I believe advertising awards are a pox. They strip us of all perspective. They have the buffoon vanity of nail salon technicians entering the Annual Podiatry Awards. (“And the award for best varnishing in the left pinkie category goes to…”) To advance this podiatric comparison, we in the ad business, are at best Commerce’s pedicurists. Sure, we can all drink the Kool Aid and profess to be the data-drenched insight-givers, the ideological partners of Big Business but really people, let’s jettison our folie de grandeur. It’s the puffery of pipsqueaks. Our area of influence relative to the surface area of Commerce is toenail-sized. Wake up and smell the acetone. Or the budgets, if you will. See, Business comes in to our salons, dusty and tired from its daylong march and puts its feet up, telling us it has 15 minutes before it takes its ten little piggies back to the market. And so our primary task is to scramble. To soak, scrub, slough the dead cells, smoothen the edges, lay on a fresh c…
In the late 1990s, Ogilvy & Mather was by some distance the hottest agency in Bangalore. Though things have cooled off significantly since then, in those days it was very much 'the agency' to work at. Every creative person in the city wanted a job at O&M, and that included me. As luck would have it, Ogilvy was desperately looking for a Junior Copywriter, which I quite fortunately happened to be in ample measure. And as fate would have it, two months, three interviews and competition from close to 60 other candidates later, I was hired to this pivotal position. It was June 1998, and I was officially Junior Copywriter at Ogilvy & Mather. I had been assigned to the IBM account. We were a very large team. In all there were four of us. Two writers - my boss and I. And 2 art directors of corresponding vintage. I got all the work my boss didn't want to dirty his hands with. And that included direct mailers, posters, banners, standees, stickers and body copy for some of …
Twenty years ago I landed my first job in advertising. As a junior writer. Or so I thought. On my first day at work, I was introduced around by another junior writer. "Sub-junior" writer he stated emphatically, claiming credit for the three months he had over me. I thought that was funny.
My first unofficial designation never made it to the ad agency ranks, but let's take a look at what did.
Creative Group Head.
Associate Creative Director.
Senior Creative Director.
Associate Vice President & Senior Creative Director.
Executive Creative Director.
Senior Vice President & Executive Creative Director.