Digital agencies are on the rise, and the requirement for talent is met with fresh recruits and experienced hands coming in from mainline advertising, who usually walk in with an attitude of working on “something new and different”. Campaign India tries to find out how eager are the young creatives to be working in this space.
Satish Ramachandran, vice president, Draftfcb + Ulka feels that there are two streams of people emerging in the talent available. He says, “I see one group still passionate about the traditional mediums, and another group which is tremendously enthusiastic about the digital medium. There is this whole new breed of talent who want to work on this medium.”
Noting that both young and experienced creative folks are attracted towards the digital space, Ashok Lalla, president – digital, Euro RSCG India explains, “Part of the reason is the lure of a new medium and the novelty of digital as compared to traditional media like print, TV and outdoor, as well as the exciting possibilities digital offers. The bigger reason is that digital is the medium of the future and a creative person who doesn’t ‘get it’ is probably heading for extinction!”
“With young talent, traditional advertising and craft still take a large share of the mind space,” observes Carlton D’ Silva, creative director, Hungama Digital Media. “For many art college graduates, digital is not the first choice. With the growing importance of a dedicated digital campaign, this scenario is changing rapidly. Traditional media also has a greater glamour quotient and that is what young creatives are attracted to, but as spends increase in the digital medium and greater importance is given to the category, you will see increase in mind space too. What speaks best about the talent quotient for any company is the great work and campaigns that are created. Talent is motivated to come and work for the company when they see new ideas being executed and new technology being used in creative work,” he explains.
Brijesh Jacob, managing partner, 22feet doesn’t think agencies need to make any special efforts to attract new talent as people see their work online. “Moreover, almost every person interested in the medium is on Facebook, tweeting from their phones and surfing hundreds of websites. They get the hang of it, and so they are naturally drawn to digital advertising. I am not saying that the glamour of offline advertising has disappeared, but most of the people we have met are keen about being in this space for the long run,” he says.
Karl Gomes, co-founder, Agency Digi believes that most ad-men and agencies have stayed away from adapting new skills and technologies. “Therefore they fail to recognise potential or talent among young creatives. At AgencyDigi we have stayed away from designations and have people who manage, plan, design, write code and produce ideas for a digital world. Fresher or experienced , if you have little or no knowledge of digital marketing, you start as an intern and the more tags you add to your profile the quicker you move up and finally lead teams and manage ideas for a digital world,” he adds.
Ashok Lalla, president – digital, Euro RSCG India
“More than attracting fresh talent, the focus is to find high quality talent, which may be digital-focused but still understand the complete communication mix. Several agencies hire for talent and attitude, and then try and hone the broader communications understanding through training, rather than search for the ‘perfect digital creative talent’. A lot of digital creative folks do seek to expand their creative horizons by doing more than just digital. Moving out of the space is more common in the case of a creative who moved to digital from mainline than digital creative natives who started out in the digital space itself.”
Brijesh Jacob, managing partner, 22feet
“If you are a fresher, the chances of staying on in the digital space are higher. A person coming in from the offline business with an intention of exploring the space has to come in with a ‘sinking ship’ perspective. So most of the people who have left digital are those who have already worked in the offline space as I feel the thinking for digital doesn’t come naturally for them. In the digital medium, it is not about one big idea and do ten spots surrounding that. It is more about keeping someone attracted for a longer period of time.”
Karl Gomes, co-founder, Agency Digi
“Young talent is undoubtedly a digital native and is jumping from Facebook to text messages to Google to foursquare to iPods to YouTube. They live in a digital world, but are still forced to think a print ad or a 30-seconder. Even the wiser and experienced, who live in a digital world, are not pushed to think ideas or solutions and instead push media.”
Carlton D’ Silva, creative director, Hungama Digital Media
“Once in the digital arena, they hardly go back to mainstream advertising. The average time span is around three to four years. However, the nature of the medium is such that you learn something new every day. With changes and developments in technology and devices, your learning curve is never complete, which also makes the space exciting for the creative talent.”
Satish Ramachandran, vice president, Draftfcb + Ulka
“At Draftfcb+Ulka, those who have been working in the digital medium have not expressed their desire to shift to mainline advertising again. There is something new happening all the time in this medium, which keeps them excited about the space. Moreover, being a full service agency, we have an opportunity for people to work across mediums. In fact, there have been instances where people with experience in mainline advertising have requested to work on the entire campaign along with digital. However, we have not had people wanting to move out completely to concentrate only on mainline advertising.”