Piyush Pandey named global chief creative officer of Ogilvy
Pandey said his new role is a responsibility and not a medal. There are things to do and I will be getting on with the job.
Pandey, who is currently the executive chairman and creative director for Ogilvy South Asia, is one of Indian advertising’s most famous faces globally. Speaking exclusively to ET, Pandey said his new role “is a responsibility and not a medal. There are things to do and I will be getting on with the job. I have been given a fantastic team — internationally — to work with. I will try my best to help achieve the Next Chapter for Ogilvy.”
When asked what it was that tipped the balance in his favour he said “Only John Seifert can answer that question.” Ogilvy’s chief executive officer John Seifert said in a statement, “Piyush is a true industry icon who is uniquely suited to lead our global creative efforts. Creativity has and will always be at the heart of the Ogilvy brand and culture. Piyush is the perfect leader to shepherd that legacy as we continue to focus on making brands matter as the leading creative network in the world.”
2018 has been a year of many firsts for Pandey. He became the first Asian along with his brother Prasoon Pandey (film director) to be honoured with the prestigious Lion of St. Mark award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. In the audience was the full Pandey clan and many clients who travelled to the glitzy French Riviera town solely to support and celebrate with Pandey.
Under Pandey’s charge, Ogilvy India also won the country’s first Grand Prix in the Creative Effectiveness category this year, for the Savlon Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks campaign. But he began his winning spree at Cannes back in 2002 with two Gold Lions for the famous antismoking campaign that featured a Marlboro Man lookalike with a dead horse. Pandey has had an illustrious career in advertising that began over 35 years ago. Ogilvy is the only company he has worked for, after a stint working in the teagardens in Eastern India.
In an earlier interview, when Brand Equity asked about his talent for producing creative campaigns that have “worked” for brands, Pandey said, “I have always told my people that we are not artistes, we are commercial artistes. We have been commissioned by somebody to improve his commerce.” He is also credited with giving the country’s advertising its distinctive Indian roots and feel, after a long era of mainly Western and English influenced work. A proud “Jaipur boy”, he received the Padma Shri award, the fourth highest civilian award in India, in 2016.
Some of his most iconic work has been for brands such as Cadbury Dairy Milk, Asian Paints, Fevicol, Rajasthan Tourism and Gujarat Tourism, among others. Perhaps the most memorable is the Cadbury dancing girl on a cricket pitch. His other iconic campaign was ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’ (1988) for the National Literacy Mission. He has also worked on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) campaigns, including its 2014 election campaign.
A cricket-aficionado, any conversation with Pandey is peppered with cricket analogies. In fact, he credits his cricketing days for teaching him lessons on how to lead and how to be led. Both, he tells us, are equally important. These lessons will be put to good use as Pandey gears up to lead the WPP-owned agency’s over 100 offices globally.