Pravin is a Senior Art Director with Leo Burnett, Kuala Lumpur.
A few words about yourself: This one is as challenging as doing a self-portrait. But this is what I’ve heard from my friends and colleagues that yes, I’m a simple person. Very passionate about my work and
my profession. Some of my friends think that I’m a workaholic kind of guy, which is very right.
I believe in being a good listener, I guess that’s a great way to grow.
With name and fame in advertising, there is one more thing which will keep following you every now and then and it’s called the STRESS. I keep the stress away, listening to music. I’m also addicted to the movies. Now days cooking is a new hobby of mine.
Why are you into Advertising?
Being random and spontaneous always works in advertising and it has worked for me as well in my life. After school, I took the admission in Parla College for further studies. I joined commerce. I realized I’m bad with numbers. I realized that this number game is not my cup of tea. At the same time, I use to look at my elder brother Mahesh Sutar, who is also from advertising. He used to work for the big agencies like Lintas, Network, and Mudra.
I use to look at his dedication and passion about advertising and I got even more charged up. I realized that there are more challenges, more excitement and there’s more satisfaction working in advertising compared to any other occupation. And I was right. Though I was contemplating between becoming a chef versus doing advertising. My eldest brother Kiran and my mother was the one who helped me clear the haze in front of me and I decided to follow what I liked the most.
Now I’m happier and satisfied when I see my ideas shaping up the brands.
Advertising helps you learn new things every day. Advertising is for people and about the people, that’s how you start learning the insights and human behaviors.
Advertising for art people is much more challenging, I feel. Now days, Art directors have to play a different role. Calling them art directors would be wrong. They are more than that.
The new age of advertising clearly has a touch of technology. So there is a need to adapt yourself digitally. When I say digitally I mean, the possibilities are endless in that craft. At the same time its fun because you are creating something different from the usual stuff.
Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
I was always fascinated by the paintings done by my father Mr. Vilas G Sutar. He was a great artist. My father was known as S. Vilas and was very well known for his mythological paintings. I used to get amazed by seeing the passion and the dedication of my father and my elder brother Mahesh towards their profession.
So these people are the main reason because of whom I convinced myself to go to the art school.
So quickly I made up my mind and took the admission in the art school. It was a five years course. I did my Diploma In Applied Arts from Raheja School Of Arts, Bandra.
But I believe the learning is still not over yet.
Tell us something about your most recent campaign?
My recent campaign was for Samsung Galaxy Grand. Another brilliant product from Samsung. Which comes with a bigger screen. So the idea was very simple. The idea was “See The Bigger Picture.” We really had fun when we were writing the scripts. There were plenty of ideas. It was difficult for us when we had to freeze on one idea. We somehow managed to seal one idea, which our client also appreciated. We went ahead and shot the TVC and we got a good response to it. Its not only the creative team that is responsible for good creative, but I believe you need to have an understanding client with you.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Yes. There were lots. As I mentioned earlier any person who brought the change for the human kind and the one who really changed the game are my role models. And that list will just go on.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
As I said it all began with my father Vilas G Sutar. After that when I started strolling in the creative land I came across the great minds of the advertising. I read about the legends and game changers of the advertising business. And I really respect all of them. So I think its unfair to name one particular person. For me any creative person with great potential to give a different perspective on advertising is an influential personality.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration is always been around me. Everywhere I see it. I like to observe it and study it. All I need to do is keep my eyes open. My inspiration is nothing but the “PEOPLE” around me. The hawker, the rich man, the poor man, criminal, young, old, boy, girl, dogs, birds, etc… I think calling them “people” would be wrong. For me they are stories.
They are the source for the insights. Their behaviors are the key ingredients to make your idea stronger and bigger. I believe that’s the ultimate soul of the “IDEA”.
Tell us something about Leo Burnett, Kuala Lumpur environment.
When I accepted the job from Leo Burnett, Malaysia, I was really skeptical about my decision of moving from Mumbai to Malaysia. I was bit worried about the culture, people and lots of other things. I was confused yet very excited. I use to think how am going to survive over there. But, I really want to thank, my friend Tejali Shete who really helped me gather my courage. She really pumped up my confidence.
Leo Burnett, Malaysia is a place where you look around and you will find that the pure talent and the people full of skills surround you. It’s a place, which has the stronger foundation of Yasmin Ahmad’s values. It’s a place that has been driven by the pure passion of Eric Cruz. He has added a new edge and a dimension to this organization. There is a lot to learn from him. People like Iska Hashim (Creative Director) are the real boost up for any creative people.
I’ve been able to learn a lot with people around me in LB.
Tell us about your 1st brief as an art director in the field of advertising.
I started as a trainee in FCB Ulka. After completing 2 years in Ulka, I got an offer from Everest advertising. They wanted me to join the agency really quick but I was serving my notice period in Ulka. One fine day, my creative director from Everest called me and told me that we need to do one campaign for the pitch and we are running out of time and we have to deliver it. Being a junior guy it was difficult for me to say no to him. I was scared and confused.
So finally I told him to brief me. As a junior art guy I only use to get briefed on leaflets, brochures, and stickers. But I got charged up when I got briefed on the print campaign. My excitement was multiplied when I heard that its car brand. I got excited so much that I spent my entire night thinking about the ideas and the execution on that brief.
Next morning I woke up early and went with my ideas and execution to meet my new creative director. He was very happy to see some new directions and thinking coming from a junior art guy. He gave me some very encouraging talk and I felt very confident after that. As a junior person, for me that entire episode was very adventures.
Do you think brands who’s advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
Sometimes they do. I strongly believe that awards are a form of reward for winning the hearts of consumers.
What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
On my journey of advertising I have noticed one thing, which hurts me a lot. That is, some creative people think, just because they are “creative” we are special and they tend to loose respect for others. They need to understand that ideas come from anywhere and from anybody. So earning respect from your client and from the people around you is the key. Another thing, which is missing now days is the patience. I understand it’s a fast world but patience will plays a major role. The key Mantra is “Never Say Die.”
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Each person has a different way to look at life. That’s why I would defiantly want to go out with random people. Strictly no no to any person from the advertising background. Because I feel the stories, which comes from the ad person, are very structured and composed or else it will revolve around the advertising world.
What’s on your iPod?
My music, and the pictures of my loved ones. For me that’s the ultimate stress buster. The notes to write the ideas and poems.
Mac or PC?