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“We’ve come a long way from being WPP's little known agency”: Samrat Bedi

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The year 2014 will go down in history as the year of Indian politics. The main contenders of the two-horse race, Bharatiya Janta Party and Congress, launched massive campaigns to woo voters and became the talking point of the year.

The BJP campaign ran in series with ‘janta maaf nahi karegi’ and ‘achche din aane wale hai’ becoming the most popular taglines of the year. While some pulled a meme on them, others continue to strongly believe in them and hoped to see a better and brighter India.

The agency behind the ‘political campaign that created history,’ Soho Square, won not only hearts and accolades from the ‘aam janta’ but the advertising fraternity as well. It won the Grand Effie at the Effies 2014, bringing it at par with the bigger agencies like O&M, Lowe Lintas and McCann Worldgroup India.

Indiantelevision.com’s Meghna Sharma caught up with Soho Sqaure head Samrat Bedi for a quick freewheeling chat after the award function.





Excerpts:

After winning the mandate, what was the reaction of the team? Was there a lot of pressure to deliver?

We knew that it was a challenging one as it was an uncharted territory for the entire team. We had never done anything like this before. When we started working on it, a day’s work felt like what one would usually do in a week’s time.

We held meetings at 1 pm everyday where we were given a new brief. After watching a lot of news and reading papers, to gauge the nation’s mood, we would again meet around 2:30 pm or so and come up with new content/idea by night.

We are very proud of the campaign and it was a huge learning lesson.

Whom would you attribute the win to?

It was a team effort. It might sound clichéd but the magnitude of the project was so huge that the whole team had to get involved. There was no senior or junior when we got down to working on the campaign as it was unknown territory and needed everyone’s support.

One can say a benchmark has been created. So, what will be the next big thing for Soho Square?

Tough question. (laughs) I would like to call it a springboard rather than a benchmark. One can always do better and create newer benchmarks. Nonetheless, it will work as a springboard for us and now help us grow pillar to pillar.

In a month’s time, we will be launching the coffee table book on the BJP campaign as well. 

What advice will you like to give other “smaller” agencies?

Just because we won the BJP mandate doesn’t make Soho Sqaure an expert. We cannot give advise to anyone because we are sure every other agency has the best talent pool and the ambition to come up with fantastic work across categories.

However, one thing is for sure that the campaign helped us from being the “little known agency of WPP” to an agency which can now be counted amongst the big leagues.

Sometimes it takes just an idea to change people’s perceptions!

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