‘We have single-minded focus to find creative solutions for our clients’

PRADYUMAN MAHESHWARI | P KARUNYA RAO | Mon, 1 Feb 2016-06:20am , dna

Joseph George, Group CEO, Mullen Lowe Lintas Group India and Arun Iyer, Chief Creative Officer, Lowe Lintas

You’ve made winning a kind of a habit. Last year, Mullen Lowe Lintas bagged 75 awards, and once again you are winning…

We’ve had a good run and this is something that Arun, Amer, I and all of us have worked quite purposefully towards. People may not know that most of the 75 awards are marketing effectiveness awards. So our belief in delivering maximum RoI for clients continues to be at the core of our DNA. Anything that appreciates and acknowledges that, is great for us.

You continue to not participate in creative awards, but what is it about marketing effectiveness that appeals to you?

There is no simple reason. We genuinely believe that any awards event that does not take into account what the particular communication was supposed to do — and if it does not take into account how it affected the marketplace — is actually meaningless. Clients spend a lot of money on their brands and they expect RoI, so anything that acknowledges communication that worked for that is something that we would like to participate in, and we will continue doing that.

But at the end of the day, Lowe Lintas is a creative agency. So how do creative folks react to the fact that it is effectiveness and not creativity that matters?

I think creativity without effectiveness is absolutely useless. Our trip in life is to come up with solutions that work; and when people love ideas, they become effective. So the divide between effectiveness and creativity is absolutely wrong. As an industry, we have lived with that and that’s something we practise wholeheartedly.

What is the secret sauce that has made the Lowe Lintas group win so many awards in the last two years?

I think it is the single-minded focus that we have, of making sure that we have the best possible creative solutions for the client on a business problem that needs to be solved. I think that is as single-minded as we can get. There is no confusion on the fact that we are a creative agency; our creative product is at the heart of it and our creative function is at the heart of everything that we do. For example, even an organisational restructure or process restructure is done around creative functions because we genuinely believe that is what we are in the business for. Clients come to us for our creative products. The only difference is we believe that for truly effective creative awards, a creative product must work in the marketplace and in the consumer’s mind. If it doesn’t move the needle either in the market or in the consumers’ mind, it is not a creative.

Two years ago, it was Lowe Lintas. Last year it was Ogilvy. Is winning this award more satisfactory because you have pipped Ogilvy at the post?

No. I won’t hide the fact that Ogilvy is one agency we truly respect, and the end point becomes that much more important if you win over a competitor that you respect…. The same ethos of providing creative solutions for clients exists there as well. We like that there is someone else who is attempting the same thing as us, and sometimes – like this time — we do better.