This week’s Adland Rockstar is Siddhi Yadav, art director, McCann Erickson.
How did you get into advertising?
When I was in school, I’d heard of a course in commercial art at Sophia Polytechnic. So I did five years there. As the course progressed, we slowly came to know that there is a huge avenue for art in advertising. I joined TBWA as a trainee for a month, after which I moved to McCann. I’ve been here since 2005.
Describe your first week as a trainee.
I didn’t know how to operate on half of the softwares and I had to keep bugging my seniors! I remember there were three of us – all trainees – and we’d pitched three print ads for American Tourister. The one I’d done eventually got approved and I came to know about it only after I saw it plastered all over the city. By that time I’d quit TBWA and joined McCann. I joined here as a trainee too and I remember, within three hours of my joining, I was working on my first brief from Radio Mirchi.
If not in advertising, where would you have been?
I’d be teaching. I currently take classes for calligraphy, elementary and grade exams in art where I teach everyone, right from 4 year olds to 30 year olds. They come to my house. I teach for about 6-7 hours on weekends. I love it.
One thing you really like about your job.
The fact that no two days are alike. So I don't know what to expect. That keeps me on my toes all the time.
One thing you don't like about your job.
(thinks) I guess the work-timings and the pressure of deadlines.
One person in advertising you'd like to have dinner with.
David Droga. I love his ‘Million phones for New York city campaign’. Even more so, since it’s got to do with teaching.
One person outside advertising you'd like to have dinner with.
Steve Jobs. There's just this thing about him - about how he looks at things and how clear he is about what he wants and what he doesn't.
One book you can read again and again.
I love Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. I remember as an arts student when I would rush to my college library everyday to go through references from the book, to see those paintings. My interest in history really grew.
Jeffrey Archer. And I also like Dai Saku Ikeda.
One movie you can watch again and again.
I love Iron Man and Kung Fu Panda. They’re on loop all the time on my iPod!
One film-maker you worship.
One advertising campaign you really admire.
I’m not sure if I can pick one, but my recent favourite is the Alka Seltzer campaign. I just feel it’s so simple and devoid of too much art or copy. It is simple in its illustrations.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what would be the three things you’d want with you?
A book and a paper for drawing, chocolates and music.
Who are your mentors?
My current seniors at McCann Erickson - Akshay Kapnadak, Denzil Machado. Prasoon (Joshi) is also a big inspiration. I admire his work, his thought process and the way he handles the whole agency.
If you've missed any of our previous Adland Rockstars, you can read about them here.