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What makes any idea successful is perseverance and hard work: Komal Bedi Sohal

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nanoWith a career spanning 19 years and several accolades under her belt, Komal Bedi Sohal is a name to reckon with in the field of advertising. Her work on the Tata Nano “Awesomeness” campaign as Chief Creative Officer of Rediffusion Y&R has been widely appreciated and given the “people’s car” a new avatar. The “celebrate awesomeness” campaign attracted 5 million views on Youtube in 30 days and successfully repositioned the car as a fun, peppy car to drive around in. Having worked on global brands like Harvey Nichols, Land Rover, LG, Citibank, Colgate, Virgin Atlantic, Axe Deodorants and Microsoft Xbox, Komal’s oevre is spilling over with such successful campaigns. Kanika Mehrotra caught up with her on the sidelines of the Epica Awards in the capital to ask her more about her “awesome” campaigns.

How was the experience of coming up with a campaign like ‘awesomeness’?
The experience was fantastic, awesome. Here was a chance to do something meaningful, do something for the brand, a brand that wanted to change the way it was perceived. The brand needed a successful makeover. The results are definitely positive and the efforts put in by me and the entire team have paid off.

You have worked with different brands in different countries. What is the difference between the consumer behavior in emerging economies and developed economies?
In India, there is a vast range of consumers. The same TVC is seen by a person travelling in a Mercedes and a person travelling in an auto and also the person who is driving the auto. There is economic disparity as well as cultural differences in India .One thing that works universally are emotions. People all over the globe relate with the emotion of fun, excitement and enjoyment.

Most importantly, people should relate to what is being said, it should be able to touch their hearts. The emotions remain pivotal in developed, developing and even in an under developed economy. The campaign should strike an emotion.

A trend that is seeing phenomenal growth is the use of Digital Campaigns. How differently do you have to prepare for a digital campaign as compared to a TVC or a Print campaign?
The most important factor for a digital campaign is that it should be share-worthy. Consumers should feel like sharing it. The consumer should feel for it. For the digital medium, the consumer is the master. In a TVC, the viewer may not change the channel due to many factors. It could be because they are watching in a group or just being lazy. They might watch the TVC even if they do not find it captivating. But in the case of a digital campaign, the person has to be moved and feel strongly enough to want to share it with people.

If digital campaigns have to be worth sharing, is it more difficult to plan a digital campaign as compared to the TVCs?
In the digital medium the target audience is mostly the youth and hence most of the digital campaigns are planned around the youth. The digital campaign should be able to connect with the youth. The key to connect with the youth is by understanding their attitude, aspirations and attitude towards things. The brand can connect with the youth by adopting the ‘lingo’ of the youth in the campaign. The ‘awesomeness’ advertisement which has been liked by the youth so much had more than 5 millions views on YouTube. The same TVC was telecast on TV but as it was targeted at the youth, the response on YouTube was overwhelming. This was also because it was very fresh in its category. Now the digital medium is used in tier 2 and 3 cities also and the range is increasing by the day.

One advice you would give to anybody who is planning a digital campaign or TVC?
Don’t give up. Fight for your ideas, and believe in them. You have to live in the ethos of creativity. Until you fail, you will not appreciate victory. Ideas do get rejected but that should not scare you. Every day is a big struggle to come up with ideas. It may seem very cool and glamorous, on the outside but a lot of hard work goes behind each campaign and every “like” received from the consumers. What makes any idea successful is perseverance and hard work. I still work for 12-14 hours every day just to bring out the best.

Creativity can’t be tapped in the time frame of working hours. A creative person can’t say that he is creative only during his working hours. Creativity has to be the way you live. You have to be brave, have fun, and enjoy work. The moment work becomes a drudgery, the quality dips.

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