10 questions with Prashant Sankhé

Executive Creative Director, PerceptGulf UAE & 2013 ame awards judge

I would certainly say winning an AME would place the winner on the market scene as a successful professional in today’s communication industry.Prashant Sankhe


1. How has the definition of success for advertising campaigns changed over the years?

The markets have grown; we are now looking at major brands appealing to not just a local but also a more universal audience. Over the years the markets have developed into complex battlefields of brands vying for attention. Today, strategies that are being developed are definitely sharper and have more focus. Success in yesteryear was to create brand awareness; today it is more of an engagement, resulting in a warm and an endearing bond. Challenges have changed definitely in terms of media expansion. Today we are not only trying to tap into the intellect of the end user but create a place in the heart of the consumer.

2. Do you have any advice for entrants in this year’s competition?

  1. Be original. Be unique. Create a compelling story and make it interesting through clarity and prove its effectiveness through figures and the results.
  2. The entry has to be simple, yet engaging.
  3. Ask yourself if your entry has created a persuasive story that has delivered results.

3. What’s the biggest campaign challenge you’ve faced as a creative?

Budgets! A low activity budget can often act as a damp squib and generally prove as a hindrance in many ways. Nothing can be more upsetting than having to let a good idea pass as a ship in the dark. An unprofessional approach, weak marketers, and shortsighted managers can be frustrating to the enthusiasm of a well-conceived campaign.

4. What, in your opinion, is the number-one mistake to avoid when creating an AME entry?

This platform (AME) is quite definitely ‘advertising and marketing excellence’ recognition. A creative entry, backed by a brilliant idea and a great execution may not necessarily be a great marketing idea. A strong idea that perfectly fits into a good marketing strategy and has delivered desired goals effectively qualifies as the perfect entry. Be aware of the difference between a creative idea vis-à-vis a creative marketing idea.

5. What are your top three criteria when deciding if a campaign is successful?

First, market dynamics and advertising trends have seen a natural metamorphosis; criteria and benchmarks have literally undergone a 360º change. Today campaigns are expected to deliver on the 360º promise; these progressions have undoubtedly set the industry standards. So at the outset, let us take note of the most important aspect of a successful campaign, it is the core idea’s fluidity to transform itself in any medium possible, social media being the latest.

Secondly, does it measure up to the challenge of the market place; is it exceptional enough to stand out in the cacophony of ideas?

And lastly and most importantly, is your campaign just a creative idea that has been spit out by the creative honcho or does it lend itself and extend towards a marketing challenge, does the idea/campaign seamlessly merge into a marketing plan which sees a sales benefit and a long term engagement with the consumer? Does it understand the marketing task and back it up with an idea or creative that delivers the message and result, both.

6. What are your favorite campaigns of all time?

  1. Apple – Think Different
  2. Absolut Vodka
  3. Nike. Just Do It
  4. Wonderbra
  5. DeBeers – A Diamond is Forever
  6. The Marlboro Man
  7. Fevicol (largest selling adhesive in Asia) Fevicol ka majboot jodh hai, tootega nahi (“It’s Fevicol’s strong bond, it will not give in”)
  8. Amul Butter – Utterly Butterly Delicious
  9. Cadbury India. Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye (“Let’s have something sweet”)

7. What can a small market entry do to compete with one from a large market?

Be indigenous! Be original! Act locally; flaunt yourself as a person from that region and you are already unique. All answers lie in the questions coming from that region; those queries are best solved in that region, as the answers stem from the same grounds.

So necessarily, ‘ingenious’ and ‘indigenous’ will be the watchwords for the small market entry.

8. Which aspect of the AME Awards made you interested in judging?

The inherent concept of rewarding effectiveness through creative and successful marketing strategies draws me to the Awards. I love the way you guys say “The World’s Best Work in Advertising and Marketing Effectiveness”. Moreover, I am always appreciative of awards that count on effectiveness, it can never be creativity alone. It has to be the marketing efficiencies that elevate any advertising campaign.

9. How do you feel regional judging and maintaining international jury affect the outcome of a competition?

The words ‘regional’ and ‘international’ are soon integrating. Internet and information technology has brought together the world into a Global Village. Cultures, fashion, music, and the world of entertainment too have seen integration. Fusion has only given us the better of two worlds. The more we mingle with people across the borders the more we will expand our vision. The perspective of an international jury coming from multi-regional and multi-disciplines will only highlight economic, cultural and regional relevance of the particular entry.

10. What do you consider the value of an AME Award to a winner?

Priceless. Undoubtedly, AME symbolizes not just creativity but marketing effectiveness, too. It would mean that the winners and the short-lists are a good combination of a creative with a strategic mindset, a good integration of the left and the right brain. The AME awards believe in honoring result-oriented work, which has addressed the challenges of the market place with a creative mindset. I would certainly say winning an AME would place the winner on the market scene as a successful professional in today’s communication industry.

Back to top