This week's Adland Rockstar is Manish Somani, brand services director at Leo Burnett who reveals that one of the things that worries him is that servicing is sometimes marginalised in ad agencies.
How did you get into advertising?
I always wanted to be in the advertising industry, but now I wonder what in the world was I thinking. Like for a lot of people in the industry, advertising didn’t just happen to me. From my side, it was a sustained effort which got me into this field. The inspiration came from my uncle who is in this profession. I was in school then and looking at him operate made me want to be in his shoes.
Describe your first week in advertising.
It was a mix of lot of emotions. I was very excited and came in with a lot of fire in my belly and with an attitude that I will make a difference. It was like a dream coming true. The urge to learn and know people was at the strongest that point in time. To be honest, I was also a little anxious as I didn't know what the future held for me.
What was the first brief you worked on?
Oh my God, that was six long years ago. I have no recollection of what was my first brief that I worked on.
What's one thing you like about your job?
Honestly, there are a lot of things that I like about my job. The quest to understand the consumers psyche, getting to work on different products and categories, and most importantly, coming up with interesting ideas or great insights that excites the creative team, and at the same time, deliver from the client's perspective (now that’s a challenge). But above all of this, I just love the people that this industry attracts.
What's one thing you don't like about your job?
I will be completely candid about this: One of the things that worries me about advertising is the tendency to treat advertising as an expenditure that must deliver results instantaneously rather than treating it as a valuable investment aimed at building brands. Also, from the servicing perspective, there are instances where you could feel that servicing is marginalised in some agencies, but then that again is a direct function of one’s own attitude at his job.
One person in advertising you'd like to have dinner with?
Three brands whose campaigns you'd put up in your hall of fame?
Coke, Nike, Harley Davidson
Three films that are your favourites.
Again very difficult to choose but the ones that immediately come to my mind are Harley Davidson "Respect", "Real children don’t bounce back" – a campaign done by NSPCC Britain, and Happydent.
Watch them here