Interview of Viswaprasad Raju– Senior Lead-Creative Process at Doo Creative, Hyderabad
I was born in a remote village in East Godavari, in Andhra Pradesh, and brought up in the outskirts of Hyderabad: around the Golconda fort in the Army quarters skirting the fort walls and around factories in Jeedimetla, thanks to my father’s stints with the Army and with HMT. I used to sketch when in school, which I started again. With more travel, I started writing travelogues. I’m currently working on a screenplay. I live with my family – grandma (95 and going strong), parents, wife, two daughters, a scurry of squirrels and a dream of going back to Europe or the National Parks of Central India whenever time permits. I collect coasters, am passionate about Tennis and I have plans to come up with creative products, say calendars and diaries using my sketches. If you find advertising missing here, read on.
Why are you into Advertising?
Somebody told that it’s a job where you can have the most fun having your clothes on. I bought into it. It is, to an extent. When your hobby becomes your job, it’s no longer a job. I am living my dream, no regrets.
Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
I dropped out of a Diploma course in Creative Writing.
Tell us about a recent campaign you worked on?
It’s for an uber luxe realty project. We have some interesting ideas up our sleeves. Pretty excited about it!
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Too many across film-making, sketching and writing – and that left me confused. To pick a few – Mario Miranda, Shekhar Kapur and Vikram Seth
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
Swapan Seth, Joji Jacob. Have been following their work since a long time.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I go by the adage – the raw material of advertising is life. There’s so much chaos, so much life out there, so many ideas floating around. Pick that sticks to the brief. Plus, I carry a small book – The Creative Companion by David Fowler, it’s an instant mind-opener.
You had worked with O&M, Hyderabad and R K Swamy BBDO, Hyderabad, How was your experience working with big agencies?.
Two different schools!
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?
The shift to one-good-ad-film-is-enough has led to the present state of released print work in India. You would hardly find work that’s a stopper. Plus, the visual-driven approach has taken the front seat, so long copy ads are relegated to the garage.
Pick and tell us about one of all your past campaigns, your personal favourite…
The billboard campaign that we did for Medwin Hospitals. It ran for over three years. Here was a client who gave total freedom. We focused on social issues, month after month, and it became a landmark of sorts, people taking a detour to see the billboard, strangers sending me mails. It was the most talked about billboard campaign in Hyderabad. From The Hindu, The Indian Express to vernacular newspapers, it became a regular feature with them – to feature the billboard. It was rumored that the press photographer from a leading daily would wait to capture the billboard while the paint (long before the flex era) was still wet. The most cherished was the one we did during the Gujarat riots – ‘Iss Gujraat ki subah kab hogi’. Also, the one on using mobiles while driving – ‘Cell2Hell’. I realized the power of good advertising then and how good work spreads. Ok, we now have a name for it – Virals.
Do you think brands who’s advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
It should be the other way around. The sole criteria should be work that does well in the market. If it picks a metal or two, it’s the icing on the cake.
What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
Meet interesting people. See Interesting movies. Read interesting books. Travel to interesting places. Lead an interesting life, everything else will follow.
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
What’s on your iPod?
Whatever is being played on my art partner’s Mac!
Mac or PC?