This week's Adland Rockstar is Gerard Jayaranjan, creative director, Euro RSCG.
How did you get into advertising?
I did my post graduation in Mass Communication from Delhi, after which I landed up at McCann Erickson for an internship. Strangely enough, at that point of time, I used to hate advertising. When my internship came about, I told my placement team that I wanted to apply for TV Ad/Index, because I thought they made television ads! But honestly, after the first two months, I got hooked. It had to do in a big way with having a great mentor - Prateek Bharadwaj at McCann Erickson. From McCann, I moved to The Hive for about four years, followed by stints at Draftfcb+Ulka, Mudra, TBWA/India. The offer from Euro RSCG brought me to Bombay. I think to be a successful creative, you have to come to Bombay since the city is obviously the mecca of advertising.
How was your first week in McCann?
My first day itself was quite eventful. The mass communication school I was from, stressed on formals, tie, shirts and I came to office wearing a three-piece suit as a creative trainee (laughs). But the atmosphere was a pleasant surprise - the entire atmosphere, atleast the creative department felt really really chilled out. We were given briefs to work on, there were pitches happening. So the first week was pretty nice; it was a good initiation into advertising. I had no expectations of what an agency was like and that, I think is the best way to get into advertising. The whole world turns into a bit of a surprise.
Which was the first brief you worked on?
It was for Cherry Blossom. There was an offer, for free shaving cream with every Cherry Blossom. So the line I wrote went something like, ‘Get a shining face along with shining shoes’...something like that! (smiles)
What is one thing you like about your job?
I like the freedom that advertising offers. The timings are flexible, the money is good. Plus, it is a job that compliments my short attention span (smiles)
What is one thing you don’t like about your job?
A lot of people take advertising way too seriously. I know it’s a serious business, we’re trying to make money for corporations through advertising, but I don't like the idea of living from deadline to deadline. In my view, to be really creative, it’s not the deadline that should matter, it should be the quality of work that should matter.
One person in advertising you’d like to have dinner with?
Lee Clow, who concieved TBWA's 1984 commercial for Apple. And if there's a second option, I'd like to have dinner with Neil French. He is one of the most fabulous writers I've come across. His website is the one where I go to when I’m stuck.
One person outside advertising you’d like to have dinner with?
Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, Steven Gerrard.
Any favourite authors?
I’m a big fan of Chuck Palanhuik, Mario Puzo of The Godfather. I like books that are for light reading.
Any favourite movies?
8 Mile, School of Rock, Biker Boys
One campaign you'd put up in your hall of fame.
The launch of 'Impossible is Nothing' for Adidas, done by TBWA.
Three things you'd want with you on a deserted island?
My Macbook, my iPod and a book on how to make a raft.
- - - -