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.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. So, it’s no surprise that growing up, I idolized Enid Blyton, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters…the list really doesn’t end!

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
I’d rather talk about what brands or the work that influenced my career in advertising. I always was very enamored by the campaigns made for Dairy Milk, Fevicol, and Surf Excel. They really influenced me, my perceptions, and helped the way I started noticing little cultural nuances.

Tell us something about your Sunsilk LockDown Ads.
That was an adventure none of us in the team can forget! When the lockdown started, and the world was still taking time to adjust to this new normal, we realized one important thing about young women- so many of them felt they couldn’t express themselves anymore, now that they couldn’t step out to be with their peers and friends. Many of them felt lost and restless. One little detail most of us forget is that doing our hair- whether it’s just brushing, braiding, or trying out new things, makes us feel better, it gives us a sense of purpose, however small it might be. So along with Sunsilk, we created 5 videos, one for each day from Monday to Friday, about doing up your hair and trying new hairdos for any and every reason, even if it was just to make household tasks more fun! We wrote, shot, and directed these phones via smartphones and video calls, and acted in them too. I play the protagonist in the Thursday film, while my art partner played the protagonist of the Monday film. It was great fun, and also a good way to create some feel-good content during an unusual time.

How has the explosion of Social Media impacted the art and skill of copywriting?
The medium may have changed, but at the core of it, the art form of both writing and designing, still is the same. We are evolving with the medium as well, and it is very cool to be a part of a world where we get to learn something new every day. We might have to adapt our work to shorter attention spans and sometimes even be more functional than creative, but who doesn’t love a challenge? There’s always a way to bridge the two worlds, I feel.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
This may sound cliched, but really, from the world around me. That’s why I used to love travelling by local trains to work in the pre-covid world- conversations, outfits, body language- any of these can just spark an idea and I’ve noticed this time and again. Talking to more people, spending time in the world outside is what helps me come up with my ideas. I believe stories are all around us, we just have to notice them.

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?
Sad is very subjective. Most of us want to be so creative and innovative with our ads, but what if they just HAVE to be straightforward and functional? Sometimes I feel that most of us forget we aren’t writing or making these ads for ourselves, we’re making them for a brand and a consumer who needs to be convinced enough to buy into the product or service. So yes, sad is subjective, but having said that, a big reason for the state of print advertising not being the best according to me is that people our age (people in their 20s, or younger) just don’t read newspapers anymore! We have already transitioned to digital platforms for our news and sources of information. And out of sight, has unfortunately become out of mind. If we start reading the papers again, maybe we might approach print advertising from a better and more enthusiastic lens. It has to be a proactive effort, and I hope at some point, we all make it. Print is a wonderful medium.

If there is one thing you could change in your place of work, what would that be?
I only have one answer for now- I really want to be able to go to my place of work! After 7 months of working from home, I realize how much we take for granted- having lunch together, huddling together for ideas and briefings, client calls and meetings, even just running into people while walking around.

Do you think brands whose advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
Why not? There’s no rule that it can only be this, or that.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
When the going gets tough, just tell yourself, “apna time aayega.” Whether it’s a bad client, something not working out at the office, or not being able to think of a mind-blowing idea, keep going and keep telling yourself that. Things will fall into place.

What’s your dream campaign, as an advertising creative.
It’s a secret for now. But you’ll know when you see it!

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My first love- Shahrukh Khan. I’d want to use that dinner to convince him to act in the ads I write!

What’s on your iPod? Spotify?
Since I can be a very indecisive person, this keeps changing.

Mac or PC?
I’m a writer. So as long as it as MS Word, I’m fine!

What’s your Twitter Handle? Instagram?
Twitter: vrinda_varnekar
Instagram: same.

Sunsilk Girlgiri:

Sunsilk Lockdown Hairstyles:

Lux : Soap With A Lump:

Cannes Young Lions Shortlist:

Vrinda Varnekar
Vrinda Varnekar
Vrinda Varnekar
Vrinda Varnekar

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