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Swati Bhattacharya to lead Dentsu Mama Lab

MUMBAI: Former JWT national creative director Swati Bhattacharya joins Dentsu India as its principal partner (creative) to helm its new India project Mama Lab.

Started originally in Tokyo by Dentsu in 2013, and now to be introduced in India, the idea of Mama Lab is to create an ever-expanding picture of mothers in India, by tracing their personal histories across cities and villages and in-between places to answer a quintessential question—’Who is she?’ It will be an ongoing visual and oral biography of the Indian mother.

Dentsu India executive chairman Rohit Ohri said, “Dentsu Mama Lab aims to be a thought leader on mothers, motherhood and mothering. Understanding the different facets of a mother is what will make brands connect meaningfully with them. I’m delighted to have Swati Bhattacharya lead this initiative in India. Her enormous experience of working on brands that have had deep meaningful connections with mothers will be the credible foundation of Dentsu Mama Lab. ‘Good innovation’ is the essence of the Dentsu brand and Mama Lab is a vivid demonstration of it.”

A mother of two, Bhattacharya was associated with JWT for 22 years, and in recent years was particularly responsible for building an enduring relationship with Horlicks (GSK India) and its several avatars, especially highlighting the sensitivities of the mother, wife and homemaker for the brand.

She said: “Men have a habit of putting mothers on a pedestal, as if she is a person who needs to be worshipped more than be understood. There is a woman inside every mother, who is not all perfect, not all ‘Devi’, not all giving; and women know that, but it’s time for marketers to know that too. It’s been years that I have spoken to only women as my consumers and tried to forge an intimacy that’s born out of truth. Mama Lab gives me an opportunity to speak to women in our own language, in our own way, we might not all be perfect, but we are the best that we can be! I am so glad I won’t have to fake my interest in men anymore. I am looking forward to selling to women by pressing their security buttons and not their insecurity buttons.”

Much like motherhood that promises rich rewards through its firsthand trials, Mama Lab will evolve through experience and experimentation in both method and output.

Dentsu India executive VP, national planning director Narayan Devanathan said, “As with everything Indian, we know there is no such singular entity as the Indian Mother, and we wouldn’t want to embark on a quixotic adventure of that sort in the first place. What we will attempt to do is to create an ever-expanding picture of mothers in India, much like a perpetually-growing, always-complete-but-never-truly-complete jigsaw puzzle. As an outcome, our goal will be to gain insights into mothers and motherhood in India that will truly go beyond oft-repeated motherhood statements.”

Mama Lab will be positioned in the public domain as a platform for mothers and brands to engage with one another and benefit from.