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Swati Bhattacharya to lead Dentsu Mama Lab

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MUMBAI:  Swati Bhattacharya, the former national creative director at JWT, who was associated with the company for 22 years, has joined Dentsu India as its principal partner – creative, to take the helm at its new project Mama Lab.

Started originally in Tokyo by Dentsu in 2013, and now to be introduced in India, the idea of Mama Lab is to create an ever-expanding picture of mothers in India, by tracing their personal histories across cities and villages and in-between places to answer a quintessential question on Indian mothers – Who is she? It will be an ongoing visual and oral biography of Indian mothers.

“Dentsu Mama Lab aims to be a thought leader on mothers, motherhood and mothering. Understanding the different facets of a mother is what will make brands connect meaningfully with them. I’m delighted to have Swati Bhattacharya lead this initiative in India. Her enormous experience of working on brands that have had deep meaningful connections with mothers will be the credible foundation of Dentsu Mama Lab. ‘Good Innovation’ is the essence of the Dentsu brand and Mama Lab is a vivid demonstration of it,” said Dentsu India executive chairman and APAC CEO Rohit Ohri.

In recent years, Swati Bhattacharya, a mother of two, was particularly responsible for building an enduring relationship with Horlicks (GSK India) and its several avatars, especially highlighting the sensitivities of the mother, wife and homemaker for the brand. Her experience in building such ‘mother’ and ‘women-oriented’ brands and taking up leadership positions in the corporate world makes her perfectly poised to head Mama Lab.

Excited to head the latest initiative at Dentsu India, Bhattacharya remarked, “Men have a habit of putting mothers on a pedestal, as if she is a person who needs to be worshipped more than be understood. There is a woman inside every mother, who is not all perfect, not all ‘Devi’, not all giving; and women know that but it’s time for marketers to know that too. It's been years that I have spoken to only women as my consumers and tried to forge an intimacy that's born out of truth. Mama Lab gives me an opportunity to speak to women in our own language, in our own way, we might not all be perfect but we are the best that we can be! I am so glad I won’t have to fake my interest in men anymore. I am looking forward to sell to women by pressing their security buttons and not their insecurity buttons”.

Much like motherhood that promises rich rewards through its firsthand trials, Mama Lab will evolve through experience and experimentation in both method and output.

 “As with everything Indian, we know there is no such singular entity as The Indian Mother, and we wouldn’t want to embark on a quixotic adventure of that sort in the first place. What we will attempt to do is to create an ever-expanding picture of mothers in India, much like a perpetually-growing, always-complete-but-never-truly-complete jigsaw puzzle. As an outcome, our goal will be to gain insights into mothers and motherhood in India that will truly go beyond oft-repeated motherhood statements”, said Dentsu India  executive vice-president and national planning director Narayan Devanathan, who will be closely working with Bhattacharya on Mama Lab.

Mama Lab will be positioned in the public domain as a platform for mothers and brands to engage with one another and benefit from.

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