CopyWriter

Tathagata Ray : In Conversation With A Creative Strategist

A destined art director who bent fate and chose to pursue copywriting, Tathagata is now 13 years old in this industry. An Advertising and Public Relations post-graduate from the prestigious Indian Institute of Mass Communication, he has had notable stints at The Glitch, Jack in the Box Worldwide and Dentsu Webchutney. He is currently a part of the Creative Shop at Meta, India (previously Facebook).

“As a 12-year-old child, I was always fascinated with my father’s professional world, advertising. I would accompany him to the agency, print studios (OG 90’s advertising) and see him control shoot sets as an Art Creative Director. Safe to say, advertising was fated to be my love and kryptonite. Unlike my father, a bhodrolok from Calcutta who never felt like exploring the world, I wanted to work in advertising hot spots like Delhi and Mumbai. It started off by chasing his mad dream, but after spending 12 years in the industry, I believe I’m writing a totally different story, my story.”

Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
I attended the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2009, after a rigorous all-India entrance examination. The path after that was easy peasy, I would hang out in the canteen during the marketing classes and attend the print and creativity classes from the front row. Lazy, or laser focused on what looked like my journey.

How do awards impact the creative career?
Awards is what fuels the beginning of one’s career, in my opinion. You want to get a few awards as soon as possible and have the upper hand in deciding where you want to head next. There are two ends of the spectrum I have seen in my career, A) being obsessed with winning awards, or B) not giving a capital F about awards. Both could be toxic. It’s important to settle somewhere in between as a creative individual. Awards for oneself and worth in the market, but profitable and effective business for the overall health of the agency.

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Sandipan Deb : In Conversation With An Advertising Creative

Sandipan Deb is an advertising creative who also happens to be one of the youngest minds in the industry, bending its creative norms and pushing its hard-set boundaries – one idea at a time. At 25, he already had a Cannes Lion to his name and went on to secure another, during just his 3rd year into the mad ad world.

This young creative believes in a loaded resume before a loaded wallet and his accolades prove it. With more than 60 national and international awards including the Cannes Lions, a Young Lion shortlist, Spikes, Effie, OneShow Shortlist, Promax, Abbys, Adfest, Spott, Kyoorius Young Blood, Young Shit (Droga5 portfolio award), he plans to add more to the kitty even before he turns 30. His phenomenal contributions also fuelled his entry as a shadow juror at the Kyoorius Creative Awards 2022.

In his 5-yr long journey so far, a passion for thinking and an ability to gather powerful insights have led him to shape the digital landscape while creating for some of the most-loved names on the internet like TATA, KFC, ASUS, EarlySalary, Aditya Birla Health Insurance, MTV India, Times of India Digital, BIG FM, Khatabook, Baskin & Robbins, Bosch, Amazon Prime Video, VISA, British Council, game.tv, and movie/show marketing projects like URI: The Surgical Strike, Thappad, Article 15, Men in Black and more.

When not busy leading with ideas, he leads a team of talented creative writers and art directors today. And when not brainstorming on the newest brief, he loves to pen down stories, screenplays and plans on channelling his love for filmmaking in the years to come.


A little about yourself:
Well, I’m a writer/thinker in advertising with a lot of hope in my heart that my ideas will see the light at the end of the day. I try to sleep well at night and wake up with the strangest and craziest ideas for the desk. By 8:30 pm, I stop taking myself seriously, and by 8:32, everyone else stops. I am a sucker for memes, and I think meme as a category or a creative field needs more acknowledgement and appreciation. I weigh above 80, and that makes me humble and keeps me grounded (pun intended). I like having a dessert even after a homely dal-chawal meal. Like other creatives in the industry, I aim to work hard enough till the day I no longer need to introduce myself. I breathe in, I breathe out and most often snort too. I’m as human as everyone. (Laughs)

Why are you into Advertising?
To be honest, I believe this is the only profession where you’re paid to have imaginations. Though, there are other creative fields which have the same perks like filmmaking, music, writing, painting, photography, and what not. But there’s only one profession where you get to do them all in one – advertising. It’s like a dating app for creative individuals to have a fling with different creative expressions and yet stay single and uncommitted forever.
Mostly, I’m in advertising because I enjoy it. Since a kid, I have always been a fan of television commercials. Later, while doing my graduation, I discovered it in depth and in an instant, I was drawn to it. It’s fun. It’s ever evolving. It’s contagious. And, it makes you proud of what you do.

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Sriram Iyer : In a Chat With An Agency Creative

A little about yourself:

Now this where I fumble. Mostly because I don’t know how one answers this question. But I’ll give it a shot nonetheless.
I’ve been in advertising for over 10 years now. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with some wonderful people. The industry has also given me great friends, introduced me to certain substances (no, not that kind), made me gain weight, made me lose temper but also helped me find myself.

Why are you into Advertising?
I got into the industry because I thought I was good enough to be a part of it. I am still here because it continues to be fun, even though it’s equally challenging.

