Is this what they call love?

Sometimes a story begins somewhere…it travels its journey…and starts meaning different things to many people. Little things in it fuel your imagination. The unspoken words…the ones spoken aloud…a glance…stolen moments…the furiously emotional outburst & then a forgiving smile… Just so much a story can tell. Isn’t this the way most memorable stories leave their indelible mark?

It isn’t about creating a fantasy world. It’s just about the fluidity of emotions. And no matter how outstanding your insight is, only the brushstrokes by a master craftsman can take it from good to sublime. At the times when he passionately crafts the story. How amazing then it is, to be a storyteller!

Movies in India especially in the recent times have deliberately played out through intelligent cinema. A refreshing change undoubtedly. But for the simple folks that most of us are, the deepest chord is struck when a magician comes along to entrall you.

Now imagine how tough this must be in advertising!! Where a brief & 30 secs dictate the course of this journey.  The biggest barrier in the storytelling must be the need to fit in a product window. Well! The story stops right here. In the very first line of the very first chapter. Creating a series of doors & windows without a seamless blend does just that. This is possibly the malady that has kept sublime stories from reaching the scores of people who would love to feel that tingle…even when watching an advertisement.

As an advertising practitioner I’ve also been the villain & victim of sublime stories being dismissed as a cultural cliché, corny emotion, old-fashioned Indian values… Maybe we need to forget these words…those jargons…the benchmarks that ask, ‘is it creative enough’? ‘Does it cut clutter or not?’ Of course, it also plagues the film industry all too often. How many times have you rolled up your eyes & exclaimed in despair when you heard, ‘film hatke hai’… ‘My role is very different’.

I quite liked what Vidya Balan said in her many appearances for The Dirty Picture, when she was asked about her role. “I have never felt more woman than I have in the making of this film”. Seeing the promos & with the perception that we’ve had about Vidya both as an actress & possibly a traditional Indian lass, that statement said every thing. I think she let her intuition guide her when she picked the script. When she filmed it. When she promoted it. I think she is one of our finest storytellers today & possibly a fine marketer of her film too.

So…maybe the notes are playing a song. One that every heart must hear. One, where what we feel simply over rules what we think. Where the gut speaks. Maybe every storyteller in advertising should feel for the tale he or she creates. Maybe the ones evaluating it should absorb that energy when it is being recited. Yes it is a tale with a purpose. And it has to sell the brand for a long, long time. But I believe both are possible. And every chapter of this story can be delightful. Why? Because the after-taste of experiencing such stories often leaves you with a lovely feeling. Often leaves you with a relationship that’s ever lasting.

Is this what they call love?

Sharing a few love stories that I can’t forget.

Vodafone: Dog


Tanishq: Shaadi


Dhaara: Jalebi


Cadbury Dairy Milk: Couple


Ericsson: Black Coffee

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  1. The best told stories whether in literature, life or visuals are the unspoken emotions. Anything overtly expressed tends to lose a bit of its value. Unexpressed is intense. Expressed can go unnoticed, unexpressed will heighten emotions to the point where you can twang them like strings of a guitar.

    Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind – a literary classic, a 1000 pages of unexpressed emotions, how did Margaret Mitchell manage to convey to us something that she never penned in words on behalf of Scarlett? That’s emotions for you.

    Maybe that’s why they say – read the eyes, feel the breath, hear the silence… everything tells a story… better than it can ever be told.

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