Mayur Hola : Interview

Mayur Hola is a Senior Creative Director at McCann Erickson, New Delhi

Mayur is a defence kid who had a terrific upbringing and a swell time in the Air Force stations his dad got posted to. He read everything he could grab from Commando comics to Jackie Collins, played a lot of sports and studied a bit. He discovered places by walking around by lanes, was chatty and made friends with all sorts of people. He wasn’t picky. Eventually he came back to Delhi where he was born and stopped doing all of the above. Now he reads graphic novels, chats with his beautiful wife, plays with his daughter and studies people. He discovers places by eating at restaurants and makes very few friends. He’s rumoured to be quite picky.

Why are you into Advertising?
I started as a 3d graphic artist and animator in a game development firm. Actually I started by training people to do CG before I was recruited by the gaming firm. This was straight out of college. After a few years I realised that the only future I had in that business was if I moved overseas and/or entertained my gay boss. I love my folks and Delhi too much to do the former. And I’m too straight to do the latter. So I chose advertising. The show window had pretty girls. Inside were ogres. I’m still looking for the girls in that window. Meanwhile the ogres keep me busy.

Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
Neither. I had the best convent school education my folks could provide and some great English teachers in particular who taught me too well for me to type dis instead of this, to this day. Post school, I went to college and studied English literature.

Tell us about your most recent campaign?
The launch campaign of the Chevrolet SAIL sedan is what kept us busy recently. It was a fun script to execute and we made it even more fun for ourselves by writing and completely reinventing an old song for it (Tumsa Nahin Dekha). That for me was most satisfying. It’s why we’re here and what we do. To take a risk and do something unexpected is what I love most. Not following the languid narrative of the film and instead doing an uptempo track with English lyrics was a big punt which payed off.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
The usual suspects. Kapil Dev, Bruce Wayne, Clarke Kent. Did I mention David Hasselhof? Yep, him!

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
Nandu Narasimhan.
Do you have any kind of a program to nurture and train young talent?
Building a young team from scratch and turning it into a formidable unit is the most important aspect of any business. I was taught this while I was still just a senior writer. I haven’t forgotten it and won’t. What we specifically do is something we keep to ourselves. Maybe someone who feels he/she has been nurtured by us can comment on this better.

Tell us something about the McCannErickson Environment?
Chaotic, busy, high pressure, fun, addictive.

Tell us about your biggest challenge as the Creative Director.
Creative. It’s the only challenge and the only thing to remember. Administration and people management takes up so much of our time. But that’s something you do just like you have to brush your teeth. Without creative, there is no creative director. Our one point agenda is to set and maintain standards in the given circumstances. In any circumstance.
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? Are agencies ignoring released print?
In a word, yes. But there’s so much writing potential for those inclined to think digital. Anyone missing the good old days of print and long form films need only look at the browser to find words thriving.

Do you think brands whose advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
Perfetti, Old Spice, Nike, Cadbury, Honda, Evian, Havaianas, I could go on and on. You get the picture.

Pick and tell us about one of all your past campaigns, your personal favourite…
Pan Vilas. A hard sell if ever. Neeta, our client at GPI, gets all the credit as every client who buys great work should. She pushed us first and then having got the work, pushed it within her system. It was the most fun I’ve ever had with a thought in my head and a pen in my hand.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
Marry rich.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My dad the recluse, for once.

What’s on your iPod?
Porcupine Tree, The Walkmen, Grizzly Bear, Greenday, Lana Del Ray, Kesha & my daughter’s nursery rhymes.

Mac or PC?


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One thought on “Mayur Hola : Interview

  1. Saumya says:

    Mayur, you say words are thriving in the digital space. Shouldnt hey be ideas? Anyway, can you pount to some that may be noteworthy?

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