Magazine Special 2012: Interview: Luxury of time allows experimentation

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Emmanuel Upputuru

In an interview with Deepika Bhardwaj, Emmanuel Upputuru, who has just put in his papers at Publicis India, tells that magazines allow more scope for innovation than a newspaper. In the same vein, he tells that senior rung of ad-men are more interested in television campaigns, as they bring instant fame. Excerpts from the interview:

How creatives have to be different in magazines as compared to newspapers?
I believe that creatives in a newspaper is more immediate, right now, daily deals kind. It is more information loaded, details oriented, offers focused. The main objective of the creative is to make you buy the product. Whereas in a magazine, the creative doesn’t necessarily have immediacy. It doesn’t have to be about the same day. The shelf life is more, so you have the luxury of time. It is a product of leisure so the creative has to be more appealing. Here, the main objective is to let you buy the brand.

Is it easier to design a copy and creative for a magazine than a newspaper?
For a newspaper ad, putting down the facts right is very important. You can have a nice line like ‘Holi Ke Rang Hamare Sang’ along with the product and you are done. For a magazine the creative has to be slightly more smarter as you are selling more of a brand. The tone of the brand, the product shoot, the product style – all that has to be measured more than in newspaper. Magazine needs more specialised, more skilled resource. The thought process is elaborate. The challenges in both the mediums are different. In a newspaper you have to draw more footfalls to the showroom, in a magazine that’s not the idea. Newspapers, I would say are easier.

How are magazines a better bet over newspapers to showcase creativity and innovations as compared to newspapers?
I think magazines are more open to innovations and possibilities. The fact that it is more economical than a newspaper and gives you leeway to be more experimental. You can try more things in it. But overall, innovation is very limited in the whole print medium. To quote an anecdote, we were working on a campaign for a magazine and we shared an innovation with the publisher. When we asked if its possible, the gentleman showed us some experiments they had done before and asked us to chose from it. My question to him was, if it’s been done before, how will it be an innovation? That’s the point.

Are creative professionals inclined towards innovating for magazines?
More than magazines, I think the bigger problem is with the medium. If you see, most of the senior most professionals in an agency would be working on a television campaign. They are more interested in films. Unless it comes to awards, no one in the senior rung usually experiments with the medium. The glory and fame comes from TV ads and rarely from print ads. So everyone wants to innovate for that medium.

What are the advantages that a magazine can bring to creative solutions that no other platform offers?
If you ask, I would say in a magazine, you have the luxury of time – you can have teaser in the beginning – the main ad in towards the end – there is no pressure to sell – you have the luxury of time to persuade consumer into a brand thought.

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Neeta Nair

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