Radhika Joshi
May 16, 2013

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

Voices: Tista Sen, KS Chakravarthy, Agnello Dias, Shiv Sethuraman, Nitesh Tiwari, Satbir Singh, Priti Nair, and Manish Bhatt

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

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 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. Here is what Tista Sen, K S Chakravarthy, Agnello Dias, Nitesh Tiwari, Shiv Sethuraman, Satbir Singh, Priti Nair and Manish Bhatt have to say:



‘There is no second chance’

Tista Sen, national creative director, JWT India

People think advertising is fun and everybody always has a good time. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a profession that needs discipline and serious hard work. Always. There is no second chance. You are as good as your last campaign and the big idea you own. From creating communication that works to build brands and equity, you are constantly walking the tightrope between creative and commercial and you need to deliver on both. Being ahead of the curve and understanding the business requirement and the creative challenge is hard work. Inspiration does not come while you are doing something else. Real work is born from many rewrites and many times of ‘Let’s go back to the drawing board’. This like anything in life requires tenacity and perseverance and commitment. And anybody who thinks it’s one big party never got it right. We celebrate when it's over yes, but that's true of any win in sport or any other discipline. There is always a method in the madness and only due diligence can finally see you through.



‘Creativity is just one small part, making it happen is much bigger task’

K S Chakravarthy (Chax), national creative director, Draftfcb-Ulka

I think it’s the whole concept of glamour and the creativity and just having a blast. I don’t think that kids really understand the number of constraints within which one has to operate to be the creative person in advertising. Because from the outside you just see the main ad you like and you say ‘wow’ and the ad you don’t like is bad. The kids have no understanding or clue about the amount of work before a TVC goes on air. Creativity is just one small part, making it happen is much bigger task.



‘Don't think we tolerate lazy, unintelligent losers’

Shiv Sethuraman, chief executive officer, TBWA\India

We are a profession of intelligent, creative and extremely hardworking people. And we don't take ourselves too seriously, by and large. I can't think of too many jobs that are as fun, as challenging and as eclectic. So don't think we tolerate lazy, unintelligent losers. We don't.



‘It’s often seen as a bit of a lottery but actually it’s not’

Agnello Dias, co-founder, creative director, Taproot India

Lot of people from the outside think it is all madness and there is no method behind that. By the kind of personalities who exist in advertising, they think that it’s just a purely inspirational and kind of a ‘luck of the draw’ profession; that there is no perspiration or thought or method that goes behind it. So it’s often seen as a bit of a lottery but actually it’s not, there is a reasonable amount of science behind it.

‘You need to deal with rejection on a daily basis’

Nitesh Tiwari, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett India

The biggest misconception in my opinion is that the people outside think that it’s all fun, lot of glamour, lot of ‘ha ha he he’ and lot of masti. But not many people know that it’s an extremely hardworking job which requires lot of patience. You need to deal with rejection on a daily basis and it requires lot of late nights. It’s a very disciplined field of work. It’s not a random place, you just don’t sit and create whatever comes to your head. It’s a very well thought through industry where you try to put genuinely creative solutions for the needs of your clients. So to anybody who is under misconception that he or she is going to come to advertising to have a great time: It is not the truth. The fact is it’s probably one of the most hardworking, most stressful fields. But at the same time, it’s very rewarding also because you can have an entire nation get to see a beautiful piece of work which you have created and get applauded for that. You can’t get a better reward than that anywhere in the world.



‘There's a lot of hard work involved too’

Satbir Singh, managing partner and chief creative officer, Havas Worldwide India

A lot of people think that advertising means glamour. They think they'll get to work with filmstars etc. Let me tell you, it's not only that, there's a lot of hard work involved too.


‘It looks very glamorous and fluffy - but that’s a myth’

Priti Nair, director, Curry-Nation

People think that it’s all about partying and drinking: ‘Advertising it all about having fun, attending parties, drinking with friends’. From outside, it looks very glamorous and fluffy - but that’s a myth. They don’t know how much of hard work is going into it.



‘People don’t understand the hard work and the stress’

Manish Bhatt, founder director, Scarecrow Communications

People think it’s a glamorous industry and you get to meet stars, you work with models. But it is the most hardworking industry. Behind all the misconceptions they have, behind all the glamour, they don’t think that one has to come up with a creative idea, a unique idea, in a shortest time period. For example, if one is working on a 10-second ad, they have to come up with new ideas, creative ideas to fit into that canvas. There is lot of hard work and late nights even for a 10-second ad. People don’t understand the hard work and the stress.

Campaign India

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