This week's Adland Rockstar is Nitin Kumar, creative director, Pickle Lintas.
How did you get into advertising?
I came to Delhi from Benares to study engineering. Despite qualifying for it, I appeared for an entrance exam for College of Art. Joining that college changed my life. I took a lot of petty jobs to be financially independent, as I wanted to justify my decision of this career shift. It was tremendous learning. While doing all kinds of freelance work, I got in touch with some great art directors from the advertising fraternity. In 2002, just out of college, Probeer Dutt from TBWA\India introduced me to Abhijeet Basu who was starting his own set up- AB&M. It was a very small core team and I got hands-on experience in working with some leading writers as I was the sole art resource and the copy was done by freelancers. My first job with a big network was in 2004 when I joined Publicis in Delhi. I have worked and grown since, from an intern to creative director – right across VGC, Mudra, Grey and here I am, Pickled!
Describe your first week in advertising.
Nothing exceptional, because by the time I joined, I was already familiar with the agency atmosphere, the rush, the working culture, etc. In fact, college was more of a culture shock for me.
What was the first brief you worked on?
Media Transasia was launching India’s first golf magazine, Golf Style. Those were the days when I believed that every ad should be archive format-clean, sans body copy, landscape. The campaign had golf players/courses with some surprise India element almost hidden somewhere and the Golf Style logo. Surprisingly, the client approved it without asking for any changes. I was really excited when I first saw it in Outlook magazine. I felt like I was going to conquer the world.
What's one thing you like about your job?
Madness! I love the curiousity hunt. It is endless. There is something new to look forward to, everyday. I enjoy researching about that particular bit of information, that perfect picture. Besides, in advertising we do have to develop knowledge of a lot of things. In that search, you see great work, you keep moving from one brilliant idea to an even more brilliant one. Also there's a certain thrill in the way we work. Everything has to happen just in the nick of time, everyday, throughout the year - all weekends and holidays included. The never sufficient deadlines and the challenge to keep cracking ideas - it is always 'I’m-sane-but-I’m-overwhelmed' kind of situation.
What's one thing you don't like about your job?
Salaries for advertising folks! :) Advertising consumes you.
If not in advertising, what would you be doing?
One person in advertising you'd like to have dinner with?
I’ve never had a role model for most of the things in life. But to answer your question, I would want to meet Remi Babinet. I want to work with him.
One person outside advertising you'd like to have dinner with?
This list is huge. Right now it is James Cameron, Mark Zuckerberg, Siddharth Lal of Eicher group.
Three films that are your favourites.
Avatar, Forrest Gump and Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.
Three books that are your favourites.
The Alchemist, The Interpretation of Dreams and Escher. I’m huge fan of Ruskin bond.
Three brands whose campaigns you'd put up in your hall of fame?
Absolut Vodka, Diesel and Amul butter.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what would be the three things you'd want with you?
My Macbook, internet pluggy and my carpentry tool kit.
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