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Quantum Brief

The D-Gang: A satire by Cartwheel’s D. Ramakrishna on Indian advertising

From viral video to virus, Ramki, as he’s popularly known, gives us an inside view of conversations in adland in 2022.

By  D. RamakrishnaDec 30, 2022 3:32 PM
The D-Gang: A satire by Cartwheel’s D. Ramakrishna on Indian advertising
Representational image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash

Two quotable and notable adpersons met at the airport. One on her way to judge entries for an award show. The other on his way to a PPM*. They greeted each other with customary warmth.

'Arre, Cannes-Shaan aur jaane kya kya!,’ said one.

'Oho, you too... jury shury and all…too cool!,' said the other.

After due hugs and shugs, they warmed up for a fine session of unfettered bitching, cribbing, and whining about the D Gang. D as in digital and Gang as said by Sanjeev Kumar in Angoor. The duo agreed that the dreaded mafia, in their multiple avatars, had infiltrated everywhere.

No space was safe. The Gang had penetrated the corporate world to take control of every marketing dollar. Everyone, from the brand minion with his miniscule promo budget to the Chairperson who could casually add a zero to the performance marketing outlay, was in the Gang's unrelenting grip.

The former copywriter of the Year picked a sour grape from the fruit bowl and dropped it into his glass of bitter. He moaned, 'Where have the all ATL* campaigns gone? Where are the finely crafted print ads?'

Not to be left out of the dirge, The Art Diva said, 'And what about photo shoots? We used to shoot for a week in Goa to get one usable frame. Now they want 6 KVs* in one week.'

The ex Coty said, 'I've coined so many hashtags, I've started typing WithoutSpaces. And I end my texts to my wife with a CTA*.'

This went on for a while. Only interrupted by them checking their respective notifications. And a call from the Account Director to the famous writer.

'Damn', he said, 'My PPM* is cancelled. The film is off.'

'Oh, no', said the eminent jurist, 'What happened?'

'The client got influenza', the writer said, 'The Danish variant.'

'Ayyo!', the compassionate art director said.

'No, Ayyo was earlier. Lasted a few days. They went Bam Bam before that'

'I'm so sorry, dude. So are you heading back?'

'No way, I can't. I set up a meeting with some Tweeps after I shared my kursi ki peti plans on Twitter. Haven't met these folks IRL*, so am really looking forward to it.'

'Oh, it's such fun. I just did that last week. It's like I've known these people all my life. Tough luck with that film though.'

They went on to discuss the various versions, variants, and mutations of influenza. Local, regional, specialised. The creative duo concluded that people had developed immunity, but that clients didn't seem to think so.

The writer's phone rang. It was a client. He smiled and told the jury member, 'See, they still need us.’ He took the call.

'My client wants a 'viral' video because her daughter shared one with her. She wants to stage something with a celeb in some place and promote the hell out of it.'

Both of them said at the same time, "Gaaaaang!'

*For those fortunate enough to not know what the acronyms mean:

PPM: Pre Production Meeting ATL: Above The Line KV: Key Visual CTA: Call to Action IRL: In Real Life

D. Ramakrishna is founder and creative director at Cartwheel. Views expressed are personal.

First Published on Dec 30, 2022 3:32 PM