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BW Businessworld

Down The Advertising Road

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Get prepared for a bout of intense nostalgia as you leaf through Arun Chaudhuri’s insider account of advertising through the 1950s to the new millennium. This book is a sequel to his earlier history of Indian advertising that traced the journey through 1780 to 1950. Chaudhuri who worked in agencies such as Clarion and R K Swamy before setting up his own firm captures the forces, the contexts, the politics, the influences and the people whohave shaped Indian advertising. 
From glimpses of vintage ads to analyses of campaigns and agency work, the structures of operation, to hard numbers that show the growth of the industry, the book offers lots to the reader. For instance, just leafing through the textile ads sections, looking at the ads of Vimal, Mafatlal, DCM, you get a sense of how fabric has moved from the days of “Terene Chiffon Sarees” to now.
   
What’s refreshing is that Chaudhuri does not mince words. Ugly ads are roundly denounced as are me too copycat trends, and the use of celebrity advertising. Take for instance the way a shoot around cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was organised for an Adidas film with 50 cameras to take a shot of the Little Master stepping out of the crease to hit a ball. “If the client who passed the bill was not an idiot, I have never seen idiot in my life!” writes the author!  
 
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 20-10-2014)