India is global advertising export hub: McCann chief

Updated on Oct 10, 2007 10:07 PM IST

It takes an advertisement duet with a hungry crocodile, not a Hollywood role, for Kajol to go global, reports N Madhavan.

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Hindustan Times | ByNarayanan Madhavan, New Delhi

It takes an advertisement duet with a hungry crocodile, not a Hollywood role, for Kajol to go global.

The video commercial starring the Bollywood actress for Perfetti’s Alpenliebe toffees is going global for its appeal, and thereby hangs the tale of India turning an export hub for advertising services – even on the creative side, cracking cultural barriers and reversing the trend of hand-me-down Western commercials.

“For us, India is very quickly turning from an import country into an export country,” John Dooner, chairman of global advertising powerhouse McCann Worldgroup’s chairman and chief executive officer told Hindustan Times in an exclusive interview. “What we are exporting is ideas,” he said.

McCann Erickson, the creative agency behind advertisements for leading brands including Intel, Coca-Cola and

Microsoft is part of the group which is holding its first Asia meeting in India as part of a recognition of the country as an emerging market and service hub.

The Worldgroup is in turn part of the Interpublic Group.

McCann, which is addressing brand communications in a complex method that involves everything from creative advertising to media buying, design and naming, relationship marketing, events and public relations. It has seven divisions in all including a unit that specialises in healthcare communications.

“You need to recognise multiple enagements but it should be part of the brand platform,” said Dooner, who singled out the consumer as the “eighth discipline” in an Internet-driven world in which blogs, social networking and world-of-mouth references are increasingly driving the way products are bought and brands are perceived.

In India, the Worldgroup has 700 of its 24,000 global employees. Prasoon Joshi, the regional creative head of McCann Erickson, is now part of a 13-strong elite group that brainstorms across geographical areas. Joshi said the Indian team had also played a key role in a global pitch for Intel.

McCann’s Indian ads also won four Lions at the annual global advertising awards at Cannes this year.

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