'It’s been the best 10 years of my life': BBDO's Josy Paul

A series to end the decade - part thirteen

Dec 17, 2019 05:12:00 AM | Article | Campaign India Team

Campaign India's countdown to the end of the decade will feature leading names from the marketing and communications fraternity. We ask senior executives from the advertising, marketing and media fraternity about the last 10 years and the year to come.
Here's what Josy Paul, chairman and CCO, BBDO India, had to say:
One piece of work created by a competitor in the last decade that you wish you had created/worked on?
The campaign is #OptOutside. And the brand and advertiser is REI, a popular retail chain in the US known for their clothes, camping gear and outdoor accessories. #OptOutside was truly audacious. On Black Friday, the day that America goes crazy buying stuff, the biggest shopping day of the year, REI decided to close all their 143 stores, encouraging everyone and their staff to go outside and have a good time!
The brand was standing up for what they truly believed in. Their core values founded in 1938 around their love of the outdoors. That’s commitment. It wasn’t about words, it was about action. People loved them for this act. And it provoked everyone to think about how they spent their time, what really matters and what feels more fulfilling.
The impact was most unexpected. More than 150 other companies joined REI to close their doors on Black Friday, and hundreds of state parks opened up for free. The campaign won multiple Grand Prix in every award show. It won the biggest recognition in 2016 at Cannes Lions – The Titanium grand Prix. You can’t get bigger than this in marketing and advertising.

If hindsight is 20/20, what is the one thing that you could have done differently in the last decade?
I would have spent more time with my friend, the rain. I would have chased the rain up the western coast from Kerala to Mumbai and back again across hills and fields and country roads. 
At work, I am grateful for what we’ve done so far. It’s been the best 10 years of my life. The only thing I would do differently would be to spend more time understanding how to break something to make something better. So that I have many more breakthrough stories to share with my family and friends.
One skill that you would want to pick up in 2020 and why?  
I would like to pick a three-in-one skill. Stretching-Meditation-Yoga! Stretching to stay flexible in mind and body. And Yoga and meditation for breathing control, physical exercise, mental health and for better sleep. Everything that’s in short supply these days!
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