Sandeep Goyal launches his 'Dum Dum Bullet'

MUMBAI: The Dum Dum Bullet - Adventures of a corporate soldier - quite an unusual name for a book, but interesting nonetheless. Authored by Dentsu Communications chairman Sandeep Goyal, this book is all about (as the latter part of the title implies) Goyal's experiences in the advertising and media industry.

The book, which Goyal took only six weeks to pen down, was formally launched at the Oxford Bookstore in Mumbai yesterday by Diwan Arun Nanda.



The launch was well attended by the likes of NDTV Media CEO Raj Nayak, Rediffusion|DYR vice president and executive creative director Adrian Mendoza, Dolly Thakore and Vinta Nanda.



A special section has been devoted in the book on the unusual title of the book. The original Dum Dum bullet dates back to the late 19th century and was produced at the Dum dum ammunition factory near Kolkata. The bullet had an exposed lead nose which underwent rapid expansion on impact. In Goyal's words, the power of advertising lies in creating an idea that captures the popular imagination and mints millions - lethal once unleashed, quite like the Dum Dum bullet.

After a few extracts from the book were read out by Geeta Rao; a panel discussion was held on the topic - 'Has the fun gone out of advertising?' The panel comprised personalities like - Quadrant CEO Geetanjali Kirloskar, Saatchi & Saatchi CEO and managing director V Shantakumar, SKA Advisors Pvt Ltd chairman Sunil Alagh and writer Kamlesh Pandey.

Kirloskar opened the discussion by saying that in the late '90s, the ad world was too preoccupied and self obsessed with whether advertising should be made more business like minus the pony tails, beards and "creative" looks?

Alagh on his behalf said that the question to address was whether the fun had gone out of the ads or the process of advertising? "The fact of the matter is that the fun has gone out of the advertising process and that is because people have very low self esteem and self confidence. People have stopped taking a risk and going ahead and doing what they are convinced about," said Alagh.

Pandey opined, "The fun has not really gone out of advertising but the priorities of the creative people have changed. They are now just obsessed with changing visiting cards and designations." Reflecting back to the time when he was in advertising, Pandey said, "We were very lucky as we got the freedom and we were pampered by our bosses and clients but at the same time they had a control over us and never let us feel that there were boundaries."

Shantakumar said, "The question is not about whether the fun has gone out of advertising; advertising itself has changed. It is no longer a profession but has become a business." Shantakumar reiterated the fact that there was a great need to reinvent this profession and the day one becomes bored of his consumer, it will be the end of the profession.

"No one is putting their foot where the mouth is because of the risk of losing the client. So no risks are being taken at the fear of losing the account and the billings of the company," said Kirloskar.

Pandey also emphasised on the fact that no one is reading these days and the kind of work that is being produced today is because of the lack of being prepared. "The consumer has just become a number in some research for the ad people these days. That attitude needs to change."

It's all about getting connected to the consumer and there is a need to change from the written word to the spoken word. Goyal had the last word when he said, "I had great fun in writing the book and I have written about the real people and the real situations that I have faced in life."

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