John Hegarty, BBH: Stop doing scams, do things that really matter!
Sir John Hegarty, the founder of the global advertising giant, Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) graced GoaFest 2011 and was present as its chief guest. Hegarty needs no introduction and that was obvious as the seminar hanger filled to its maximum capacity and more as professionals from the media and advertising industry came pouring in to hear the legend speaking. Commercials like Levi's 'Laundrette', and Levi's 'Flatbeat' featuring Flat Eric, a small yellow puppet have been highly credited to the company. They were also responsible for 'Vorsprung durch Technik' for Audi, 'The Axe (Lynx) Effect' for Unilever and 'Keep Walking' for Johnnie Walker.
Adgully caught up with Hegarty to discover his thoughts on the Indian market among other things.
Adgully: How would you rate some of the Indian work as compared to internationally?
John Hegarty: I would rate it as good. I wouldn’t rate it as great but that’s alright. This is the beginning. We always debate at BBH how to go from good to great and I think that is the next thing. I think the important thing is that you are doing this. You are getting people involved in thinking about environmental issues and how advertising also can save things and not just sell things.
Ag: How is the agency shaping up?
JH: BBH is shaping up really well. We have got a terrific group of people and we are building a client base. We now got an outstanding executive creative director and some wonderful creative work. We will now translate that into some great work. There are some wonderful things that we are doing which aren’t published as of now but that will soon happen.
Ag: What are your expectations from the Indian market?
JH: I think it is going to be a terrific market for us. I am very excited about having Asians in India and I believe it has a fantastic future. I get real energy here and real dynamism. I love being a part of it. I think BBH is going to have a great part to play.
Ag: Do you think clients are more receptive because of your international lineage?
JH: I think clients are much the same world over. They are difficult, they are great, they are afraid and nervous and all of them are trying to make sure that they get value for money. It is the same the world over.
Ag: How easy/difficult is it to understand the Indian client’s communication needs?
JH: I think it is very easy. I looked at all those advertisements and I understood each and every one of them. Of course they reflect the Indian culture but I can understand it. It is not difficult. I think it is a great opportunity.
Ag: Do you have any parting advice to the industry?
JH: Keep up the great work. And remember, stop doing scams, do things that really matter. Put your efforts into something like a GoaFest or Olive Crown Awards rather than some scam work. | By Janees Antoo [janees(at)adgully.com]