Interview: Anil Kakar

Anil started his advertising career close to 18 years ago and has worked with agencies such as Leo Burnett, Enterprise Nexus, Ambience Publicis, SSC&B Lintas and Percept Hakuhodo. Along the way, he has helped build brands such as Canon, Panasonic, Pantaloon, Taj Hotels, FedEx, Killer Jeans, Westside, Raymond, Siyaram, The Times Of India, Femina, The Economic Times, Brand Equity, Indiatimes.com, Pierre Cardin, Thums Up, Lakme, Vicks, Nerolac Paints, Park Avenue, to name a few. Anil’s work has been featured in several award shows and advertising festivals. His work for The Times Of India was the first Indian campaign to have won the Campaign of the Year award at the Asia Pacific Adfest; the campaign also picked up the same award at the Abby Awards. His work for Vladivar Vodka and Georgia Gullini clothing was showcased in the international Archive magazine. At SSC&B, Anil’s creative work helped the agency win the ‘Most improved agency of the year’ title, moving up from Rank 52 to Rank 18 in less than a year, within the Lowe network. As Bombay Creative Head at Percept, his work helped the agency garner more than 40 awards over a span of 2 years. Anil has been a member of the jury at the New York Festivals, Goafest and the Outdoor Advertising Awards. Anil regularly contributes articles to FHM magazine and is also working on his first fiction novel.

Why are you into advertising?
When I was a kid, my father owned an ad agency. Back then, there were no computers and he used to manually cut typefaces printed on bromides. He used to cut it very carefully, with a pair of scissors set the type for each ad with his own hands. As a teenager, I couldn’t help but get fascinated by the whole process. Often, I used to help him source typefaces from Letraset and various international magazines and I think that exposed me to the wonder of advertising; unknowingly, it helped me find beauty in typography, writing and art. Thanks to him, I could tell a Bodoni from a Futura, while I was still in school. In retrospect, this went a long way in defining the future. As it turned out, a few years later, my father got a job and so we had to move out and I found myself in Bombay and that marked the turning point of my life. I remember, a long, long time ago, while I was still wet behind the ears, I visited the CAG exhibition where I happened to see the Mauritius Tourism campaign and an electric sort of feeling ran through my spine and that was when I decided, I should be in advertising.