Top 10 AD Gurus of India

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The 21st century has left us in awe with its constant & dynamic changes in digital industry. Advertisements has changed the way we look at the product.

Ad agencies are the most dynamic industry where the ‘Most Creative Minds’ in the world exist. It is in the hands of these ad filmmakers to make up or break a firm’s marketing campaigns.

The ‘Creative Heads’

Behind a good advertisement that drives people crazy and induces them to purchase that particular thing, there’s an unconventional team of prolific artists who forms the entire strategy.

This blog acknowledges those brilliant minds of the multimedia industry which has made us familiar with some memorable and unforgettable ads.

While reading about them you will come to know that the most creative ads in the Indian industry are made by them.

And this is the reason, these people deserve a widespread acknowledgment for all the beautiful ads they have created for us all these years.

If it raises your curiosity to know about them, go through with the list of 10 famous ad gurus prepared by us for you to get inspired. They have given a new dimension to ads in India but also given some unforgettable commercials as well.

Prahlad Kakkar

Prahlad Kakkar

The list has to begin with the pioneer man of the industry.

Prahlad Kakkar is a leading Indian ad film director, best known for his work on the famous Pepsi TV commercial, “Ye hi hai right choice”, “Everest ka tikha lal”, “Maggie pichkoo”, “I love you Rasna” and the list is still going on.

Giving a new dimension to advertising domain, this bold man, with his witty ideas has brilliantly employed the sense of Indian culture in ads.

Prahlad has ruled the ad film making business and has won several awards for technical excellence, innovation, and creativity in advertising over the years in India.

Highly inspired by what he believes, I would love to share his few words from one his interviews with The Telegraph, which will ultimately tell you about his magical personality.

“The true test of a good advertising professional is that if you see a competitor’s film that is very well done, you wish that you had done it and every film that you had done, you’d love to do it better again. That is a fact of life. You’re as good as your last work always!

—Prahlad Kakkar

Prasoon Joshi

Prasoon Joshi

From ‘Thanda matlab Coca- Cola’ to unconditionally brilliant lyrics for Modi goverment campaigns, this steller man is power house of talent.

It was Rajkumar Santoshi’s Lajja, that our industry got a gem like him.

His versatile nature and fresh approach to cinema gave us some splendid movies like Fanna, Rang de Basanti, Taare Zameen Par, Delhi-6 & so on.

He redefined the advertisement industry with the power his of lyrics. With ‘Thanda Matlab Coca-Cola‘ in 2003, he gave a tough to Pepsi’s ‘Dil-Mangey More’ and with that we saw the rise of new millennial ad guru.

Prasoon Joshi is the Chairman Asia Pacific & CEO of McCann Worldgroup India. He has been awarded Padma Shri by Government of India for his contribution towards the field of Arts, Literature, and Advertising. He was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2015 for his contributions towards the field of Arts, Literature, and Advertising.

In August 2017 he was appointed as the chairman of CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification), a position that he’s holding since then.

His notable campaigns include for NDTV India (Sach Dikhate Hain hum), Saffola (Abhi to main jawan hoon) LG, Marico, Perfetti (Alpenliebe, Chlormint), and the Cannes-winning Thanda Matlab Coca-Cola campaign with Aamir Khan.

His Happydent television commercial is considered by experts as India’s best ad till date. He has rightfully earned the title of “The Ad Guru of India.”

“Khali shabd kuch nahin hota. If you don’t have the right emotion behind them, the words will be hollow. The right time, the right emotion, and right delivery is what makes it.”

—Prasoon Joshi

R. Balki

R. Balki

R. Balki is one of the renowned man of the advertising industry who has simply glued us to the television with his ads.

R. Balki is an Indian filmmaker, screenwriter, Chairman and CCO of the advertising agency Lowe Lintas (India). He is best known for directing Cheeni Kum (2007) and Paa (2009).

Balki was famous for his take on social problems prevailing in India. He started depicting the social issues with his pinch of humor.

His bold attitude has showed us that he’s a man who is unafraid to stand by his opinions, even if they are radically unpopular.

Balki’s ideas have included “Daag Achche Hain” for ‘Surf Excel‘, “Jaago re” ads for ‘Tata Tea‘ and the “walk when you talk” Idea Cellular advertising campaign.

Piyush Pandey

Piyush Pandey

‘Think Local and Influence Global’ a strategy that made him one of the iconic Ad guru of India.

Piyush Pandey is the Executive Chairman, National Creative Director Ogilvy & Mather India and the winner of over 600 awards for advertising all over the world.

His information-led ads, Pandey created brands and ideas that have stood the test of time.

With his iconic storytelling ability, he became the favorite man of ad industry. He ruled the heart of every Indian with his compelling advertisements touching the nerves of Indian society.

Most notable ad campaigns in India designed by him are BJP campaigns for the 2014 elections, Cadbury Dairy Milk: ‘Kuch khaas hai‘, Kinetic Luna: ‘Chal meri Luna’ as his famous debut campaign. And many other ad campaigns for Fewikwik, Vodafone, and Asian Paints are enlisted in his contribution.

I believe in storytelling and that is what I was doing back then, and that is what my team also did, and maybe that is why almost everything we made back then turned to gold.

