Campaign India Team
Jun 28, 2010

Adland Rockstar: Mitali Srivastava

This week we caught up with Mitali Srivastava, a 33-year-old strategic planning director at Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai. Have you always been in advertising?

Adland Rockstar: Mitali Srivastava

This week we caught up with Mitali Srivastava, a 33-year-old strategic planning director at Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai.

Have you always been in advertising?
I started out as a television reporter for Zee News, moved into print for a newspaper of the Congress Seva Dal (a wing of the Congress (I)) and then became deputy editor of a human resources and training magazine. After a point, though, I got disillusioned with journalism: looking back, I guess I was a little idealistic about it being about discovering the truth all the time. I had some friends in advertising, and thought, “This could be interesting.” I started with planning over six years ago, and have stuck to it ever since.

What was your first week in advertising like?
Since my previous job was in television, I was used to adrenaline-pumping pace of work, and I thought, “Maybe advertising will be boring.” Thankfully, my first week had a pitch for Times Jobs, so it was anything but that; it was a lot of fun.

What do you like about what you do?
Planning’s about people and finding out what’s in their minds. Even journalism was really about discovering the truth and understanding people’s psychology. That way, news and market research aren’t drastically different; I’m still doing more or less the same thing and I love that. I also like the pace at which the industry moves – it’s such a young place, buzzing with energy all the time that it’s impossible to get bored.

What don’t you like about what you do?
I think the industry is full of cynics, so if people are really unhappy, they should go do something they like instead of complaining about clients giving them a headache and briefs not being good.

Is it tough being a planner?
Clients have started accepting planning as a function. For creatives, if you give them something that helps like a good insight or a new point of view they can take a leap from, then I think they always appreciate it as well.

Who’s the one person in advertising you’d like to have dinner with?
I meet interesting people on a daily basis. But when I was in TBWA, I got acquainted with the Philosophy of Disruption, and I fell in love with it. So, Jean-Marie Dru, the author, would be my pick.

Which is the one campaign you wish you’d worked on?
There was this Lion-winning British Army campaign back in 2000 which was a puzzle about a jeep with 3-4 people in it, stuck in a blizzard. There’s only one blanket and the ad tests if you’re the right candidate for the Army if you can decide correctly to whom it should go.

Interests outside advertising?
I’m a trained salsa dancer, and do some NGO work from time to time. 

 

Source:
Campaign India

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