Rediffusion Celebrates 50 Years Of Creativity In Indian Advertising Industry

The agency was established by Diwan Arun Nanda, Ajit Balakrishnan and Mohammed Khan and celebrated 50 years over the weekend.

“We will create advertising that becomes famous, part of the language and the culture of the people,” so said Diwan Arun Nanda when Rediffusion was founded in 1973 to become India's hot creative agency. That is entirely what the agency has done over the last 50 years. It created some of India's popular campaigns, which have entered the collective consciousness and daily conversations of the Indian people.

From ‘The zing thing’ for Gold Spot to ‘Whenever you see colour, think of us’ for Jenson & Nicholson; from ‘Annu taazgi de de, taazgi de de Annu’ for Tata Tea to ‘Gimme Red’ for Eveready; from ‘Hum Red & White peene waalon ki baat hi kuchh aur hai’ for Red & White cigarettes to ‘Express yourself’ for Airtel; from ‘Laga dala toh life jhinga lala’ for Tata Sky to ‘Talk to Me’ for Colgate; from ‘She’s the Taj’ for Taj Hotels to ‘Chaandi ho gayi’ for Citibank cards, Rediffusion has been the creator of some of India’s brand campaigns that have endured in the memory of consumers. 

Diwan Arun Nanda, Ajit Balakrishnan, and Mohammed Khan established Rediffusion on July 2, 1973. Over the weekend, the agency celebrated its 50th anniversary. Tanya and Dr. Sandeep Goyal of the Mogae Group acquired the original owners in 2021. From 1994 through 2018, Japanese advertising conglomerate Dentsu and Madison Avenue-based Young & Rubicam (WPP) owned 20 per cent of Rediffusion. 

“Rediffusion has been a trail-blazer of the Indian advertising business. We are proud of all that we have achieved over the past 5 decades. We have been the platinum standard for clients and brands – everything a great agency ought to be,” says Dr. Sandeep Goyal, MD of the agency.

Airtel, Maruti, Lakme, Garden Vareli, Bush, Jaisalmer, DNA, Himalayan, Colours TV, Exide, Eveready, Kaya, Officer's Choice, Kingfisher Airlines, and many other Indian companies originated at Rediffusion. Many major brands, including Pepsi, Colgate Total, Canon, Casio, KFC, Lufthansa, United Airlines, and Revlon, were introduced in India by Rediffusion. 

Some of India's most well-known advertising professionals have ventured through the threshold of Rediffusion. The ad agency employed commentator Harsha Bhogle, cricketer Ravi Shastri, and cinema star Rahul Bose. Current GroupM CEO Prashanth Kumar, current Bennett Coleman President Partha Sinha, Publicis chairman Anupriya Acharya, Havas India CEO Rana Barua, and McCann's global CSO Harjot Singh have spent formative years at Rediffusion. Rediffusion's alumni list devours like a who's list of the industry.

Everest (digital first), Next by Rediffusion (new age brands), and Wellth (healthcare) are Rediffusion's three subsidiary agencies. It recently created Ladyfinger, an all-woman advertising agency. 

Rediffusion presently has one of the most extensive strategy practices in Indian advertising. Its consumer insights division, Red Lab, and ICYMI, its tech news portal, are market leaders in consumer trend mapping.

The previous month, the University of Lucknow and Rediffusion collaborated to develop The Bharat Lab, which will monitor and analyse consumers in the country. In 2022, Rediffusion developed the Bharat font to honour 75 years of Indian independence. 

Rediffusion today employs nearly 400 employees and handles advertising for Parle, BMW, Tata Trusts, Dabur, Taj Hotels, Kansai Nerolac, Tata Power, L&T Realty, Orra, Brookfield, Liebherr, Zydus, LIC, Indian Oil, Shyam Steel, Himalaya Opticals, Delhi Duty-Free, Tata Motors, Apar Industries, Malabar Gold, ICICI Direct, Free Press Journal, Capri, Rasna, 99 acres and more. 

“We are proud to be India’s largest independent ad agency by far with some of the country’s finest talent. We look forward to the next 50 years with great optimism, bullishness, and confidence,” says Tanya Goyal, Executive Director, Rediffusion.