This week's Adland Rockstar is Amod Dani, creative director, Leo Burnett.
How did you get into advertising?
The trigger was something very casual. When I was 18, I saw a TV commercial of about a dozen or more people stuck on top of a truck (O&M's TVC for Fevicol) and I was amazed at how they'd shot it - it fascinated me to see a visual like that! After being brought up in the Middle East, I came for degree college to India (Sydenham College, Mumbai), did my post-graduation from MICA. I somehow landed a job at Lowe, Doha and then came to Lowe Mumbai.
If not in advertising, where would you have been?
I'd have been a cartoonist.
One person in advertising you'd want to have dinner with?
(thinks hard) Balki. He was the NCD at Lowe, but I didn't get to interact much with him. I've seen him - he's a phenomenal personality, there's so much to absorb from him. But if I were to give you a hypothetical answer to your question, it'd have to be John Hegarty. Unfortunately, I missed his seminar at Goafest because a friend of mine had an accident. But he was the only reason why I'd gone to Goafest last year.
Anybody outside advertising you'd like to have dinner with?
One book you can read again and again.
Any of the Tintin comics.
Your favourite author?
Currently, Dan Brown. And even Chetan Bhagat is very good among Indian authors.
One movie you can watch again and again.
The Dark Knight.
One film-maker you really admire.
Quentin Tarantino. Inglourious Basterds is, by far, his best work.
One advertising campaign you worship.
It's not really a campaign per se, but hats off to whoever was the first person to crack the insight of "Use my brand, get the girl." It's something Axe has mastered really well, innovating with every new campaign. There are others too - "Use my car, get the girl," "Use my toothpaste, get the girl,", "Use my chewing gum, get the girl"...
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what are three things you'd want with you?
Johnny Walker Blue Label, a PSP to keep me going and a satellite phone.
Who are your mentors?
Priti Nair, K V Sridhar (Pops), Nitesh Tiwari and certainly my first boss here - Harshad Rajadhyaksha (who is now executive creative director with JWT. People like Pops have showed that ideas are not born out of an iron grip. They are lighthouses who guide you, but its you who has to guide the ship itself.
Missed any of our previous Adland Rockstars? You can check them out below: