Radhika Joshi
May 17, 2013

Portfolio Night 11: ‘A misconception about advertising I’d like to change... ’ Part 2

Voices: K V Sridhar, Amer Jaleel, Ashish Khazanchi, Anil Nair, Santosh Padhi and Malvika Mehra

Portfolio Night 11: ‘A misconception about advertising I’d like to change... ’ Part 2

The fourth India edition of the Portfolio Nights will be hosted by JWT in Mumbai on May 22. The agency has created the theme ‘An Eye-opener’ for this edition. The theme has been chosen keeping in mind that aspiring students have misconceptions about the industry and people in it. JWT India created three campaigns highlighting some of the misconceptions about the advertising industry including ‘Women creatives can't make it big in advertising’, ‘You can’t be creative if you don't have long hair’ and ‘Copywriters do all the thinking, art directors merely execute’. The campaigns consist of posters, hoardings, radio spots, social media activities and TVCs.


View the campaign here:


Taking the core idea forward, Campaign India caught up with adlanders to gather other misconceptions about the fraternity that they would like to see change. Here are the misconceptions KV Sridhar, Amer Jaleel, Ashish Khazanchi, Anil Nair, Santosh Padhi and Malvika Mehra would like to change.



‘The reality is completely different’

K V Sridhar (Pops), chief creative officer, India sub-continent, Leo Burnett

I think people think that life in advertising is like movie Inkaar. They think we have very glamorous life, we work with film stars, top models and glamorous girls. But the life inside is completely different. That’s the misconception about advertising but the reality is completely different.


‘Many times, it’s about taking a nuanced cut on the most obvious solution’

Amer Jaleel, national creative director, Lowe Lintas and Partners

Creativity is about finding the most unobvious, most lateral solution - not true. Many times it’s about taking a nuanced cut on the most obvious.



‘People who understand people do much better in advertising’

Ashish Khazanchi, national creative director, Publicis Ambience

A lot of people think advertising is for the mavericks and very vivid kind of a crowd. While it may not be entirely untrue, the best of the guys you see in advertising are the guys who’ve got their head on their shoulders. They are problem solvers, they are the guys who are more insightful than mavericks. People who understand people do much better in advertising, rather than the usual misconception of (advertising being about) people who just look very different and are maverick and do weird things. Weird things are not the point of advertising. People who became more successful in advertising are those who can see problems for what they are, how behaviour of people changes towards the brand, (understand) a particular kind of problem a brand maybe facing or an issue that needs to be solved.


‘Take this business as a serious business’

Anil Nair, CEO and managing partner, Law & Kenneth

I would like them (youngsters) to take this business as a serious business. There seems to be a bit of a thing in their head saying only one type of people come into advertising; and that you can’t really build a career out of it, you need to take a particular orientation to be in this business. Not true. We need as diverse and varied people as possible to come into this industry. Everyone is creative; I believe it’s a misconception that only people who can draw and write are creative. End of the day, we deal with people and understand those people, so you might find yourself of great use if you come to this industry not just in the creative field but in any field. Somehow, we have this thing that it’s not a very serious business. Even today, if a child says, ‘I want to be in advertising’, they say, ‘You can’t draw or write so what you are going to do there?’ Or else, it is seen as a time pass industry, with ponytailed and bearded people. This is a bloody serious business.



‘A creative guy has to invest more than 24 hours’

Santosh Padhi, chief creative officer and co-founder, Taproot India

There is a misconception that creative guys can take any number of hours to think of any idea; that the client will wait. Things have changed. There is a deadline, there is a delivery time, you have to meet that. Gone those days when a creative guy used to only think as a creative guy. Now this creative guy has to make sure that he is a bit of a planner, bit of a client, bit of a servicing guy. Because we have many tasks. Clients are relying more on creative guys to pull out things. It’s a misconception that if I am creative I will only be needed to do my (creative) job. You have to sell your idea, you have to push your idea. You have to be a consumer, a planner, a servicing guy - and a bit of an executor, be it for a film or a print ad. In short, a creative guy has to invest more than 24 hours.


‘Won't go past the 'trainee' tag unless you first deliver on that back of pack copy’

Malvika Mehra, senior vice-president and joint national creative director, Grey India

Another great misconception is that advertising is a 'glamorous profession full of pretty girls and dope-heads who party all night and stroll into work by lunch in their boxers'.

Any kid joining advertising with this image in mind will land with a thud within the first one week.

Sure there are some pretty girls in advertising but they won't go past the 'trainee' tag unless they first deliver on that back of pack copy. There is nothing glamorous in sitting and doing 30 logo options often on a Sunday afternoon for a Monday morning meeting while your other so called 'boring' friends are on a movie date. And probably the only 'all nighter' that you'll end up doing in the first few months will be on something we call 'pitches' where you'll be expected to stay up till 5 am finishing your creative director's layouts. Only to go home at 7 am to change out of those boxers into proper trousers and shoes and be back in office for the pitch at 9. IF you are lucky.

Of course if you do get past this stage and survive the first 6 months, advertising can actually be a lot of fun. Er, more or less.

Also Read: Portfolio Night 11: ‘A misconception about advertising I’d like to change...’

Campaign India

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