This week's Adland Rockstar: Akshay Kapnadak, creative director, McCann Erickson
Why did you get into advertising?
I come from a family of science. My father is an engineer, my mother is a doctor and my brother has studied pharmacy. I didn’t really see myself doing any of that. I joined JJ after my tenth standard, thinking that I would like to get into animation. Then during the second year, we were introduced to advertising and the industry that works behind creating ads fascinated me. After five years, I wanted to do films and I knew that the best way to do films is to get my hands dirty as soon as possible. McCann Erickson was the second agency I gave my interview at and they accepted me. I have been here since then.
What is it that you like best about your job?
It is what Tom Hanks says in Forrest Gump, “It’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get”.
My job is like traversing a mind field; I don’t know which one is going to blow in my face today. In an agency, you live in interesting times as you don’t know where the next punch is coming from.
What is it that you hate about your job?
Any creative professional joins this business because he enjoys the process of creating ads. Then as one goes along, one needs to come to terms with a lot of other things like managing a group. It becomes a part of a job. However, managing a group is not a part of the creative process. Thus, you find yourself doing lesser and lesser of work because you are doing a lot more in terms of running your group. This is the part that niggles at me at all times: being more “director” than “creative”.
If you were stuck in a desert island, what is the one thing that you would like to have with you?
I will take the Alladin lamp that is kept on my table to ask for three wishes, and the first one would be to get the hell out of the desert!
Which is the one book that you can re-read any number of times?
There is a beautiful book called ‘The curious incident of the dog in the night time’ by Mark Hadden. I can read it any number of times not only because it is insightful and a beautifully written story, but because it is a really small book and easy to read again and again. I can also re-read Asterix and Calvin and Hobbes.
Who is the one person in advertising that you would like to have dinner with?
It has to be either Dan Wieden or Alex Bogusky. I would just like to get into their minds and see what makes them tick.
Who is the one person outside of advertising that you would like to have dinner with?
It has to be Bono (U2) as I am a huge fan.