June 18, 2012

Jalebi No Longer Tastes as Sweet

One of the biggest challenges I face in my daily life as I go about my work is to tip toe on the thin line between plagiarism and inspiration. From my dad over his years of distinguished service, if there is something I have picked up, it is the absolute honesty with which one must do his or her job and then believe “Ma Faleshu....” The Bhagvad Gita has a lot of answers if we seek them well enough.

And thus as it is extremely important for me to create products that absolutely are brilliant, it is also my responsibility to give full freedom to creativity and let brilliance of individuals take over. But I am a scared man. And that’s because the line I mentioned above is absolutely thin. Every single individual who creates an advertisement lives in that constant fear – “Has the idea that has germinated in my mind, already been used in another country, in another product?” I have been fortunate to work with individuals who adhere to this strict sense of propriety and thus have rarely been worried. But even I live in that fear. If there are 6 guys in this world who look exactly the same, it’s not unnatural if 2 people have the same idea. But imagine the fall-out of such a situation.

This year itself there have been 2 movies both dealing with the theme of Snow White in a different setting. Who had the original idea? Did they individually come up with it?

The problem with ideas is essentially that since no longer we work in isolation; even ideas are results of group think. We build on each other’s thoughts to come up with a solution so that the end result can claim no one originator.

Anyway, coming back to the reason why I am going on and on is because of this ad. You all would remember it. One of the most touchingly emotional ads made in India. It might not be a great ad in terms of standard checks we have on an ad, but its greatness lies elsewhere. It stays on with you. You remember the moment. You remember the characters and from a world where there was so less clutter, you remember the Brand.

Now look at this ad – made way before by another great food company.

Where is the line between inspiration, coincidence and a feeling of betrayal? It’s too thin.


Scattershot said...

Good one Madhurjya! This post comes close to the Cannes awards. Is there a relation?

Madhurjya Banerjee said...

Not really :) Generally I refrain from passing comments on creativity other than what I am paying for :)