Well, if we don't want to say that India is shining (it cost the BJP an election, remember?) we can all say it is "rising."

CNN IBN has put together its own anthem called India Rising. And it has certainly put together some awesome talent to make it rock.

Prasoon Joshi has penned the lyrics. Now here's one adman we really admire. Hardly five or six years ago, he was just another bright young thing under the long shadow of the great Piyush Pandey. When he opted to get out of that shadow, things were not exactly hunky dory. Old timers who should know tell us there was a whisper campaign launched against him, alleging that he had not written some of the copy he claimed to have written in entries for that year's Abby awards.

Yet, who can keep a good man down? His `Thanda Matlab Coca-Cola' campaign swept the awards scene like a tsunami and there was no stopping him. Bollywood beckoned and Prasoon was ready. And now, his `Dum Dama Dum India' that forms the key line in the Rising India anthem is all set to inspire those who listen to it.

It really looks like Prasoon's best times are now. We just hope that the pressures of management don't weigh him down. You know what they say about the ad industry, don't you? If you are a really creative guy, you make everyone jealous, and the industry gets back at you by promoting you and making you the CEO.

Dum dama dum

The tune to this rising anthem is set by Shankar Ehsaan and Loy. Here again, you see the contribution of the advertising industry. Shankar was the quintessential ad-commercial type, as was a certain young man called A. R. Rahman. Anyway, the tune and words are given voice by the evergreen Asha Bhonsle. No, we don't think she had her roots in the advertising industry. In fact, there wasn't too much of an advertising industry when she was putting down her roots. But what a fabulous lady she is! The anthem derives its `youthfulness' from her.

International Indians

And so the India Chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA) held the second in its series of lectures, `International Indians.' Pheroza Bilimoria of Business India set the tone of the evening and Raj Nayak of NDTV Media delivered the `presidential' address. Yes, the President Pradeep Guha was apparently travelling abroad on some urgent and unavoidable work. The speaker Subha Barry gave a pretty good lecture. No fancy audiovisual, no commercials, and thank the Lord, no corporate plug. Just a good old-fashioned speech from the heart.

The IAA chose this occasion to invite Sam Balsara, past president of the association, to present a memento to Gulab Kothari of Rajastan Patrika for all the work he had put in "at the time of the AdAsia." Wonder why they took so long to record and remember his contribution. We seem to recall the AdAsia was held in 2003. Even an association like the IAA must have had some event after that.

Abby call for entries

The call for entries from the Advertising Club Bombay for its Abby awards has finally landed on the desks of its members. About time too. Decked up in shimmering gold, the form introduces a new category ambient media and a new award, the `Young Abby.'

Ambient media is apparently for advertising on sidewalks, elevators, human billboards and the like. The young Abby, as the name signifies, is for the under-30s. The award invites entrants to create a film and print campaign for Cadbury Dairy Milk. The theme for the form is "the feeling is back", and we are told the theme for the Abby Nite on March 3 is `colours.' Well, the race to salute excellence in creative advertising is on. May the best ad win!

While we await news about the awards function from the Advertising Agencies Association of India, we hope there will not be the same story as there was last year, when some leading advertising agencies chose to align with one award or the other. A newspaper report claims Contract will not enter for either award. Some such `firmaan' has been received by them from some foreign office. Well that's how highly the `foreign office' rates our Indian awards. Or that's how much (or how little) say the Indian office has in such seemingly innocent decisions. We would have thought the Bakshi-Deshpande combination would prevail over corporate headquarters. Maybe they are still trying.

Ad review

The AdClub Bombay will hold its annual Ad Review, one of the most popular events on its roster, in mid-March. This time around, the Review will be made by Santosh Desai. Very interesting indeed!

Neo Sports

The ad campaign released by Neo Sports (yes, the one that is alleged to be racist) shows many Indians refusing a glass of water to a West Indian who has swallowed something spicy. We wonder how it matches with the `Athithi Devo Bhavah' (the guest is God) campaign by the Ministry of Tourism. O&M has really exhibited a weird sense of humour this time! _ VictoriaVictoria welcomes your comments at brandline@thehindu.co.in

Victoria

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 8, 2007)
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