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Manoj Bajpayee kicks off OAC 2023 on an inspiring & introspective note

By N Jayalakshmi - July 28, 2023

“That’s the magic of OOH - it’s larger than life, in your face, bold and beautiful,” said Manoj Bajpayee, distinguished actor and Padma Shri awardee, while setting an affirmative and inspiring context to the Outdoor Advertising Convention 2023 that was inaugurated today at the Manekshaw Centre in Delhi. In an interactive session with Rajiv Raghunath, Managing Editor - Media4Growth and Outdoor Asia, Manoj shared his success journey that is testimony to the power of self-belief and commitment to a dream.

“I saw a billboard near Juhu Beach after my movie ‘Satya’ was released, and when I saw my own picture on that large billboard, my first reaction was just out of this world,” said Manoj Bajpayee, kicking off the Outdoor advertising Convention 2023 on an inspiring note and in the process reiterating the undeniable power of the Out of Home (OOH) Advertising medium itself. 

“We spent more than one hour in and around the billboard, looking at it from all possible angles and it was one experience that stayed with me for ever. That’s the magic of OOH - larger than life, in your face, bold and beautiful,” said Manoj, succinctly summing up the impact of the medium. 

Manoj Bajpayee and Rajiv Raghunath on stage

What came next was even more thought provoking: “How come you guys have settled for less than 10%?” he asked, addressing the OOH industry and referring to the percentage of spends allotted for the medium in a brand’s marketing plan. “This industry deserves a better share of the total advertising spends,” he said, reaffirming OOH’s relevance in today’s multimedia  environment. 

Manoj then took the audience through his own life journey in a fire-side chat with Rajiv Raghunath, Managing Editor - Media4Growth and Outdoor Asia. While revealing how he was smitten by the magic of cinema and how he dared to dream big, Manoj shared some important life lessons. Indeed, it takes audacity and healthy defiance of external judgement to really believe in yourself and achieve success. Manoj’s life story is a shining example of that. 

As he shared with Rajiv and the audience gathered on the first day of Outdoor Advertising Convention 2023, while recollecting his long journey from a small village in Bihar to fame and success, “I was 18 and I was visiting Delhi - my first visit to a big city. I saw this billboard and I told myself that one day my picture will be on that billboard.” His words set off a resounding applause and revealed how youth gave him the courage to believe anything was possible.  But then to dream and believe is one thing, and to actually make it happen is another. Manoj is one of those who never give up - spurred by a commitment to their dream and a relentless pursuit of their end-goals. “I was audacious in my dreams, I was adventurous, ready to take on any kind of challenge and face any kind of obstacle. And I never knew that obstacles could come in any form.”

Manoj’s narration of his professional journey only reinforces the need to keep on at one’s chosen path, no matter what challenges life throws at you and to keep on challenging oneself towards excellence.  His experience of breaking through the tough world of movies reveals the same power of conviction and resolve. “I was not ready to be defined by the rejection I was facing everyday or by others’ opinion of me,” said Manoj taking the audience through some of the lowest moments in his life and highlighting the importance of honest introspection. “I was brutal with myself as I was very self-critical and I continuously worked hard at improving myself.” 

The conversation then drew a parallel between the fragmented nature of the film industry and that of the OOH industry, often resulting in under-performance. Addressing the question of how one can really stand out in a clutter, Manoj said, “You’ve got to have something unique to offer and declare it. And for that you have to ponder over it, work at it continuously and improve yourself. It is like a boardroom that you create for yourself and think about what new experience you can give to people.” Manoj’s words peppered by examples from his professional life,  gave the audience a lot to think about, particularly in the context of driving the OOH medium to be a true differentiator. The captivating session ended with an interesting question and answer session with the audience, wherein Manoj also offered some insightful suggestions on work-life balance, healthy eating habits and the need for discipline to lead a healthy life- one that is conducive to achieving personal and professional success.  


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