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IMTISAL ABBASI COO, IAL SAATCHI PAKISTAN – SPEAKS TO BRANDS TEAM

ON THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATIVITY TOWARDS A BRAND’S IMAGE
IAL Saatchi considers itself to be an Ideas Company, not merely an ad agency. While ads and ad campaigns are perishable, Ideas have a life of their own, ideas enrich lives, and create opportunities and break down barriers.

Since Ideas are created by people, ultimately it is the people who make the difference. They are passionate, competitive and restless. IAL Saatchi wants to be known as the hottest ideas shop in Pakistan and their purpose is to generate extraordinary ideas that transform the clients’ businesses, brands and reputations. Change is vital and at IAL it is constant, as is creativity and hard work.
Mr.Imtisal Abbasi COO IAL Saatchi Pakistan is an extremely polite and down to earth through gentlemen, he has been to the depths of the ocean and the greatest heights, literally and metaphorically. Whether in a submarine, a helicopter or other means of flying high. A taste for adventure and new experiences led Imtisal from to the University of Southern California where he studied film and communication theory.
Returning to Pakistan, Imtisal worked in the film and television industry before heading to the more whirlwind world of advertising. For the last 14 years he has been working at IAL Saatchi and Saatchi. He has developed campaigns and ground-breaking ideas for several brands.
Mr.Abbasi’s sense of adventure has persisted. He has traveled to 41 countries to date and when he is not sharpening his golf game, he likes nothing better than to teach his sons the intricacies of reverse swing or read a great book.
BM: How would you differentiate IAL from the competition for being an effective Ad agency?
IA: There are quite a few differentiating factors first of all it is amongst the few professionally managed agencies, most of the agencies in the country are family run businesses, which is led by heirs of the same family, this agency since the beginning has been running extremely professionally. Secondly we are the only agency who works for a pay for performance model so we become true partners with our clients and that’s the reason why we have seen so much growth. We continue to push the boundaries ahead and sell more products to more people at a higher price. We are blessed that our clients take us as business partners. Lastly we are the only agency who does not work with the public sector at all, so these are certain factors that mark us apart from the competitors.

BM: How has the client servicing changed over the over the last 5 years?
IA: There is a change but it’s too slow, agencies are not investing enough in the people and that’s an extremely unfortunate fact, if proper opportunities and trainings are provided things can definitely move towards betterment.

BM: What changed have you noticed in the media industry and what are your suggestions towards its betterment?
IA: Honestly I really don’t know much about the media industry. I have friends in the industry and I feel it’s a very difficult job to do. I think media is doing very well and believe that it’s growing at a very fast pace, I appreciate the efforts of all the people working in this industry.

IMTISAL-ABBASI2

BM: What new innovations have you adopted to enhance the corporate image of your clients?
IA: We have worked a lot on that and have invested massively towards training cross functional teams together, we are blessed to have some of the most visionary clients. There is a constant dialogue between us and the clients, we have worked a lot towards retail & distribution especially with P&G and many more. Our teams regularly come from all around the globe they are very well trained and work hand in hand with the clients and the consumers as well, we have a very well connected agency network.

BM: How do you find yourself as a team leader?
IA:  Since the year 2000 we have lost only two clients, the team that i made in the year 2000 is still intact not even one of the team member has left till yet so I’m sure you can very well judge how I am as a leader. We don’t lose a lot of colleagues and that’s a great asset for us.

BM: What are the selection criteria and how important is it when selecting a medium for an Ad placement?
IA: We have a professional planning team which simply believes in the core concept of “Relevance”, for example if we talk about a high end watch I would not want to promote it through a small regional channel, you need to know your consumers and then target accordingly. To drive relevance you actually need to visit the consumers and do a complete research on their prerequisites, these seeks are a must for us.

BM: What innovations have you adopted to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of advertising spend?
IA: Well I believe consumption of media is no rocket science and we are extremely blessed to have top of the line media partners like Mindshare and Starcom. When a new product is launched a complete research is done in collaboration with the media agency and a complete package is produced which maximizes the efficiency of advertising spend.

We go wherever our creativity takes us

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