Rajesh is currently working at Innocean Worldwide, NCR, as a Creative Director. He is a very affable person. He has a mass market sensibility and thinks from his heart. He loves to come up with visual ideas as much as crafting good lines. He believes that the greatest advertising insight is the fact that people just love a good story.
Why are you into Advertising?
I was in Chennai, doing an engineering course. It was really boring. I used to read lots of magazines those days. Once I read about advertising in ‘Competition Success Review’ in their regular section called ‘Fast Track Careers’. That got me interested. I also did a small course in advertising from The British Institute. Then I applied at a few agencies and joined Equations, a small agency in Chennai.
Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
I did a diploma in advertising from The British Institute and BBA from University of Madras.
Tell us about your Awards? How has that impacted your career? Do clients listen to you more?
I have not been a big believer in awards. But I do think it helps in advancing ones career. I have been featured in Lurzer’s Archive a couple of times and recently won a bronze in MTV Buzz In Content Awards, 2021 for Sony Alpha cameras.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
I was very close to my uncle. He had a theatre club in my hometown. He used to write plays/dance dramas and direct them. I used to be with him all the time. Sometimes, I used to remember the entire plays as I even used to be at daily rehearsals. I had a sense of dialogue and story-telling and he used to seek my opinion from time to time. He was my role model and my university for whatever I know today.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
Sanjay Menon. He was my boss when I was at Mudra, Ahmedabad. I hardly could present on my own. I was really quiet and would get conscious and nervous. Sanjay really encouraged me to present. I also learned identifying the insights behind my scripts. That made me believe that any good idea innately has an insight in it. He never gave us a prior insight to work on.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
From my childhood. From life. From good ads. From movies. From good bosses. From good perks.
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?
Yes, it is a bit sad. It is mostly being used as a reminder media in a media mix led by television. Also, digital has really dented print advertising. With attentions moving on to the screens, it’s tough for print. But nothing beats the impact of an impressive print ad in the morning paper. If I like an ad there, I see it many times over the course of the day. I think advertisers should exploit it better. I believe, digital works only after a brand has achieved a certain level of awareness. So don’t cut your print budgets.
As a writer, which is your personal best campaign that you really had lots of fun writing…
I had fun writing the Brilliant Moment campaign for Hyundai when the brand completed 20 years in India. We sourced actual customer stories and turned them into interesting scripts.
If there is one thing you could change in your place of work, what would that be?
Nothing much. Innocean offers us a good work-life balance unlike many other agencies. Work-life balance has always been my priority.
Do you think brands who’s advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
Brands that have a better connect with their audience do well in the market. Sometimes, I find award work too intelligent to be relatable.
What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
Find out all about the industry before you dive in. Sometimes people get in for the wrong reasons and get disillusioned soon. Find out about the perks, the growth, the work hours, etc. before joining.
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Any of my old friends.
What’s on your iPod? Spotify?
I listen to songs with interesting and profound lyrics.
Mac or PC?
Whats your Twitter Handle? Instagram?