R. Balki is undoubtedly one of the most influential personalities in the history of Indian advertising. For him creativity isn’t an occupation. It is a preoccupation. A genius behind many of the biggest brands that the country has known, Balki’s knack of connecting with people through his craft is impeccable. Heck, I’m also willing to say that people use mobile phones, super bikes, soaps, toothpastes, fairness creams, insurance products, because of him! He has communicated and convinced us on why and how these products are so integral to our daily lives. Come to think of it, he has made them ‘creatively populist’.
My association with him started with brand Idea and boy, what a stimulating journey it has been and continues to be. Balki has been with Idea from the very beginning, right from the time it was conceived. I would definitely say that no one understands Idea as a brand better than Balki. He has looked at the brand very closely, understood its ethos and the value that the brand offers to its customers. Balki took that vision of Idea, gave it shape and put it forth to the customers in a convincing way. And he’s not static. With every piece of conversation for Idea, Balki is reinventing and reimagining Idea.
We at Idea, not surprisingly, get amazed by his ability to reinvent himself and the brand with every piece of work. Idea as a brand is challenging when you have to think of the brand reaching out creatively to its target customers – genealogically, this is a brand that is all about giving new ideas, every single time. Balki understands this completely and it shows how this creative genius gets into the core understanding of what the brand is all about. No surprise then that this creative genius has never written the same story twice. Every single ad is a different genre, a different story, a different risk. The only thing that bonded all of his stories was the incredible virtuoso that he was with craft.
There’s another quality about Balki that is admirable. He is brilliant at capturing the nuances of human condition. He tugs at your heartstrings through his ad or feature films. You feel instantly drawn and connected to his work because he does it so powerfully, so effectively. He draws out your inner feelings through his craft, allowing you to easily relate and understand what he’s communicating through his work. He makes familiar things look new and makes new things look familiar in the process of persuading us through our guts, hearts and minds. It is a quality that he uniquely possesses and that makes him really special.