We all are familiar with the concept of roasting. All of us have watched the roasts of famous celebrities - Donald Trump, Justin Bieber and Bruce Willis all got roasted in the US. And, how can we forget India’s first ever roast which ended up becoming a controversy in itself! Repercussions were so bad that on public platforms, we did not see anyone else roasting. However, despite all this, a roast happened this February in Mumbai.
Coming from the advertising and marketing industry, my first choice was to see a roast of Marketing, Advertising, Digital, PR, Media Planning & Buying and Journalism professionals.
After having spent over eight years in marketing, advertising and communications, I sensed an awareness gap amongst communication professionals. In 2016, this led me to create The Commune, which is today India’s only forum bridging this gap between Advertising, Media, PR and Marketing Communications industry through uniquely curated experiences. The Commune is present on Facebook and Twitter along with a WhatsApp community of select professionals who are part of the industry.
Post the success of five editions of The Commune, the idea of a roast of professions popped into my mind. I realized that every professional goes through a phase, where they cannot stop cribbing about their jobs and the related professions they have to work with. In January 2018, I organised the first pilot roast featuring three leaders from advertising, digital and PR and a journalist as roastmaster. It got a positive response.
In September 2018, I commenced work on The Commune Industry Roast 2.0 by reaching out to industry stalwarts. All of them agreed. During an interview on Fever 104 FM, I was asked a question about how difficult was it to convince speakers and my response was that it was the simplest part of all. Industry leaders, who agreed to be roasters were Prathyusha Agarwal (CMO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited), Amaresh Godbole (CEO, Digitas India), Girish Huria (AVP, Avian WE), Mayank Shekhar (Entertainment Editor, Mid-Day) and Chetan Muley from Media Planning & Buying. Then, I approached Neville Bharucha to be the roastmaster. He was in the digital industry before calling it quits to do stand-up comedy.
An important highlight of the roast was the team comprised working professionals with day jobs. Be it Sunny Maskare, the events guru, Gayatri Kapoor, a corporate trainer, Dharit Shah and Gyanendra Singh of GS Media - they all trusted the idea and contributed in their own ways. The Commune Industry Roast 2.0 was scheduled for February 8, 2019. Brands like Vidooly, Curly Tales, Zee Cafe and Fever FM partnered and promoted this event. The tickets were sold out on insider.com with many queries still coming in. Finally, D-day arrived and over 150 people came to witness this roast.
The roast began, one after the other, the roasters took to the stage to talk about the complexities of their professions, all the while joking about the other professionals who worked with them. It was fun to see them pull professions to pieces and give audiences first-hand information that was honest, with unbridled clean humour. The evening was packed with madness, gibes and cutting remarks, yet it was full of fun. It was heartwarming when the videos released were shared digitally and well accepted by the viewers. My next goal is to take the ‘Industry Roast’ format to different professions. Stay tuned for more!