—Piyush Pandey

Josy Paul

Josy Paul

One of the most influential people in the Indian advertising, Josy Paul has been named as the ‘Creative Person of the Year’ for India and South Asia in 2012 by Campaign India.

Known for his ground breaking work for P&G brand, he created ads that left us awestruck.

He has also designed many ads like Johnson’s Baby Cream, Pillsbury, Aviva’s Great Wall of Education, Visa Debit card and more.

With the belief that India need more “acts not ads”, he founded BBDO India, which ultimately led to movements like Gillette’s Women Against Lazy Stubble’ that fetched him many international awards including the Black Lion at Cannes for ‘creative effectiveness,’ the only one for Asia.

My biggest competitor taught me to always play on the front foot.”

—Josy Paul

Arvind Sharma

Arvind Sharma

Arvind Sharma has been the longest-serving CEO and chairman of an ad agency, Leo Burnett for 21 years.

He has been the force behind popular ads like McDonalds, award-winning radio ads like Tata Salt Lite, Thumbs Up, Tide and much more.

He has now turned entrepreneur with the e-commerce venture, India-sari-house.

Sam Balsara

Sam Balsara

A protuberant personality in the Indian advertising industry, Sam Balsara has over 30 years of experience in the ad world.

He launched an agency back in 1988 which became the First Full-Fledged Media Agency of India and since then there’s no looking back.

The Founder, Chairman & Managing Director of Madison World, Sam’s company has worked with the most prominent brand available in the market.

The Economic Times Brand Equity Ad Agency Reckoner ranks Sam as “India’s Most Influential Media Person” for the last 10 consecutive years.

He has worked with Modi team and responsible for the biggest political campaign the country has ever seenSome of his clientele includes Godrej, Mondelez (Cadbury), ITC, Marico, Raymond, McDonald’s, Snapdeal and many others.

Alyque Padamsee

Alyque Padamsee

Alyque Padamsee – A Legend who redefined the dynamics of Indian theater and advertising industry. He was the genius brain behind the ads that stayed with us forever, even after he left!

Padamsee was the Chief Executive for 14 years who built Lintas India to be one of the top agencies in the country.

Known as the Brand Father of Indian advertising, Padamsee has built over 100 brands

He was the only Indian to be voted into the International Clio Hall of Fame, the Oscars of World Advertising. Padamsee created Lalitaji for Surf, Cherry Charlie for Cherry Blossom Shoe Polish, the MRF Muscle Man, the Liril girl in the waterfall, Hamara Bajaj, the TV detective Karamchand, the Fair & Handsome brand, etc.

With his iconic characters, whether it is Lalitaji from Surf commercial or Liril girl, he touched upon the emotional retina of people and made ads that remained imprinted in the minds of people for generations.

Though he’s no more with us but his creative work and unconventional contribution to advertising world will be remembered always!

“Advertising must be entertaining or, it will be ignored”

—Alyque Padamsee

Agnello Dias

Agnello Dias

Agnello Dias is considered to be one of the most influential people in Indian advertising. There was a stir created when Taproot India launched.

He definitely is the king of today’s generation of ad freaks, having done everything right.

Having worked at some of the famous ad agencies like Lowe, Leo Burnett, and JWT, today he is the proud co-founder and Chairman of Taproot India, his own ad agency.

Some of Agnello’s popular ad campaigns include the Nike ad with the Goan track, Airtel’s Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai, TOI’s Aman ki Asha campaign and the Mumbai Mirror campaigns.

Senthil Kumar

Senthil Kuma

The list would be incomplete without him. Senthil Kumar is the CCO (Chief Creative Officer) for J Walter Thompson and among the top 10 advertising legends in India.

His work for brands such as PepsiCo, Nike, Levi’s, Google, Ford, The Times of India, Nestle, Unilever, ITC, Diageo, ING bank, Kingfisher Beer, MRF Tyres, De Beers, UNICEF, and Rotary, has won him and the agency several awards.

He claims to hold an unparalleled record of winning 16 Cannes Lions (giving him the title of The Lion Hunter) and being the only creative director on the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) board.

He has also won more than 200 awards so far for his work on Nike, Levi’s, Kingfisher, etc.

Author’s Note:

The advertising industry is all about creatively telling stories, with a single objective: reach out to the target audience. In the course of time, some work effectively, some may not, and a few always leave a mark in the minds of viewers.

The above list of ad gurus are the influential people who force you to give in to your temptation to buy things when you see an advertisement.

They are hugely responsible for your cravings when you see a little boy licking the cream inside a biscuit or the need to look better when you see a celeb become a star by using a cream or a soap.

These are also the “creative” pioneers of the Indian advertising industry. If you would like to share about your favorite ad or ad guru, then feel free to share with us in the comment section below.

I hope you have inspired with these top 10 ad gurus of India. Don’t you want to be like one of them, if yes then take your first step and explore our Multimedia Courses here.

Stay tuned with us for more informative blogs. Till then, Keep Exploring!

Top 10 Ad Gurus by ADMEC Multimedia Institute

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Top 10 AD Gurus of India
Top 10 AD Gurus of India

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