MAM

When I write, I learn, it is a big inspiration: Ambi

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/mam-images/2014/01/15/ambi-pic.jpg?itok=YcJNL7m6

MUMBAI:  In his three-decade-long career, chemical engineer-turned-adman MG ‘Ambi’ Parameswaran has handled a wealth of assignments across advertising, marketing and sales. The brain behind the transformation of Ulka Advertising into Draftfcb Ulka Group, this former IIT-ian not only knows his subject like the back of his hand, he has a sharp wit and a way with words to boot.

Ambi, who has a slew of articles and six books on advertising and brands to his credit, has just finished penning his seventh book titled For God’s Sake – An Adman on the Business of Religion slated to hit stands next week. He spoke to indiantelevision.com about his new book and what he does best – writing and advertising...

Why did you choose such a topic?

I did my PhD on Religiousity and Consumer Behaviour from Mumbai University and it took close to five years of research to file my thesis. In so doing, I read over 500 books and articles on the subject and thought it was an interesting topic. Besides, not much had been written on religion and consumer behaviour. So, I thought of converting my thesis into a book which people could use and appreciate.

What inspired you to write this book?

The fact that when I write, I learn, is one big inspiration for me. Secondly, one is adding in some way to the knowledge depository of the country. Unfortunately in India, we are very possessive about knowledge and information, so my books are all about sharing whatever little I know with people who are interested in knowing more.

How different is this book from your previous ones?

I have written several books on advertising, a couple of books on branding, and a book on the Indian consumer. This book cannot be slotted into advertising or branding categories because it is more of a neutral book which is more about business, religion and consumers. There is a lot of reference to advertising in the book, and there is also a lot of reference to a lot of business ideas that have emerged in the book. Also, there are a lot of consumer segmentation issues that I have raised in the book.

Whom are you targeting with this book?

It would be the 28 or 29-year-old executive who wants to understand a little more about the Indian consumer or the 31-year-old businessman who wants a new idea for a business.

This is your seventh book. What motivates you to write?

Well, I have always wondered why there aren’t enough books on Indian consumers and Indian brands. From a historical perspective, the first person to really write a book on branding in the Indian context was Subroto Sengupta of Clarion Advertising. He was also my professor at IIM Calcutta and after him, for many a year, no one really wrote on Indian brands or advertising.

My first book was published in 1999 and since then, we have had a lot of people like Santosh Desai, Rama Bijapurkar, Harish Bhatt and Anand Halve writing interesting books on such topics. It is a good and healthy thing that a lot of practising executives are putting down their knowledge and experience into books.

Just how easy or difficult is it to put all this into a book? In your case, are you usually content once you are done with the final draft?

I don’t think you can capture all the things you know in just one book because one is always reading and observing things all the time. For me, writing a book is also a learning process, so when I write a book, I read a lot more.  Even before you get down to writing the first paragraph, you have read and learnt so much. This book, for instance, took six months of writing, but for almost three years, I was researching and reading. So, it is a learning process and after you finish writing a book, one always thinks that you could have added something more. Overall, I’m happy the way the book has come out. It is very racy and it’s easy to read. That was my objective; it is in fact much lighter to read as compared to my previous books. It was planned!

Which is your favourite book on advertising, and why?

There are many books, so it is difficult to name any one. There are books on branding and advertising globally, and in India too, we are seeing some very good books.

Do you feel youngsters today read books or are influenced by them?

There is still a very significant section of the youth which reads books. If you look at what Amish Tripathi has been able to achieve, it is commendable. He is a guy who has brought a million new readers to the English books’ market. His books cut across age groups and that is amazing.

Coming to advertising, do you think advertisers are stereotypical in their portrayal of characters, be it gender or religion-wise?

No, I don’t think there is any stereotyping. Advertisers and advertising agencies tend to borrow from the popular culture around them. And they are normally ahead of the curve. That is why in the book, there is a chapter on ‘The mystery of the missing bindi’ and you will see advertisers are showing lesser and lesser women wearing a bindi because not wearing one is perceived as a symbol of modernity, which wasn’t the case some 20 years ago. However that doesn’t mean women aren’t wearing bindis. You will still see a lot of women wearing them. But the modernity has been picked up and used by advertisers.

Coming back to your book, it will be available on...

It will be available with e-book merchants, both as hardcover and as an e-book. It will also be available at all bookstores.

Last but not the least, will we see another book from you?

Not yet, maybe something after two years...

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/02/21/suszuki.jpg?itok=lDjUfF_8
Suzuki Motorcycle rolls out phase 2 of #KamPeetaHai campaign

Post receiving a great response for Suzuki Access 125 campaign of Kam Peeta Hai, Suzuki Motorcycle India, a subsidiary of two-wheeler manufacturer, Suzuki Motor Corporation Japan and Happy mcgarrybowen have rolled out the second phase to the campaign for their flagship scooter brand. The campaign...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/02/21/mayori.jpg?itok=bgiVAIbZ
Performics.Resultrix bags digital mandate for NIIT

NIIT has entrusted its digital mandate to Performics.Resultrix, the digital end-to-end solutions company under Zenith India.

MAM Media and Advertising Account
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/02/21/gaurav.jpg?itok=uhbg4vaW
FIHL hands media mandate to Carat India

Franchise India Holdings (FIHL) has roped in Carat India, the flagship media agency from Dentsu Aegis Network, as its media agency.

MAM Media and Advertising Account
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/02/21/gopalan_0.jpg?itok=Cne-2bsw
Madhusudan Gopalan becomes MD, CEO of P&G India

P&G India has announced Madhusudan Gopalan as the company's new managing director and CEO. He will take charge on 1 April 2018.

MAM Media and Advertising People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/02/21/Cadbury.jpg?itok=n66cEVu0
How Cadbury perfected its communication in India

MUMBAI: What comes to your mind when you hear ‘kuch meetha ho jaaye?’ If you’ve been in India for the last two decades, you would instantly blurt out Cadbury. But the popular Indian chocolate has a 100-year-old history.

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/02/20/imrb.jpg?itok=Reu3RXvd
India’s online retail market to hit $100 bn by 2020: Kantar IMRB report

Kantar IMRB has launched a report on India's shopping scenario in 2017 that provides comprehensive insights on buying behaviour of India’s online shoppers. The study is conducted among active internet users in urban India covering a vast range of categories.

MAM Marketing MAM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/02/20/livon.jpg?itok=qx3N1Srg
Livon extends salon-in-purse proposition in latest campaign

Marico Limited’s Livon Serum has launched its latest ad film, an extension of its campaign thought - Salon Nahin Livon.

MAM Marketing MAM
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/02/20/flags.jpg?itok=KBHOLMPu
Flags Communications bags social media mandate for Tata Power DDL

Media agency, Flags Communications, has bagged the social media management mandate for Tata Power-DDL (a joint venture between Tata Power and the Government of NCT of Delhi).

MAM Marketing Brands
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/02/20/makeit.jpg?itok=MtMZNjs5
FACES launches #12ZodiacFaces with WATConsult

MUMBAI: WATConsult, the digital and social media agency from Dentsu Aegis Network India and Canada’s leading international cosmetic brand, FACES Canada have collaborated and launched a digital campaign called #12ZodiacFaces.

MAM Marketing Brands

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories