53RD EPISODE. This is a milestone story. 1992 or 1993, HERO HONDA was celebrating its 5,00,000th bike. Neither the year nor the numbers of bike is important in this story.
It was first time any Indian bike was hitting such a number. Munjal’s were excited with it. More excited was J Narian, Marketing head at Hero Honda and Mukul Kansal the Hero team head at HTA. You have to give it to Mukul Kansal for being the most diligent of the servicing tribe in agency business. He would do every possible thing to remain in good books of the client. He simply believed in hard work and bend backward client servicing along with knowing what ticks a client. This helped him through years with J Narian, who unintentionally always ended up making life a touch more uncomfortable for the agency.
The agency, HTA of 35 Rani Khansi Road, Jhadewalon presented many possible ways to celebrate it. One of the things that ticked client was a golden watch. Agency recommended it to be presented to employees and trade. A gold plated watch with a gold plated / printed dial and hands in golden colour. So at 10:10 you could see HERO Logo in upper semi circle and at say 8:20 see the 5,00,000th bike logo in the lower half of the dial. That’s it.
Ramesh the studio head at HTA helped team Hero Honda on the job. An almost perfect dummy (it was not even a colour print) was created at the studio. It was representative enough of how it would finally look like. It was expected that the watch company (I think Timex) was to later re-proof the dials for approval. So as far as I was concerned the job was over.
It was FRIDAY and I was ready with my plans for the weekend. The mobiles were not yet there. I had no landline connection, so if I went out on Friday it was impossible for anyone to catch me. I was half way down the stairs thinking of cool hills when I met Mukhul who as usual was coming back from Hero Honda. It was normal. There was a joke at HTA; Mukul signs attendance register at clients office and comes to agency only in evening.
Anyway, Mukul came in and gave me the watch dial. ‘We need to screen print this in actual size and show it to JN (almost sounded as JAIN) on Monday. Mukul seriously expected me to drop anything and everything and get the screen print done
I tried arguing but when Mukul is stuck he is stuck. In my view the client’s demand was highly unreasonable. Not that it could not be done. It was taking the agency for granted. The expected 5,00,000th bike was still months away. The watch company had shared the time they would take to deliver the project. So, even if wanting to see a final screen-printed sample was not bad enough, JN wanted that on Monday and Mukul had agreed to it. There was no point of discussing it again with Mukul. For him client wish was of paramount importance. So, what could I do?
There are ways to tackle such demands.
(1)- Call Shammi (production) to line up printer.
(2) Call Rameshjee (studio head) still at the studio to help get the artwork.
(3) Share this update with the Mukul.
(4) Politely upward delegate the job. ‘Mukul everything is lined up, you need to see the artwork in night, leave that with security, call Shammi; chase so that he picks it up in morning and then pressurise him to deliver it by Sunday afternoon’ and show it to JN on Monday as I might be late
(5) Proceed with the previously made plans.
There is a lesson there. As Client-agency team we are supposed to do the best as a team. The onus to plan is a responsibility for both sides. Clients should not regularly make unreasonable demands. Once in a while is okay. Then the agency will also go out of their way to deliver. Agencies instead of always bending backwards to oblige the client should at times logically discuss such instances. It may help to get to get the best out of the relationship.
I did go to Dehradun on that weekend. Mukul did show the dial on Monday. The final artwork and approval on that watch dial happened in next 2 months and the watch finally delivered on time 4 months after the episode.
……….. OTHER ADVERTISING MARKETING EPISODES …
● DOUBLE SURPRISE– Never walkin a party not knowing the occassion ● DING DONG EXCITEMENT AT MACAU – the addiction to casino ● HOT RIDE AT PUSHKAR – adventure ● THE WALK : How we discovered the culture at Macau ● The Jump – a team of 7 go sjyjumping during annual conclave at Pattaya ● HIGH SEA GAMBLING – the merry making in international waters ● KOTI ANGLES: Gambeling in Goa ● MISSING LIPS : How friendship develops to create different expectations ● The Trap: How the AE searching for adventure got duped ● Equal Opportunity to Indulge: How HR finds itself ina spot in Pattaya ● THE LOST HAUNTING MUSIC– An experience ● UNNAMED SPIRIT- A SPOOKY EXPERIENCE at Mcleodganj ● PUNJABI LINTAS – Amrit Puri takes over Lintas ● DELAYED LAUNCH – Why HT Delhi Colour supplement launch was delayed ● UNDERGROUND – Printing fake currency could have led to jail ● STRATEGIC RAIN BREAK – How ZID KARO DHONI film was shot ● THANK YOU ● RAIN CLAUSE – I – The fight with Whitelight film over Maruti film ● LETHAL COMBINATION ● APPETITE – It does not matter where you get the appetite till you eat at home ● Puncture – how not to get caught ● ADULTERY- THE MOMENT – Its all for you to decide how far you would go ● ASSET – how a famous Indian model was rejected ● I AM SANKAR – soft ragging of new trainee ● THE COUNT ● INTRODUCTION ● TIME BOMB – How to avoid embarrassing situation ● SMALL TILE – eye for detail ● SHOOT REPORT – junior saving the issue by innovative process ● SARDAR KHUSH HOGA – the agency reaction to a demand ● SHOOT AT MUD ISLAND – shooting with Denzil ●KAALI PEELI PICTURE – what do you do you’re your model is featured in Debonair ● UPGRADE – Bangalore ITC ● JUHI EFFECT– there is something called lady luck in gambling ● POWER OF PUNJAB ● OUT – let game be game ● TWO MORE – how not to pay for the drinks ● ELEVEN MINUTES – client tackles late agency ● THE CHERRY WIN –Team plays a prank ● THE PRESENTATION – junior takes revenge for last minute changes ● BLACK GOLD – A lesson on TVC presentation ● BUFFERED –delivery at airport ● CONTINUE WITH CLIENT – The management supports a high pitched battle with client ● NOT FIRED – just in time action by agency ● ONE LESS DECISION – a campaign thought represented umpteen times● HIGH JACKING THE GOAFEST DELEGATES – a ground event that took Goafest by surprise ● THE GHOST OF 35 RANI JHANSI ROAD JHANDEWALAON – The unsiad stories ● THE PROBLEM – Agency tackling a no-brief from client ● IMPORTED ART CARD – a quick retort to finiky client ● BANYAN TREE AGENCY – Agency tackles cost issue on unapproved estimates