Every ad professional has two lives. The other one being that of a superhuman who can save the masses from the vice-like grip of a mundane life. Bringing them confidence, energy, panache and what-nots.
I had started from a modest, middle class home in Andheri, and taken the train to ‘Swarg lok’. Come, come, girl – my creative director told me. Let’s sprinkle some happiness in the commonplace lives of these humans. Let’s get them a life, even if it’s just on the idiot box.
So here I was chin up, chest out, red cape billowing behind me. On my mission to spread joy. Meaning I was ready to sell toothpaste.
Here I am in conversation with the account director.
Me: So, we gotta sell toothpaste, right?
AD: No, no, of course not.
Me: I’ve been transferred to another brand?
AD: No chance. You’re still working on the toothpaste. But that’s not what we’re selling.
AD: Rolls eyes heavenwards. Stupid, you think we’d need you if we just wanted to sell toothpaste?
Me: So what do you need me for?
AD: To sell dreams.
AD: Dreams. Aspirations.
ME: Not toothpaste?
AD: Moron. You just don’t get it. Why would anyone buy our toothpaste?
Me: To brush teeth with?
AD: (Icy glare) No.
AD: Arre baba, why would they buy OUR toothpaste?
That got me. Silence.
AD: We gotta promise them something, dig?
AD: Now, what can we promise them?
Me: (Eyes light up like a hoarding at night) Confidence?
AD: Sheesh! Every toothpaste gives you that. Every PRODUCT gives you that. Can’t we give them anything better?
Me: More fluoride?
AD: NO. Now stop goofing and listen up. We gotta give this consumer something more than he already has okay. You BLOODY well think of something to give him, or I shall kill you with my bare hands.
Me: But doesn’t the consumer want just toothpaste?
AD: (The who-gave-you-this-job look) Look, you gonna do this or not?
Me: (Beads of perspiration) Er, sure, sure. So we give them something. Sure. How about the ability to attract the opposite sex?
AD: No. That’s done before.
Me: Freshness all day?
AD: That too.
Me: Strong gums?
AD: Too late. Done already.
Me: (Sly smile) Wings?
AD: No. Red Bull gives you those.
Me: Sigh! Okay. How bout this? It gives you brains? Intelligence?
AD: You cretin, THIS IS JUST TOOTHPASTE!
3 hours ago