Sunayna is about to steal Johnny Depp’s heart away, and secede, with him, from the rest of the world. (Only, he doesn’t know it yet.) The happy couple will live deep in the Amazon, where she says she will miss her other two addictions, Jack Daniels, and the Italian soccer team. She will be missed, but eventually forgotten, by her colleagues at Euro RSCG, and former colleagues at Ogilvy, Grey, etc. But she don’t care.
Why are you in Advertising?
Do you have a better offer?
Did you always want to get into advertising?
Chronological order of my wish list:
Age 1: Barf Queen
Age 3: Piss-control Queen
Age 5: Tall-enough-to reach-the-refrigerator-handle Queen (Also ref Age 15 for consequences)
Age 7: Cricketer
Age 9: Maradona
Age 11: Drama Queen
Age 13: Astronaut
Age 15: Slim-enough-not-to-get-wedged-in-refrigerator-door Queen (Also ref Age 5 for the reason)
Age 17: Manufacturer of AK 47s in India
Age 18: Pilot/writer/model/artist/musician
Age 19: Contacted mounting bills syndrome; briefly flirted with becoming a bank robber
Age 20: Reality bites: Junior Copywriter – Ogilvy and Mather
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
The usual ones – mom, Sachin Tendulkar, Amithabh Bachchan, Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes), and the next door neighbour’s cat.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in advertising?
There have been many, each for different reasons, and each for a different time.
How has advertising changed over the course of your career? Is execution/art direction more important than it used to be? Do you think advertising has become cleverer and less intelligent?
Let us answer this in 3 parts.
Do the following:
Take a white paper, pencil and scale.
Place the paper in landscape.
Draw X & Y axis. Now along X & Y axis mark 1-10. Then, make point (1,10),
i.e. the point that refers to the intersection of 1 on X axis and 10 on Y axis. Then mark point (10, 1). i.e. the point that refers to intersection of 10 on X axis and 1 on Y axis. Now join the points.
That’s advertising in last 6 years.
I think I would agree that art and execution has become lot more important today. Perhaps it stems from the fact that today’s consumer has so little time that grabbing his/her attention has become far more difficult and that’s why crucial. As a result it’s not just about how great the idea is but also how visually dramatic it will be.
The same trend can be seen in recent award shows, like Cannes where the judges tick entries that catch their eye immediately. Plus it’s a feeling that creative directors and art directors appreciate this fact as the general level of art and executions seems to be on the rise.
Part 3 only if you send me the diagram of Part 1 and only if it is correct.
What do you think of the current state of Print Advertising versus TV in India?
They are two completely different mediums used for completely different reasons. While it’s easy to assume that brands do better with television commercials, doesn’t print advertising push brand visibility and prove to be more informative?Take Tata Safari advertising as an example. True, the commercials were brilliant, but even the press campaigns that followed were of the same caliber. Ditto for the SBI commercials and the print and outdoor campaigns. Hutch too, is equally visible on television as on print media.
It totally depends on how the medium is used and not necessarily what medium it is.The Indian advertising trend though seems to have been consciously moving towards awareness on both grounds.
And why not talk about radio? Mushrooming in every agency, radio has seen a stark shift to major creative activity with better spots coming out everyday.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Current affairs in Iraq. There is hope for all.
Do you think brands whose advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
Don’t know for sure. Never won. Though market movements can be complicated and somehow I’m not a big fan of research to rely on what works or doesn’t. I think a big idea is a big idea, even if it doesn’t win. Besides what works for a particular brand might not necessarily work for another brand. It’s a tricky line for me to make a sure-shot comment on.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit advertising?
There are those fleeting sane moments, yes.
What makes a good Creative Director?
Empathy, good people management skills, lack of insecurity and the art of controlling the urge to pull one’s hair out.
What are your views on Scam Advertising?
Personally I’m not very comfortable with Public Service scam purely done for awards. I mean, to me it just doesn’t feel right. The rest, sure, why not? Who wouldn’t want an award?
Any current work in Indian Advertising that you find exciting? Especially Print?
I absolutely loved the Happident and Orbit White commercials. Also the new Airtel Google Search commercial. So extravagant and intriguing. And the Motorola ‘Looks expensive’ and the Tata Safari ‘Lines’ too. Such simple, striking commercials.
As for print, the last I saw was the Kerela Tourism ad by Stark. (Sometimes it takes water to kindle a fire.) And the Travel Tours ‘Carrot’ ad by The Circle. A ray of hope for the writers who still write and have clients who actually read.
We hardly get to see Illustration based Art Direction. What do you think is the reason? Is it that we don’t have any inspiring illustrators or is it the Client?
Isn’t it always the client? I haven’t worked with a single art director who isn’t an artist. Or met a single copywriter who hasn’t come up with a kick ass comic script campaign. It’s too bad that the client still believes that the Indian audience is ‘not equipped enough to understand’ illustrations/animations.There have been exceptions, though, with campaigns like Hutch and even Amaron Batteries, to name a few. Look at MTV and Channel V advertising as well. Campaigns that not only broke clutter but were also understood by the so-called not-so-sophisticated Indian audience.
Who would you want to spend a dinner with?
(And perhaps my life) Platinum card from Amex with no credit limits and no bills.
What’s on your iPod?
Currently: Megadeth, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, Rainbow, Beastie Boy and some random 80s pop. Oh and also – Sexy back (Don’t judge me!)
Mac or PC?
PC for now, though I would agree that Macs are way cooler.—- (the Carrot ad)