From Aerospace Engineering to trainee Copywriter to Creative Director to Startup Owner, Jeevan Sebastian still manages to crack complex briefs and bowl over clients with a rather peculiar drawl and a monotone. So what is a sworn recluse doing in Advertising? He doesn’t know either. Last we heard, he’s on a solo ride across India to find out what he’s in doing in Advertising and more importantly, the purpose of his existence in this universe.
Why are you into Advertising?
There’s something very uninhibited about advertising. The majority of people in the industry are good and happy people. And good begets good. So there’s a self-thriving community that’s putting out some terrific work and at the same time, there’s enough room for everyone to grow and be happier.
Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
Nope. I did Aerospace Engineering for a few years.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Chuck Norris & Bud Spencer
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
My writing is influenced a lot by existential & beat generation writers and filmmakers like Vonnegut, Kesey, Kurosawa, Kubrick, etc.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Life experiences and the internet.
Do you have any kind of a program to nurture and train young talent?
We just get them involved in more things than they can handle, so that there’s a huge learning curve within a short period. That and they get weekends off.
Tell us something about the Watercrab Environment.
It’s evolved from a madhouse of hung over drifters. We’ve found our creative flow and things just fall into place with ease every time a brief hits the table.
Tell us about your biggest challenge as the Creative Director.
Convincing clients. It’s challenging because you have to genuinely listen to the client. You forget it’s their money. Of course, we have to subtly remind them we’re being paid for taking well-researched creative decisions.
Tell us about your 1st job in advertising.
I answered a classified for copywriters wanted. At the interview the guy said I had no experience or talent, so he would give me a trainee job if I paid him Rs. 2000 every month. I was given the job of calling clients who had pending payments. I learnt nothing about copywriting, but I learnt how to deal with really pissed off clients.
Do you think brands whose advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
I don’t think there’s any relation and if there is it’s coincidental. Awards celebrate creativity, not market success.
What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
Learn how to take and give criticism.
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My wife, but if she cancels, Salma Hayek.
Mac or PC?
PC. I’m not selling my soul just for good design.
What’s on your iPod?