Making it happen

In the twentieth century, in the waning years of the ninetieth decade, I was known amongst my peers, clients and vendors for a particular form of jugaad – making it happen.

This particular project has a story, of animal rights, pigeonshit, finding one hundred perfect white pigeons, using screenprinting (something most of you wouldn’t know about) to create 100 direct mail letters, putting the logo strip as a sticker on sheet metal strips to be wired onto the cages, then finding 10 young men to dress in tuxes and take limos to major media buyers… all for the launch of one magazine.

But the client was a favourite and when he said, "I want pigeons" I said "you’re nuts". Then he said "I want pigeons" so I said, "Fine, but I am going to charge you through the nose for this bullshit exercise." Of course, the campaign went on to hit the marketing/branding pages of The Hindustan Times in New Delhi, which more than took care of his ROI.

The copy says "This is another form of communication that our new magazine does not cover" because we’d already mailed the media rate list to advertising agencies, rolled up, in a bottle. Gettit? *grin* Hey! It was the beginning years of what is now IT India – I had never seen the internet when I created this piece in 1995.

Voice&Data recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. When I met PG on my recent visit to India, I reminded him of the launch and his pigeon obsession. Told him, no, he just didn’t want a launch – the advertising campaign,the direct mail subscription drive, marketing collateral and the database – he wanted those birds too, leaving pigeon droppings all over the Result office. Those were the days…

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