At 60, Piyush Pandey looks to be in no mood to hang his boots at the country’s top ad agency. Pandey, executive chairman and creative director at Ogilvy and Mather (O&M), India and South Asia, is behind several popular ad campaigns for brands such as Asian Paints, Fevicol and Google Reunion. He also led the successful ‘Ab ki baar Modi sarkar’ campaign for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the run-up to the 2014 general elections.
Today, Pandey is looking to forge traditional and digital media together. In October, his autobiography, aptly called Pandeymonium, which gives a peek into the thoughts and ideas of one of India’s greatest ad men, was released. In this interview, Pandey talks about his creative game plan at O&M and why he thinks data and research do not drive the creative business.
Today there is much emphasis on data analytics. Does analytics actually have any meaningful role to play in advertising?
What is important is how you read the data. Any number is useful but no data can tell how it should be used to bring a change in the behaviour of consumers. For example, data can tell me Anu and her friends think this way. Similarly, there are more girls of the same age who think alike. So now my next job as a creative professional is to read between the lines to understand what will excite these young girls. Yes, data is important but it is not the answer and can never be the answer.