Shahir Ahmed : DesiCreative in Dubai

Shahir Ahmed is a hotshot creative with TeamYR Dubai 

Why are you in Advertising?
Because it’s the only desk job in the world that pays you to have fun.

Did you always want to get into advertising?
Without any exaggeration, I wanted to write ads since I was 14. Wrote my first ad when I was 18. Wrote my last ad 4 hours ago.


Amit Kapoor : DesiCreative in Dubai

amit Kapoor : DesiCreative in Dubai Amit Kapoor works with Team Y&R Dubai
Why are you in Advertising?
Because nuclear physics was too easy. On a serious note, I blame Alok Nanda and Vikas Gaitonde for that. They had done a campaign for Air Mauritius that drew me to advertising. Interestingly, several years later, I’d written an ad that caught Alok Nanda’s fancy. He called up Sanjay Khare, the art director I’d done the ad with, and we spoke. We met once after that and he offered me a senior position in his agency. But it was around the time I was moving to Dubai.

Did you always want to get into advertising?
Not really. I started out by selling space for a yellow pages directory. My beat was Kalbadevi (Mumbai). Then, I was a management trainee in a finance firm. I quit that job to open a dance school with a friend. That failed gloriously, too. A friend mentioned advertising and it seemed like a profession that gladly accepted screw ups like me. (more…)

Interview with Gavin Barrett (Guy behind the Give Me Red Campaign)

signatureGavin Barrett is the man behind the Eveready Give Me Red campaign. He now runs his own shop in Canada. A lot of young creatives grew up watching your ‘Gimme Red Campaign”. Tell us about it.

This will be the only long answer, I promise.
It started with a great brief created by Subroto “SG” Ghosh, who was the group account director at the time.
It was an exciting time.
The Indian market was about to change.
Pepsi had begun making waves in the market. Coke had not yet launched.
MTV was entering India through bootleg tapes and Star TV had just begun broadcasting.
There was more money and younger people spending it, on new goods like walkmans and discmans.
Batteries were no longer destined for “transistor radios”.
That was the old Eveready. “The Chosen One for Your Transistor.”
I had to find a way to connect with what would later be called the MTV/Channel V generation.
I went through three rounds of creative development – some of them were fantastic ideas that I’ve saved to this day.
But Shanta (V Shantakumar) kept pushing me to go one further.

I knew Give me Red was the big idea when it came to me.I wanted the TV commercial to feel like something that could run on MTV – and so I wrote a spot that was both a parody and an homage.
I still have the original scripts – which I typed on the single beige Mac Apple SE that Rediff had at the time.
It was written in a program called MacWrite. It reminds me that I’m practically an ancient!
Rediff was going through an unusual time in which everybody collaborated in making sure that great work made it to market.
ACD Bugs Bhargava went to Calcutta and sold the idea to the client.
Shanta told me that Bugs dressed up as a doddering old man to represent the old brand, then left the boardroomand returned a few minutes later dressed as a hip young college student with a walkman and headphones.
GM Conrad Saldanha went to Hong Kong to supervise the special effects.
Sharad Nigvekar rose to the occasion and designed a completely fresh layout for the ads and outdoor.Lalit Ajgaonkar who was the film executive and a friend of mine from St Xavier’s, recommended Ehsaan Noorani, who wrote the killer track.
I had a blast writing everything and working with all these amazing people. I think it shows.
When I moved to Hong Kong, Rahul Bose took over as writer on the campaign.
He wrote an even bigger TV spot and the campaign kept going from strength to strength.
Still, that first campaign, especially the TV spot, was a breakthrough.
I heard they stopped using Give Me Red as a line only a couple of years ago. (more…)

Bhavik Gajjar | DesiCreative in Toronto

bhav Bhavik Gajjar is a top rated creative with TAXI! Toronto.

Tell us about Cannes winning McDonald’s ad?
How did that change you life?
The ad took me to Cannes, Cannes took me to Brazil, I almost drowned in Brazil so it almost took my life. Kidding…not really! it did change life in a good way. It confirmed why I didn’t get into my dad’s business and got into advertising instead. But like they say, you’re only good till your last good ad which is true because I think these awards are really only suppose to motivate you to beat your last award winning idea.

The McDonald’s ad campaign came out of a simple question in my head. If we have B/W and colour ads on the same page in newspaper, why is it that the copy/editorial is always in black? (more…)

Kaushik Mitra | Mumbai

 Kaushik In Goa

Kaushik is a Creative Director with Leo Burnett Mumbai, and has numerous great campaigns to his credit, including being voted as one of Asia’s Hottest Creatives!

 Why are you in Advertising?

As a boy, I was always inquisitive and would read a lot of newspapers and magazines in addition to the regular detective fiction. I was also becoming a keen quizzer, regularly winning at the school level, and sometimes qualifying for regional and city finals. As a result, I think, I started enjoying the interconnectedness of everything we learn and do, and writing essays was a great way to explore all this and get subjective. The objective nature of the natural sciences and maths would be a little claustrophobic for me. Soon, my love for writing essays started converting into A+ scores in English Composition and my other scores started suffering a bit and I became officially unfit for a career in Engineering, Medicine or Accountancy – the three main career options available to kids in the early ‘90s. So you could say that I’m in advertising by elimination also.

Shantyarow | DesiCreative in Dubai


Shantesh Row (Shanty), 31, Copy Group Head, GMASCO Dubai. A decade of decadence in advertising.
Currently handle Toyota, Lexus and IKEA, among other clients in the UAE.

Why am I in Advertising?
Because it’s the most fun I can have with my clothes on. No seriously, it’s quite an addiction for me, to be able to sit with a blank piece of paper and put in a piece of my mind on it. Then of course, there’s that small matter of paying off a home loan!

Did I always want to get into Advertising?
Yes. I was born a compulsive liar. I managed to wriggle out of many tricky situations just because I knew what words to use, when and how. Politics would have been a great option, but I’m not geriatric yet, so Advertising was the next best thing. At the start, like every middle class boy in the mid 90s, I did dabble in safer career pursuits like Chartered Accountancy and MBA (which in hindsight, would have added more zeroes to my current zero bank balance), but my heart always itched to do something creative. (more…)