This week's Adland Rockstar is Meera Ganapathi, copy supervisor, Contract Advertising.
How did you get into advertising?
I had no plans to be in advertising. My dad wanted me to join the army – he’s an army man himself, as are my two brothers - and my mother wanted me to be a designer. I’ve got a degree in Fine Art. A lecturer at college asked me to try my hand at copywriting since she noticed that I'd write a lot. I got in touch with my friend’s brother, who was in Orchard Advertising in Bangalore, where I gave my copy test and joined as an intern. I spent three years there with a short stint in Orchard (Mumbai). I recently joined Contract Advertising.
How was your first week in advertising like?
Amazing! My boss at Orchard used to make my job interesting, by giving me something new to do everyday. So each day I had something new to look forward to. There’s a big library at Orchard, where I spent my first week, simply reading everything I could about advertising. My boss didn't allow me to do anything else. But I remember, as an intern I used to pester Thomas (Xavier), by showering him with ideas as soon as he came into office. (laughs)
What’s one thing you like about your job?
The fact that I get paid to, well...daydream, stare into space and appear very intellectual. (laughs)
What’s one thing you don’t like about your job?
I think I’m still having my first brushes of love with advertising, so I don’t think there’s anything horrible about it, except that I'm still learning to deal with client feedback. More copy, bigger logo...the usual reactions.
What’s the best advice you’ve got?
Hemant Kumar, my ex-boss at Orchard had once told me that, always raise the bar in your own head. It’s the most important thing. There will always be people who’ll tell you that 'this work is good, that work is bad' but if your own standards are high, then your output will be really good.
If not in advertising, where would you have been?
I wish I could say artist, but considering even my mother doesn't like to put up my artworks, I'd give this a miss. (laughs) Somehow my subjects always end up around smoking – I don’t know why! So she thinks my artworks are a little morbid. But on second thoughts, I'd love to be a travel writer.
One person in advertising you’d want to have dinner with?
I’d have loved to have dinner with Paul Arden, had he been alive. I read a lot of his books and especially liked God Explained In a Taxi Ride. Amongst those alive, I’ll choose Neil French.
One person outside advertising you’d want to have dinner with?
I like Hugh Jackman, but I don’t think he’d make good conversation (I’ll end up just staring at his face!) So I’ll choose Robert Downey Jr.
Your favourite film?
Amelie – it’s an absolute favourite! I love everything about it.
Your favourite film-maker?
I love Guy Ritchie’s films for their dialogues. Apart from that, Stanley Kubrick is natural favourite.
I love the works of Woody Allen. Apart from that, I like Haruki Murakami a lot. I think Kafka on the Shore is his best work. His latest book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running really motivates me whenever I read it. I also like The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher.
One advertising campaign you really admire?
Epuron’s ‘The Power of Wind’ campaign.
Three things you’d want with you if you were stuck on a deserted island?
I think I’ll take just one object. Odomos! (laughs)
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