In this edition, Ajesh N, associate creative director, Ogilvy & Mather, Bangalore, reveals that it took three days of interning at a newspaper that got him to where he is today.
How did you get into advertising?
I’d studied journalism in college. But after interning for three days at Asian Age, I figured that journalism wasn’t my cup of tea. Then I got into a small time design agency and spent some time there. After that, a couple of years in a BTL agency. Then I wanted to do something else. That’s when I got in touch with a good friend, Anu Joseph (now ECD, Creativeland Asia) and said I wanted to get into advertising. He put me in touch with Prahlad Nanjappa (then JWT). That’s how I got into advertising.
My career growth’s been pretty good, I would think. Advertising is not the kind of industry (thankfully) where one’s growth is dependent on the number of years one’s been in it. If you are creative, hard working and capable of handling responsibility, you can climb the ladder real fast.
What was your first week in advertising like? Any madness you still remember?
It wasn’t a week or so, before I had my own Mac. So, mostly I busied myself with advertising and award books. Back then, everyone in JWT, Bangalore, was a prankster and I, their unwilling victim! It was a lot of fun. I remember some crazy things that happened. But if I tell you, I will have a hundred defamation suits to deal with tomorrow!
Which has been the most challenging campaign you’ve worked on (and you’re most satisfied with) till date?
It may sound like a politically correct answer, but honestly, because there is no set formula, each campaign has been challenging in its own way. Not all campaigns have been satisfying though. Overall, I had good fun working on Levi’s in JWT. Here at Ogilvy, am enjoying some of the nice work that we are churning out on Allen Solly and Titan.
Which is the one International and Indian campaign you wish had your name in the credits list?
Among the recent ones, it will be Diesel’s Be Stupid campaign and Vodafone Zoozoos.
Who’s the one person in advertising you’d like to meet for dinner?
David Droga. He is super human!
What’s the one thing you love about your job?
There are good, happy, funny moments. And there are piss-off moments; ones that get your blood boiling, push you to the edge even. But there’s never a dull moment. That’s the best part of this job. And that’s because I am lucky to work (and have worked) with some great, talented and amazing human beings like Kunj Shah, Vipul Thakkar, Shamik Sengupta, Anil Thomas, Malvika Mehra, Prahlad Nanjappa, Ashwini Gowarikar, etc. My enthusiastic team also ensure that every day is very, very entertaining!
And the one thing you hate?
Because advertising is so un-routine, unconventional and unpredictable (which is why you got in it in the first place), you can’t really plan anything as much as you would like to. The cost of a good campaign at times is missing out on a lunch with family or an evening out with friends. I fear one of these days I am going to be ostracised by my near and dear ones! High time I figured out time management!