As an entrepreneur, your idea of the business needs to be complemented with your sensitivity to the demands of the creative team.
ANYONE who has watched music channels in the late 1990s will recall the MTV Lift Man. It was a 70-plusyear-old man, with a horrible set of teeth, standing in a iron-grilled lift, cursing MTV in a raspy voice. Does “Mad in India” and “Blousefull” ring a bell? It did for Amitabh Bachchan. The Lift Man’s popular impact was so widespread that at a social event, the actor who played the part was recognised by Big B himself. That’s when everybody knew that the ‘dentally-challenged’ actor had made his mark.
Before the promo was aired, however, few were sure of its success. The promo was not a raving hit. Creative director Cyrus Oshidar says, “There was a heavy silence. And then someone said ‘Chee. It’s so downmarket’. It was quickly followed by ‘Why use such an old person?’”. This opposition came largely from the marketing team which was, understandably, looking at it from an advertiser’s perspective. The then general manager of MTV India, Sunil Lulla, was also in the room, but on a different plane. Looking back, he says, “I drummed my fingers, laughed and thought ‘Thank God someone got it right!’”. The Lift Man was a hit.
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