A m(ad) man, indeed | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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A m(ad) man, indeed

In town to attend an SME (small and medium enterprise) Forum, veteran adman Prahlad Kakkar tells us why he’s been labeled the ‘enfant terrible’ of the ad world; a tagline he loves.

chandigarh Updated: Dec 08, 2013 11:51 IST
Nanki Singh

In town to attend an SME (small and medium enterprise) Forum, veteran adman Prahlad Kakkar tells us why he’s been labeled the ‘enfant terrible’ of the ad world; a tagline he loves.

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Knowing the stature of the man, you wonder what form his roadblocks take. Ask him about the most peculiar response he has received for his work so far and he says, "It was a short film made to commemorate Mumbai’s uniqueness. A handful of filmmakers were given the task by an English daily to capture what they thought was unique. I made mine on the world’s largest latrine." Yes, you read that right.

Kakkar wasn’t going for shock value; he took up the subject to showcase the stark reality faced by millions of Mumbai folks every day — not even having the privacy of their own loo! “I told my people to get right in there, next to the ‘squatting people’. You see, I was going for authenticity,” laughs Kakkar. Talk about getting up, close and personal.

Screened later for the Mumbai elite, where Kakkar had wisely told the caterers to hold the food, Kakkar says he witnessed complete silence at the end of the film. “The pin-drop silence was thunderous in itself,” he recalls. The film’s name? Bumbay.

As for getting into trouble with the government while trying to navigate the bureaucratic red tape, he lightly says he’s always in trouble. “Happens when you always tell the truth,” he shrugs.

His most special advertisement has been the one for Kawasaki Bajaj, which was shot in Rajasthan. About what made it special, Kakkar says, “It was so hot you could fry an egg on your palm. And then, I got a text saying I’ve become a father for the first time. Almost enough to make me forget that wretched heat!” Does he think the Indian ad world is heading in the right direction? “Absolutely. Look at Micromax getting Hugh Jackman as their brand ambassador. You can take it from me, this company will take over the world.” Prophetic words, indeed.

Kakkar had recently stated that Sachin Tendulkar’s brand value is unreachable for anyone else. On being asked why, he replies: “The man had such a long career, and, it was not marred by scandals, which is very unusual. More importantly, he always knew the game was bigger than him, and not the other way round.”

So, any upcoming projects in the land of Bollywood? “Yes, I have a film titled Happy Anniversary coming up,” he says, and further adds, “We’ve approached Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachhan for the lead roles and are awaiting confirmation. It’s a very telling film on marriage and how young people are rushing into it.”

“Life screws us all, nobody dies a virgin,” he quips.