9 takeaways from our conversation with the legendary Prasoon Joshi

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Prasoon Joshi

In conversation with Prasoon Joshi on the existence of creative industry, his favorite ad campaigns, marketing in the millennial age and a lot more.

Prasoon Joshi, Chairman of McCann Worldgroup Asia Pacific and CEO of McCann Worldgroup is much, much more than this designation. One of the pioneers of the Indian advertising industry, Joshi disrupted the space to make it what it is today. Not to mention Bollywood gems such as Maa from Taare Zameen Par and Arziyaan from Delhi 6 that he gave the world!

So, when we had the opportunity to pick the mind of legendary Prasoon Joshi, we took it. Obviously. And here are 9 of the most important things he shared.

  1. Benjamin first AI Scriptwriter, what will AI do? You will feed AI with a lot of scripts, the work which is done before and the AI will do permutation -combinations and will create fresher things out of it. But, a writer or a creative people try to venture into the things that are never done before. “All around the world we are talking about data and data will take over, but collectively I believe in Indian advertising, we got fantastic minds, our collective intelligence is capable of finding any solution, but unfortunately, individual survival takes precedence over the industry’s collective intelligence. We don’t have to fear data, eventually what will data do, data will let you get Urdu Poetry Lovers in on room and will say they are predisposed poetry, they love Urdu, and they are all heartbroken, they are dying to hear the poetry, but Ghalib ka andaaz-e- bayan kahan se laaoge”  How will AI experience the raw emotions, that a human being will feel. I would like to befriending AI rather than being a victim of it.
  2. Advertising is art. Data analytics is Science, it is not art. Science will go hand in hand with art, but let’s not confuse them.
  3. Consumers don’t look at advertising in silos. They don’t see it in a compartmentalized way like ‘Oh let’s watch advertisements for cars’ or ‘let’s watch ads from FMCG brands’. Consumers see it in a holistic way. It’s always about the consumers first.
  4. As a writer, I always tell people to venture into things that haven’t been done before! You do not do permutation and combination with things that have been done before. My family has been associated with classical music and we were not allowed to watch film music. I did not know whether my vocabulary would be accepted but when I wrote, I found out that people really liked it. They warmed up to it and this would be incredibly difficult to achieve from something like. Because creative people try to strike, they themselves are into a journey, try to experience a new experience. Creative people are into a journey, and in this journey, work is a by-product and journey is the product.
  5. There are two things, for a creator, one recognition is the creative piece of work they did, see it resonating amongst people. Another recognition is when your peer group puts their hand around you and say I really like the work you are doing.
  6. In today’s world, there is a fear, where the technology is so repeatedly changing, that creativity and amusement can be confused. There is a great idea there, but the craft is also an important part of the creativity. Craft has the power to say the same thing again in a different way.
  7. Netflix has no ads, and YouTube is struggling with it and then you have the Lego film, where you don’t know whether it’s an ad or film. There will be solutions, we are in a transition phase and I find it very interesting and very challenging. A lot of things that worked earlier may not work now, but we have to understand the truth within it remains the same.
  8. I think that long format ads are sometimes unnecessarily long, and I feel that at times just because you have the luxury of time, you have taken that time. Just because I have a full page, doesn’t mean I have to write a full page. I think restraint is a very important part of creativity. Restrain is a very important part of the creativity.
  9. The Happydent ad was where I used my singing and music is my favourite. I love to let my imagination run wild and you can see that in the ad. I like to feel the emotion in my bones.


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