Published on July 17th, 2008 | by drkkr


Stunning AD CZAR Rajiv Menon

Rajiv Menon


The world famous Ad and Film Producer Rajiv Menon’s exclusive  thoughts on advertising,excerpts from an interview with Mr.Rajiv.

In your career as an Ad-film maker which is the best ad you have ever come across?

Best ad that I have ever comes across…it’s difficult. I have come across a lot of good ones, but I have never graded them ,if i ask you which is the best song you have ever come across it is difficult right. You like songs at certain times but they move away from your memory.

Do you write the scripts for the Ads that you make based on the concepts of the advertising agencies or is it a collaborated effect?

90% of the Ad-script are made by them we polish the scripts we debug the script they are 10% commercials were you completely write it yourself for instance the Asian Paints Commercial someone sitting in Bombay cannot write it. There is no real script. It is just the idea that somebody is coming hone and its Pongal that’s its just to tell you some one coming home. Now, whether you are coming in the Bus or whether you all are going back home directly or whether you god throw the back side and then surprise your mother may be meet your sister are not told to you. Those are what you create and in the process you create the mood. There are some commercials that we completely write. The lyrics are written in Chennai. But there are lyrics are written in Chennai. But there are lyrics where they give a fairly good story. 90% there is a clear-cut idea from the advertising agencies. We polish and present them.

If there is one brand you want to do an ad for, which one would it be? And why?

Well, they got to pay me for it. I think I have don’t most of the categories I don’t do cigarette advertisement. I lost my father when I was 15, as he had a heart-attack. I think smoking causes cancer and creates heart attack. That’s one decision I have made. I know which product I’ll not do advertisement for.

Sir, today with so many channels on TV and with so many ads, people tend to skip channels when there is an ad-break. So, how effective do you think, TV advertisement could be?

Well it is. It is supremely effective. It’s because of the fact that, that’s why people are spending that kind of money. To put an ad in “Kaun Banega Crore Pathy” it costs you around 15 lacs. That’s a lot of money to put on. So, obviously lot of people are watching that. What we normally do is a technique called anti-zap. We normally switch on from one channel to another. If you are watching “Channel V” you will switch on the M TV”. We book the same second, on both the channels. So, invariably you notice if you switch from “SUN TV” to “VIJAY” or “RAJ”, you will find the same category of advertisements. If I’m looking at ladies who are buying tea. I don’t think the students will decide on which tea is bought at home. I better put that on “Chithy”. They do all that study. There are elaborate study programmers and that’s the media planner’s job.

Rajiv Menon

What­ you raised is a very important question. The ethics of the media is coming down. Earlier when we had national network, the whole country watched on program. They didn’t have an option. So, if you put an ad, you don’t have tow worry. Everyone will sit and watch. But today with so many channels if you want to reach everyone… say, Nirma became very famous and it went into people’s head. Now if you want to have the same impact, have probably need to spend 15 times more money. Previously a great advertising budget would be around one core. But today, for an ad which you might look at and say its okay, would cost you around 20 crores. So, to reach the same population, you got so many regional channels and you got so many dhoordharshans, you got to reach people and you got to make sure they don’t zap you can do all the working also make sure that you are coming during the right time. You are sitting here and saying I have a very good idea for a kitchen cleaner, it is very difficult to launch the product. A kitchen cleaner can only be launched by a multinational. We don’t have, 15 crore to put in, in the first year to back it. That is why, slowly Indian manufactures are being pushed out from the market and it’s basically multinationals. Even if its an Indian brand they buy it out, as they have the huge infrastructure and they have that money. That’s one of the bad things that’s happening.

Which one of your ads you like the most?

Difficult to say that I made the best ad. There are certain commercials, which are closer to one’s heart. I guess the Asian paints commercial is the one I like, because there is nothing on paper. If I say, write on all the Shots in Asian paints commercial, It’s no there, it’s not a strategy. But some kind of magic between sounds, visuals, emotions. There’s something that happens in that ad. Another commercial which I like is the one which had been done for education. Its about a little lame boy who is going to school. But there’s nothing like, which is world class and outstanding. If you are writing you can’t just pickup one page and say this is the best page I have written. We just do our job.

To day most of the advertisements have celebrities. Your comments on that

Well, its got to work out for some brands. I don’t know if it really works. Some categories it may work. I am not a great one for recommending celebrity advertising.

Exaggeration in ads, how effective is it?

It is very effective. If you are going to make it humorous it will surely be effective.

One what basis are the awards give in for advertising?

This is a debatable point in India. Some of the advertising agencies get together. They get their own ads, competing against each other. We got to have an independent jury. What happens is the people who get the award are very happy and the people who don’t get it or not.

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3 Responses to Stunning AD CZAR Rajiv Menon

  1. rahul says:

    Good content,serve us more.can u have you photo uploaded on your profile.

  2. lakshman says:

    3 very good interviews. informative. its amazing that you get a chance to meet people like shoba de, whom i have known only through her columns in magazines. after reading ur interview my view point of her being a pakka feminist have cracked a bit.! well sir do keep updating.i would be very happy if somehow u could do one with AR RAHAMN. just not him..but icons like kiran bedi,advani,sachin etc whom i look upon.. {these people have gr8 brand value too !!}
    thank you.looking forward to more such fruitful interactions.

  3. Sayuj says:


    Thanks a lot. Very informative.

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