AdAsia sidelights - Day 1

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on November 01, 2011

Shah Rukh Khan hoists the flat at AsAsia.

Mr. Bruce Haines, Global Chief Strategy officer, CHEIL Worldwide, in New Delhi . Photo: Kamal Narang

Silver-tongued Shah Rukh

Shah Rukh Khan had people roaring with laughter with almost every comment he made. Even his admonishments had people in splits. First, the flag-hoisting took a while as the rope was tangled; and later when MC Diana Hayden wanted him to dance to Chamak Challo from his Ra.One, the music kept getting stuck. SRK was quick to say, “You've got to tell me who the guys handling the flag-hoisting and the music console were later!” He didn't sound menacing one bit!

Ambika Soni's secret ambition

I&B Minister Ambika Soni prefaced her talk saying, “I can't be a member of AdAsia because of my job, but after this job what I would like to be closest to is advertising.” Later, speaking on the theme ‘Uncertainty, the New Certainty', she said she's eminently qualified to speak on it because after 40 years in Indian politics, and the vagaries of power play, one believes that the only certainty is that things will be uncertain. She had the audience in splits. Ending her talk, she urged the delegates to soak in the content but to focus on the super-content — the great November weather in Delhi, the sightseeing and the cuisine!

The Asian Ratings Game

The session that got the loudest laughs (after Shah Rukh Khan's hilarious turn) was undoubtedly the one on the Asian creative, moderated by the quick-thinking Tom Doctoroff, JWT's witty North Asia Area Director, who needled the panel and got quite a rise out of them. Doctoroff asked the participants on the panel, Ms Kitty Lun, CEO, Lowe China; Akira Kagami, Global Executive Creative Advisor, Dentsu; Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman, Ogilvy and Mather India; and Bruce Haines, Chief Strategy Officer, Cheil, Korea, how satisfied they were with the creative scenes in their country, and to rate them on a scale of one to 10. Kagami promptly rated Japan as 9. “Do you really think so? Ooh, we should be scared of Japan,” said Doctoroff, at which point Kagami quietly changed his rating to seven. Haines rated Korea at 4.5. “Is that a polite 4.5,” needled Doctoroff, to which Haines replied with dignity, “That was an honest 4.5”. Kitty Lun stumped Doctoroff totally when she chose to give two numbers to China — “There is one set of advertising in China that could get 8, and another that would get 2,” she said. “That's elegant evasion – so typical of Chinese,” responded Doctoroff. Finally, Pandey also opted for two numbers — “There are two Indias, one India would get 4.5 out of 5, and the other India would get just 1 on 5,” he said.

“Before we conquer the globe, let's put our own houses in order,” concluded the Ogilvy and Mather chairman to loud ayes from the audience.

McKinsey stumps delegates, media

Heard and seen across the AdAsia venue after the McKinsey duo Adil Zanulbhai and Laxman Narasimhan's presentations were slightly overwhelmed delegates. One comment went thus: ‘They packed a one-hour presentation into 15 minutes'. Another: ‘Was that meant for us advertising guys?' And for journalists covering the session, ‘no sharing of the presentation' meant chasing up for the figures. Perhaps appropriately, Koichi Yamamoto of Dentsu, taking stage after the McKinsey guys, joked, “Advertising guys should never fight the consulting guys; we can never win.”

Published on November 01, 2011

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