as a result of I noticed the nice work they did. ‘Can I be nearly as good as them?’ I assumed.

That’s the place I learnt to not get swayed by blue-eyed glamour boys however to grasp that the nuts and bolts are literally held collectively by different individuals.


My first advert movie for Halo shampoo, with Kitu Gidwani, made me be taught what an ARRI 3 digital camera was. In these days, when you had been in consumer servicing, you needed to do the media plan and the whole lot your self – billing, measuring the fabric that was being despatched out, figuring out half tones, quarter tones, color of artworks… mainly the whole lot in regards to the enterprise.

So, when you had labored at Rediffusion for a few years, you knew each side of promoting. I needed to go for the recording of the jingle for the Halo movie. I heard Gary Lawyer beginning to sing the opening strains of ‘Hey there, Halo woman!’ with Louis Banks on the piano… We couldn’t take too many takes in these days as a result of uncooked shares had been costly.

So, you needed to rehearse, and be excellent at it. A few years later, once I obtained into tv, I learnt to do issues in single takes as a result of I knew that if I did too many takes, I might be holding up the editor, the cameraman, everyone… Anyway, on the finish of that 12 months, the goal for the Rediffusion Mumbai department was Rs 8 crore – greater than some other company in India. The prize was a 4-day vacation in Kathmandu for everybody with their companions if we achieved it.

However we had been falling quick. Which is when Backyard Vareli stepped in, paid upfront earlier than the adverts had been even launched, in order that we may get to Rs 8 crore and go on that vacation. That was what the client-agency relationship was like.


Everybody grapples with one factor: the problem ‘to remain related’. Rediffusion additionally needed to combat with staying related. Again then, one cause why I had wished to hitch Rediffusion was that I had finished my summer time placement at a small company in Bengaluru known as Maa South, run by Bunty Peerbhoy. A part of my accountability was to see how shoppers noticed Maa South.

I found then that there was a casual membership known as the ‘Rediffusion shoppers membership’, as a result of Rediffusion was the company shoppers aspired to have.

In a while, there have been lean patches however Rediffusion nonetheless had that halo round itself. That’s one other factor I learnt from Rediffusion that helped me in my career afterward.

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In 1990, on my first tour abroad, I used to be writing for the afternoon newspaper Mid-day. The sport ended at about 10.30 pm India time and experiences appeared in full element in newspapers just like the Instances of India, Indian Categorical, HT, and many others, the following morning. By afternoon, individuals had learn these papers even when that they had missed watching the match reside on Doordarshan.

So how may I make my match report for a day paper totally different? I needed to write an 800-word article and I requested myself if Kamlesh Pandey was penning this match report, how would he begin… as a result of in promoting, you may have simply 10 phrases to hook everyone on to the remainder of the copy.

That day, India had received the toss and put England in to bat, and England had made 390 for two or 3. Graham Gooch was 190 not out. To carry individuals’s consideration, I wrote Azharuddin had received the toss and his tehzeeb had mandated the ‘Huzoor pehle aap’ to let England bat.

I additionally remembered my father telling me, ‘It isn’t as much as individuals to learn what you write, it’s as much as you to get individuals to learn what you write’. The truth that I had come from promoting helped me enormously. Later, once I obtained into freelancing, I needed to be taught to put in writing a newspaper article in 300-800 phrases, {a magazine} article in 3,000 phrases or do a match report on tv.

My solely likelihood of survival within the career was in giving my 100% each single time and praying it was ok. I additionally learnt that when you give a 100%, do your finest, and it’s nonetheless not ok, it is not a criminal offense, as a result of that’s solely how good you’re. However when you do not ship what you’re able to, that is a criminal offense.


Star cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle started his profession as an adman, becoming a member of promoting company Rediffusion in 1985 as a campus recruit from IIM Ahmedabad. He labored on Halo, Palmolive, Charmis, Bush and some smaller manufacturers like Bakelite Hylam, Warner Hindustan, Sloan’s and Smaash throughout his stint at Rediffusion.

Bhogle, arguably the face of Indian cricket, was rated because the possessor of the sexiest voice on radio in Australia in 1992 and has commented on a whole bunch of Check matches, one-day internationals and T20 matches. His columns are extensively learn and a choice of them has been put collectively in a e-book known as ‘Out of the Field’.

His video blogs ‘Step out with Harsha’ are fairly widespread and he has over one million followers on Twitter. Bhogle has even featured in adverts himself, showing in model commercials for Pepsi, Hero Honda, Airtel, Tata AIG, Sugarfree, Vicks and model promotions for Vodafone, Cadbury, IBM and plenty of others.

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