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Sunday, November 23

Interviewing Alex Bogusky : From Boulder On Bollywood

On Friday I finally managed to speak to Alex Bogusky - the rock star creative head and chairman of the US ad agency Crispin Porter Bogusky(CP+B) for my 'Bollywood and Branding book...

1. I had found some similarity in how Alex approaches work and the way a part of Bollywood thinks.

2. While over the years I have done my fair share of interviewing consumers in numerous focus groups, but interviewing the head of the edgiest ad agency in America made me a lil conscious...

3. An hour before the interview I changed my questionnaire...After going through many of his interviews on the net.

4. Here's a sample of what I asked Alex - (a)It seems till now advertising and branding has had a formula, a plan, a roadmap but going ahead with the infinite touch points that we have created will branding become pure art?

(b) I have read you saying that your agency's basic philosophy is to take a brand and make it famous. Does this principle apply to all brands?
Can the average soap brand also stand a chance of becoming a mini celebrity? What's the process like?

(c)Is surprise the new consistency?

(d)In this age of 24X7 global connectivity, and the fact that digital creatives like the BMW films have an infinite life will the size of the media budget cease to matter?

(e)How do you plan ( Burger King, VW) to lead the conversation in a category,in the culture?

(f)Tell me something about your strategic planning department? With sociologists, anthropologists and investigative journalists.

and a few other Qs...

5. It was supposed to be a 30 min interview but Alex gave me about 50...spoke like a clairvoyant with humility and brilliance.

6. One of the things I have often wondered about is the extreme elasticity of the Bollywood stars - SRK for example endorses close to 25 brands - from the sasta Nav Ratan Tel to Tag Heuer yet we don't have any problems understanding him. He/ Aamir/ Amitabh still manage to give meaning and stability to brands.

What I never figured out how they manage to do this so effortlessly. And I deal this in one of the chapters in our book.

Alex had an interesting take - he said people take ingredients from brands not consume/ believe the whole of most brands. So, under this ingredient theory, the 30brand SRK is easier to understand.

7. We talked of Paris Hilton, the return of the 30sec commercial and the changed role of mass media...

8. I liked both the sound of the questions and the texture of his answers...It was a thrilling experience.

Next on the list : Balki!!


meraj said...

wow! looks like your book is shaping up well :) (touch wood)

all the best!

Manish said...

ya this one was unexpected. thanks to LinkedIn and Alex!!! although the working week derails the book...But it's good exercise for the mind and fun as and when I get the time!

Irshad Daftari said...

Now I am jealous