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?

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.

What is your personal favourite campaign that you worked on?
Recently my favourite campaign was the Amazon “Inn dibbon mein”. I got to work very closely with my amazing mentors Kainaz, Harshad and our ingeniously creative planning head Prem.
When you work with H and K the bar is always high, their commitment to good solid work inspires the entire room to be better.

Do you think brands whose advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
That’s tricky. Good brands with great advertising do very well in the market. However Bad products with great advertising fail superfast.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
That’s easy. Definitely Ajay Gahlaut, I’ve worked with him for as long as I’ve worked. Never met anyone who could solve a complex problem with such simplicity and ease. After many years in advertising most people write in their own voice (not the brand’s) Ajay has a range in his repertoire – from a 15 yr old love struck boy to a toaster to a Tam Bram to an alien. His thinking is unparalleled.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
People fascinate me. Just observing people and the infinite complex emotions they portray. There is so much to capture to explore and take cues from.

Tell us something about the work environment at your agency…
It’s Ogilvy. What can I say. The best part is we are obsessed with work. We aren’t into the usual politics, egos, camps, etc. Everyone recognizes the need for different voices to exist and be given their due. The answer to almost every problem is work.

But the greatness of any organisation is to constantly strive to improve itself. And lead by Kunal, someone who’s fiercely kind, we are all constantly finding ways to connect more with each other, reaching out, being more generous to ourselves and others.

Do you have any kind of a program to nurture and train young talent?
Ha ha When you work with some of the best minds in the industry you are on a 24/7/365 learning programme. Just seeing them at work is inspirational. But that apart Ogilvy leadership has mentorship programmes that are superb. They help people navigate not just their work life but also in finding the correct life- work balance.

What about new and young film makers/photographers? Do you consciously keep looking for newer talent and try someone completely new?
Umm this depends on projects. On some projects the clients are very fixed on who and what they want. But with the digital space exploding and mediums blending we are working many, many new fantastic people.

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?
Aah this is honestly a matter of perspective. It’s easy to say ‘Print is dead’. And yes we may not have read a clever line or a stunning visual in a newspaper or magazine.

But look at the content in your Insta feed or on Twitter. Meaningful posts, Wicked memes, quirky gifs, candid moments is this not print in a new avatar. A democratization of creativity.

Any notable digital campaigns?
The Philips Him for Her Breast cancer campaign will always be special for me. Women often shy away from taking a Breast self-exam citing the burden of housework. The campaign got husbands to sign up for a household chore so that their wives could use the time saved for a self exam.
We had a blast. Digital videos training men in simple household chores, Fun ways to sign up, Super hero badges, etc.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
Relax. You’ll get it.

What is your dream project?
I think a project becomes a dream when like-minded people come together for the same goal. But yes branded content with real, complex characters, that people want to watch more of is currently trending my list.

Mac or PC?

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Marcello Serpa.

What’s on your iPod? Spotify?
Different playlists for different moods.

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