After completing my graduation in visual communication in Chennai, I headed to Delhi to work for a fashion design company, to design tee shirts for prints for their US & Europe markets. Soon, I got interested in trend spotting and later I moved on to become a fashion trend analyst. This I would do for four years until my love for advertising pulled me Back to Chennai ( I used to freelance copy while I was in Delhi). One MG was started by my friend and classmate Nishant, when he asked me to join One MG as the creative head, I jumped at that opportunity. It’s been 3 years I have been working here as the creative head along with Nishant.
Why are you into Advertising?
Right from my collage days, I have been enamoured by ability of some visuals and text to lure masses into doing irrational things, things that they are so proud of it, but would have never done it if they hadn’t seen the ad or promotion. I have always wondered as a kid, what would I do when the giant gulab jamun and the poori would drop, in the old Sundrop oil commercial, that fascinated me, probably the reason why am here.
Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
I have a graduation in visual communication from SRM institute.
Tell us about your recent work campaign.
One of the recent works that we did was for a restaurant called La Shaakahari. As the name suggest the restaurant was a completely vegetarian restaurant. We found out the greatest problem for vegetarian dinners in chennai was the choice of platter available to them. La Shaakahari which offered vegetarian world cuisine was a right fit. We developed the campaign revolving around a vegetarian’s mind trip. A fantasy land where everything was vegetarian and delicious. Where they had the choice, that they never previously had. We used 3d and matt painting to create this fantasy world, where cheese blocks formed Taj Mahal and other veggies and desserts found themselves as fountains and ponds and many more.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was a great inspiration for us, we tried imitating a lot of colors and frames from there. Our art director Mr Thirmaran and our illustrator Mr Deepak deserve all the credit.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
In college we were fed a lot of Ogilvy and Trevor Beattie and automatically they became my icons.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
My love for advertising always made sure that I hang around with people in advertising, even when I was not part of this industry. I think the awe they instilled in me has got me thus far. I really owe to my friends.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Well that could be from any where. From the music I hear to the movies that I watch. This question really doesn’t have a definite answer.
Do you have any kind of a program to nurture and train young talent?
We don’t have a program, but we consistently take in trainees and and get them involved in work.
Tell us something about the One MG environment.
One MG or One Mind Group is really a conglomeration of people from different backgrounds coming together to do some amazing work in communication design. That in itself makes this environment thirsty for innovation in all aspects of what we do. The greed to be different, drives us to have as much fun possible we a small but vibrant team. We celebrated our 4th anniversary this January.
Tell us about your biggest challenge as the Creative Director of One MG…
Often creative work and client needs are two different tangents, syncing both together has been the single biggest challenge.
Tell us about your 1st work as a Creative Director.
My first work was a website for a management consulting firm, BrainStorm consulting based in Chennai. They were then a bunch of young entrepreneurs entering the consulting space- an industry flooded with veterans and an industry that sneered young blood. Our brief was to make this as their strong suit. Four years hence, they have grown exponentially now.
Pick and tell us about one of all your past campaigns, your personal favourite…
Couple of years back we ran this campaign for a Tex-Mex restaurant- Texas Fiesta, called GET TEX MEXMERIZED. A series of illustration ads where the protagonist is living dangerously In a wild west environment and he’s unaware of his dangers as he bites into a delicacy from Texas Fiesta. The campaign got us and the client a lot of eyeballs and apperception.
What do you think of the state of Print advertising right now. At least here in India, the released work is most often too sad?
Well to be honest, your agencies’ work is only as good as your client. If you have good clients who appreciate good work, then you have your task cut out. Numbers are good to rely on, but it can never preempt a possible awe inspiring campaign. It’s the case with all creatives, not just print.
Do you think brands who’s advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
Well they can, as long as they are in sync with the brand needs. Ads for the sake of awards can never do well, but ads intended to do well in the market and done creatively enough to win awards, definitely are a win.
What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
Intern. Intern. Intern.
Your upcoming campaigns if any?
We are working on a campaign for Spa based in Chennai called Medora, you’ll see the campaign soon…
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
I guess Chitrangada Singh… one hottie…
What’s on your iPod?
Coldplay, Incubus, Greenday… alternative rock mostly.
Mac or PC?
PC for Digital, Mac for print.