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Jatin Sangwan : In Conversation With A Sr Copywriter

Jatin is a Senior Copywriter at FCB Ulka. He is the kind of guy who drinks Frooti (or Maaza, never Slice) while everyone is chugging down beers. Bike riding, playing football, and reading true crime are his favourite hobbies. After herding some blue and brass elephants to his cabinet and a few Effies, he is hungry for some international stuff. When not working, he’s annoying his team by telling them bad jokes (and laughing at them). Also, super cute. 
 
Why are you into Advertising?
I love thinking up new things. Not just ads. Jokes, movie plots, products that I will never invent. And advertising is the only place that lets me do this, every day. Plus, you can work in pyjamas and sleep on the job (more often than I’d like to admit).  
 
Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
Nope. 

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
I did not get to decide my role models. My parents did that for me and was often a colleague’s son or daughter.

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Rajesh Sinha: In Conversation With A Creative Director

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. 

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Divya Bhatia : In A Chat With An Advertising Creative

Divya is a writer, dreamer, scribbler, not necessarily in that order. She always writes her first drafts in pencil coz that’s the only way she can pen down her thoughts as they whizz by. (Pen down with a pencil, yes ironical).

Why are you into Advertising?
For someone who’s curious about almost everything, advertising is a great place to be. Where else can you learn about the chemical formulation of Crocin to how hair oils actually work, or the impact a genuine Government programme or how women influence purchase of men’s products.

Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
Nope.

Tell us something about the advertising awards… Do they convince clients to be more creative in their brand building efforts?
I believe awards are great. Specially if they are on real work. If not, they are still pretty cool. They compel people to think ‘what if’.
Different clients see awards differently. For some it’s a clear Not Me.
For others they want to be there, they want to be the ones who trailblaze.
Awards bring a certain clarity. I value that.

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Shouvik Tarafder : In Conversation With An Advertising Creative

A seasoned wordsmith, Shouvik has spent a decade wandering in the world of Advertising & Marketing. Prolonged exposure to the madness has left him referring to himself in the third person.
Along the way, he has made friends with Burger King, Hersheys, Nestle, Bloomberg Quint, Times of India, Goodknight, Vodafone etc. He has also channelized his love for movies into movie channels like Movies Now, Romedy Now, MNX & MN+, spearheading their creative mandates in the process.
In terms of accolades, he has bagged a few Kyoorius Elephants as well as Spikes Asia award. He also came very close to winning a Nobel Prize, but then the alarm rang!
When he is not being chased by deadlines, Shouvik likes to Netflix & Chai. Once a vociferous reader, he now only has casual flings with books on weekends. His love for world cinema often takes him down rabbit holes, as he enjoys reading up about movies almost as much as watching them.

Why are you into Advertising?
To tell stories. Every brief is an opportunity to do so. Whether it’s through a TVC, a billboard or even over Instagram stories. The mediums are constantly evolving but the crux of it all still remains the same. Tell timeless tales in the shortest time possible.
Also, there’s no other job that pays you to stare at a wall during working hours.

Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
I did my Bachelor’s in Media Science from NSHM School of Media Communication in Calcutta. Ours was the second ever batch. So one might say we collectively took a leap of faith. And it paid off.
The fun part however, was going back to college later on as the copywriter leading the account for my agency. From brochures to ad campaigns, I did it all for my college.

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Vrinda Varnekar : In Conveersation With An Advertising Creative

Vrinda is a 20-something writer from Pune, who loves her hometown but secretly loves Mumbai more. She also loves dogs, windy days, K3G, and is allergic to lactose, lies, and misogyny.

Why are you into Advertising?
It’s funny, but when I was a child I often found myself thinking of alternate endings to TVCs, or making up print ads in my personal diary. I find advertising to be a very thrilling blend of creativity, understanding of culture and human psychology, and of course, the power it has to make or break a brand. I have been a journalist for 3 years, dabbled in travel writing and content writing, but I find advertising to be the craziest, most amazing ride I’ve been on. It’s been 5 years, and I only love it more and more by the day!

Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
I studied in Ahmedabad for my post grad- I studied creative communications at MICA.

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Madhura Chakravarty: In A Chat With An Advertising Creative

Balancer of work & life. Solo traveller. Team player.

Madhura Chakravarty is presently the Associate Creative Director of Monkey Wrench Communications in Kolkata. After a stint at Ogilvy & Mather in Delhi & Kolkata, Madhura realised she’s cut out for a hot-shop that is disciplined to create effective communication even on business cards. After working with brands like Vodafone, Greenply, ITC, Linc Pens, Polar Fans & more, she’s currently aiming to adapt the concept of ‘ikigai’ in life.

Why are you into Advertising?
Honestly, I enjoy the format of advertising which is largely story-telling for me first and then of course followed by brand building. Who doesn’t remember good stories? We remember our exchanges with co-riders, churan-wallahs and our grandmothers in greater detail than our lectures. An engaging narrative is certainly more memorable than a brand’s product window. It helps humanize a brand’s voice while building personality.

Advertising has the allowance of people from diverse backgrounds to arrive at a single platform and work towards a big idea – guitarists, CA professionals, professors, theatre artists – thus empowering the birth of a compelling story together.

I was very clear about being a copywriter after a group project in communication school demanded each of us to write a script on selling dark chocolate. The innumerable ways of selling chocolate to a teenager from 90 odd minds was a fascinating experience that went on to prove the collective power of many minds!

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