Portfolio Night 11: ‘A misconception about advertising I’d like to change... ’ Part 3

Voices: Amit Akali, Parixit Bhattacharya, Abhijit Avasthi, Raghu Bhat and Sangeetha Narasimhan

May 20, 2013 02:17:00 PM | Article | Radhika Joshi

The fourth India edition of Portfolio Nights will be hosted by JWT in Mumbai on 22 May. The agency has created the theme ‘An Eye-opener’ for this edition. The theme has been chosen keeping in mind that students aspiring to be in advertising have misconceptions about the industry and people in it. JWT India created a multi-part campaign highlighting some of the misconceptions about the advertising industry including ‘Women creatives can't make it big in advertising’, ‘You cant 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 about other misconceptions about the fraternity that they would like to see change.




‘It’s not enough to come up with a great idea’

Amit Akali, EVP and national creative director, Grey India

I think a lot of the  ‘misconceptions’ have already been spoken about by other advertising people, be it the misconception that everybody in advertising drinks and does drugs, it’s a glamorous profession, everybody parties every night, etc., etc. The misconception I’d like removed is a specific one that young creative people seem to have, which is reflected in most of the portfolios that you see nowadays. They feel that since we’re in the ‘ideas’ business it’s enough to come up with a great idea. It’s not. Sure, an idea or concept is important, but it’s equally important to be able to craft and do justice to that idea. If you’re a copywriter you should bloody well know how to write! Be it in English or Hindi, but you should be able to craft dialogues, write a script, write a great radio spot, think plot, write a sharp headline and baseline and bring that idea alive. If you’re an art director you should be able to bring your idea alive through great art and relevant layouts. Along with ideas you definitely need some skill sets. The good thing is that these can be honed over a period of time. But the problem is that most young creative people don’t get what good crafting is; or worse, don’t think it’s important.



‘Everything that a brand does is advertising’

Parixit Bhattacharya, chief creative officer, TBWA\India Group

I think a lot of people think advertising is the business of making ads to sell products. It is not. Everything that a brand does is advertising. From the way its owner talks to the way it appears in a crowded supermarket shelf to the way it behaves in social media to the annual party of the company. That's why, the sharpest advertising happens when the advertising agency gets into the kitchen of the client.



‘Advertising is a profession that’s for everyone’

Abhijit Avasthi, executive creative director, Ogilvy India

There is a prevalent misconception that you need to be a trained artist or an exceptionally gifted writer; that you need to have one of those typical creative skills to make it big in advertising. Whereas I think advertising is a profession that’s for everyone, who just got a slightly different way of looking at life.



‘Enter advertising for the right reason’

Raghu Bhat, founder director, Scarecrow Communications

People should enter advertising only if they like the profession, because it takes a lot out of you. It’s very important that they should enter it for the right reason. Another thing is that freshers who are starting their careers, they blindly go for the big agency. I think what is most beneficial is that they should choose a place which offers them maximum responsibility, maximum opportunity and also the chance to interact with the best minds of the agency. That can also happen in not-so-big agency.



‘You can build brands and markets for advertisers without entering and winning awards’

Sangeetha Narasimhan, executive creative director, RK Swamy BBDO

Another myth that even the ad industry believes in and propagates is that only awards are indicative of good creative; and that you cannot build brands and markets for advertisers without entering and winning the usual list of awards.

This results in people trying to win awards at any cost and so all the scams that all of us are seeing around us. In truth, you need to come up with genuinely out of-the-box ideas in marketing in tandem with the sales program of advertisers and voila you can see the barometer move in the positive direction in a big way! The awards come on their own, provided you don’t have a jury that is fixed like everything else in India!