Commentary: Minus Bobby Pawar, Mudra shows its creativity

Mudra’s Pratap Bose ‘welcomes’ the creative heavyweight and his former agency mate with a huge billboard outside the JWT office in Mumbai!

The Mudra Group billboard put up outside the JWT office in Mumbai on Wednesday

By Kalyan Kar


January 12, 2011

It was the first day in the JWT office for Bobby Pawar as its Chief Creative Officer & Managing Partner. The much-awarded and respected creative heavyweight had bid goodbye to the Mudra Group as its Chief Creative Officer very recently after a glorious innings of four-odd years during which he had turned Mudra into an agency with a creative pedigree. Mudra bosses too have not fought shy to admit that in public.

But a routine first-day-in-office turned into an interesting one outside for Mumbai’s ad frat at around 9:30 AM yesterday morning – courtesy Pratap Bose, COO of Mudra Group. His entry on Facebook read: “Billboard put up by Mudra on Bobby’s first day @ JWT (next to his office)”. And there was the photograph of the hoarding to boot with the banner reading: “MUDRA WELCOMES BOBBY PAWAR TO JWT”.

At day’s end at the time of writing, the scoreline on Pratap’s Facebook page was: 153 “Likes” and 43 “Comments”. Pratap had scored a big hit!

Unusual? It sure was. Even considering that advertising is all about creativity. But this one sure took the cake. Nobody put up a billboard in Mumbai to commemorate Bal Mundkur, one of the tallest figures of Indian advertising, who passed away last week. Then why this? And it was not even April 1 as we were just on January 11 yesterday.

Off the record, some agency heads said that it was Mudra’s way of telling the world that ‘The Bobby Pawar’ may have left the agency, but Mudra was capable of a high level of creativity – without him. Makes sense. After all, Bobby had instilled a huge culture of creativity in the agency and left behind a strong creative team.

When contacted for his comments, Pratap said: “At the end of the day, we need to bring the fun back in advertising. At a senior level we are all friends. So it’s a question of being tongue-in-cheek and emotional at the same time. I take credit for the idea and executed it along with the team. I thought of this hoarding at midnight yesterday. The location is also JWT’s Mumbai office.”

On his part, the ever polite Bobby, when contacted, said: “This is a great gesture by them (Mudra). I haven’t seen it (the billboard) but saw the picture on Facebook. And my first reaction was to laugh out loud! It’s cheeky and emotional at the same time. I know it’s Pratap’s idea as I know the man very well. It’s a well displayed thought in public and I feel the same way for them.”

And on Facebook, the evening post by Pratap read: “Thanks guys for all those messages. At the end of day I guess we need to bring the fun back into advertising. We compete like crazy but at the end of the day we are all friends … Or at least most of us are J)

And Bobby posted at day’s end: “Thanks boyeez!” Some interesting comments were as follows:

Vijay Cavale: freaked out super cool … who says ooh can’t create buzz? (Well, Vijay is a OOH professional.)

Kavita Bagga: cheeky! (She could afford to be face-on as she is from the client side – SAB Miller)

But the gem among the comments was from one Rajiv Dhall who wrote: “interesting but please clarify, is Mudra missing Bobby or is Mudra suggesting Bobby that he’ll miss Mudra. this is like welcoming your ex-wife on day of her wedding J

Whatever be it, at the end of the day it was fun all right, with a dash of tongue-in-cheek and creativity. Ooops, I forgot to ask Colvin (Harris) for his take on this piece of fun.

  • Neha

    Totally witty it is!

Neha / January 12, 2012,02:45 PM UTC

Totally witty it is!