This week, we caught up with Pritish Nathaniel, a senior account executive at Ogilvy & Mather.
What brought you to advertising?
I was in Bangalore for my BBM at Baldwin’s. My next step should have been something in finance; all my friends went on to become bankers. I don’t mind a 9-to-5 job, but I can’t take the monotony of doing the same thing every day. I looked around for what I could do, my cousin’s in advertising, and I thought I’d check out what he does. So, then I moved to Mumbai and I got a job at Saatchi & Saatchi.
What’s it like being on the servicing side? Is it as hard as it looks?
I like what I do, which is speaking to people and giving your views and selling your ideas to the client. It’s not that I have a special love for sales, but I like advertising. With servicing, you need to be a real masochist, and a glutton for punishment.
Do you remember your first week?
I was scared. I was told to go speak to creative and ask them "Where’s that ad?" I went to go say that and the creative guy replied, “Come back later, can’t you see we’re doing important work?” and he would be on Facebook. So I used to tell him I’ll come back in five minutes and go away; then my boss would yell and say I want that ad right now. And I wasn’t dominating at all back then. Now, I can convince people more efficiently.
What do you still like about advertising?
The same reason I joined it. I may be coming into office today from 9-to-5 (but not really 5), but I may be doing a TVC or press ad or something digital.
What do you hate about it?
What I don’t like is that clients just assume that what you do is easy, and they give you the brief at 9 and expect something by 6 in the evening. They just take you for granted, even if you ask for time. Some brands like Cadbury and KCL are evolved brands, the brand managers accommodate you to a certain extent. But when you go on smaller brands, they have brand managers who like to push their limit.
Your most memorable campaign so far?
I was at Saatchi & Saatchi and for the ICICI campaign for ‘Khushiyon ka Grahpravesh’, I was the only servicing guy on it at the time. I got to interact with the vice president and there was a lot of learning; I had to run here and there and you can’t really tell the VP to solve your problems, so I had to figure things out myself.
Any international campaigns you really like?
Dos Equis campaign for ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’, which originated from Chuck Norris jokes, like when Chuck Norris does push-ups, he doesn’t do a push up, but he pushes the ground down.
And Indian ones?
The ones for Cadbury, like the cricket one for ‘Kya swaad hai zindagi mein’...you mention them to anyone, and these ones are at least 15 years old, but they remember.