Man of Honour

Written by fe Bureau | Updated: Sep 1 2010, 04:34am hrs
Earlier this month, the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) honoured Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director, Ogilvy & Mather (O&M), India and South Asia, with the lifetime achievement award. Pandey, who is considered the father of Hindi language advertising, joined O&M in 1982, before which he used to work as a tea taster.

He came to the limelight after Ranjan Kapur became the managing director of O&M and made Pandey the creative director. Kapur discovered that though Pandey worked on the account planning side, he had a natural finesse for creative writing and helped many colleagues on the sly.

One of the earliest and most memorable campaigns created by Pandey is the Chal Meri Luna campaign for Kinetic. Pandey has an interesting anecdote to narrate for that campaign. I wrote three films for Kinetic but people said that the client would not approve and would eat me up. Nevertheless, I went ahead with my ideas. The client heard me out for all the 3 films with a poker face and I thought that was the end of my big ideas. But, in the end, he said teeno banado (make all three films), recollects Pandey. And as they say the rest is history.

In 2004, Pandey became the first Asian to be appointed as president of a Cannes jury. He became the national creative director of Ogilvy & Mather India in 1994 and was inducted into the OgilvyWorldwide board in 2006. Various Indian surveys have named him as one of the most influential persons in Indian advertising.

As the whos who of the advertising and marketing industry turned up to cheer Pandey when he was bestowed with the lifetime achievement award, FEs Pritha Mitra Dasgupta caught up with some of them and heres what they had to say about Pandey: