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‘India has done better than most markets’

business Updated: Nov 15, 2009 23:52 IST
Amit Bapna

At 60-plus, the energetic Shelly Lazarus is as excited about her agency’s new campaign for United Nations’ Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change in December as she is about Ogilvy & Mather India. She explains how the advertising agency she heads has made a critical shift to deal with emerging challenges.

What is this new campaign that O&M is working on for climate change?
OgilvyEarth, our global sustainability practice, is working with the International Advertising Association and the United Nations on a very prestigious campaign, ‘HopenHagen’, for the UN Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change in December 2009. This is an amazing instance of getting the whole world together to create a movement to demand legislation on environment by the people.

What’s the key change at O&M to meet new challenges?
We have gone from being advertising agencies doing just print television ads to becoming communication and marketing companies that solve the clients’ problems.

How important is India to O&M Worldwide?
In every agency network, there are some offices that are just jewels and Ogilvy India, for 20 years, has been one of those offices. I keep showing the work on Vodafone all over the world, as also the work on Cadbury’s, Fevicol, Asian Paints and many others. Such work has the power to touch anyone, anywhere in the world. It is simple, warm, compelling and brings the brand to life.

How do you view the emerging importance of the Internet and social media?
The issue is not about how much of the ad budget should be spent on the internet but about how to use the internet as an advertising medium. This is a problem that everybody — including the US markets — is grappling with.