Gian Fulgoni (Executive Chairman and Co-founder of comScore Inc) predicted in AdAge (July 2011) that as power shifts to consumers, we can expect a Renaissance in advertising.
I believe there are other shifts, some minor, some cataclysmic in several fields: power shifts to the East, cultures coalesce, media channels merge...
What kind of advertising person can create Renaissance in a cauldron of change?
I believe we will need a Renaissance man or woman.
And what exactly is the definition of a Renaissance Wo/Man?
“When someone is called a Renaissance man or woman today, it is meant that they do not have only broad interests or a superficial knowledge of several fields, but rather that their knowledge is profound and often that they also have proficiency or accomplishments in at least some of these fields and in some cases even at a level comparable to the proficiency or the accomplishments of an expert.”
Isaac Newton was a genius but not a Renaissance Man, Leonardo da Vinci was a Genius and a Renaissance Man.
Would you want to become a Renaissance Wo/Man?
Here’s one real life example of an Indian, who over 48 years, has excelled in multiple fields:
1. Photography: He shot nature portraits in India, an airline bought them for its posters, paid him in tickets, which allowed him to shoot portraits of other cities, so the same airline...got the drift?
Started photography clubs in San Francisco and Kolkata
2. Typography: Guided the development of two new fonts in his vernacular, one classic, one contemporary; developing a few more
3. Style guru: Helped two celebrities to create their individual styles (language, mannerisms, clothes)
4. Cuisine expert: Has co-created the menus for a club (known as the Mecca of Fine Food) of his city for many years; in most years this involves a different menu for each of the 365 days of a year
5. Author: Published two books in his mother tongue; two books in English on the anvil (Subjects: History; History of a profession; Sweets; Baby Names!!!)
6. Apple evangelist: since 1984. Knows more about the brand than most.
7. Social Service strategy and communication expert:
7a. Serves the Heritage Commission of his state
7b. Co-founded and ran for many years a Concern for his city; now 30 years old
7c. Co-founded and helped run an International Centre for his city
7d. Helping the Metro Rail deliver greater user-friendliness
7e. Created a 1000+ page online guide for the city
8. Design expert: Co-founded India’s first true blue design agency; co-founder is graphic designer of the year for several years Co-founded and runs a second design agency in his city
9. Teacher: Guest faculty at IIM Calcutta and NID
Oh, I forgot to mention advertising!
10a. Headed JWT Calcutta, Chennai and Bangalore;
served on JWT India’s management board ~ over two decades
10b. First non-American to serve on the management board of JWT USA
10c. Headed JWT San Francisco, then a $100 million agency
10d. Designed JWT Dallas from scratch
10e. Ran Clarion until it was sold to Bates
10f. Founded and runs one of India’s finest small-format ad agencies
10g. Advertising Hall of Fame by Srijon Samman, 2010
I think it’s fascinating and inspiring being a Renaissance Wo/Man...whether it meets Gain Gulgoni’s prediction come true or not!
Wouldn’t you want to be one?
(Just in case you still haven’t figured out: the Renaissance Man I refer to is Ram Ray; the city I refer to is Kolkata; the club The Bengal Club, founded 1827; the design agency Ray + Keshavan, Bangalore; the second design agency WYSIWYG, Kolkata)