Who or what do you turn to for inspiration?
Ideas. Yes, for inspiration I turn to ideas that did something big and here, big not only in terms of business but in terms of impact. But still, what are ideas? What did you do when you were all babbling, whining, a little mess who suddenly spotted a crayon and just discovered on a big wall an entire space - unclaimed? Flash! A great masterpiece was created. even though it would soon get whitewashed. It's tragic how people fail to appreciate the creativity in a kid. What was the impact? It either showed on a parent's wallet or on your little bum.
That's my inspiration - every little kid who gets past everything. Who is a legend in his own make, fearless to create something, brave enough to pick that crayon and reach out to every empty space in order to 'create'. How else would one 'black sheep' out of a herd be able to pull off that success in a 'jeans' commercial, 'lemons' that sold 'cars' and changed fortunes of a country, or how an 'adhesive' made fishing 'fun', or removing a 'snooze button', asking every parent to let 'children be children'. All the great ideas put in perspective for a change, getting through challenges and challenging a society's thinking pattern. And so I think, great work is produced, maybe only on deadlines beside a heap of burned cigarettes, on that is inspiring.
What would be your ideal brief?
"I want two parallel lines to meet in the end. Rest all you know."
What things make you a) proud and b) embarrassed to be part of the advertising industry?
Well, I don't think I'm in a position to answer this as I am not swimming inside the oceans yet. I read a blog stating the fact that only 7% audience in the UK gives attention to commercials and billions are spent on campaigns. Well, here we are in India, selling fairness cream.
Advertising is an industry that is selling something, be it an idea, a change, a brand, or even faith. But what about the communication? Today advertising is limited to whispering in each others ears, or remembering issued deadlines of award entries. For daily work, there is no deadline in terms of a date but time instead "get it done in 15 mins".
There is no embarrassing part as such, but challenges when not faced turn into embarrassment. I have seen people take out their frustrations on their colleagues, because of an idea or work of theirs, for which someone else took credit and stole the glory. "Today it's them, let me be in that position, I am also going to do the same. It'll be my time then and I will get 'my' ideas done," this is the common dialect I heard from my agency friends, who are going to continue this tradition. Period.
The proud part is trending on Twitter, Facebook, on blogs, etc. That fares above all, out of all the muck. And right now, I just flipped a coin bearing two faces, one of the faces, I talked about.
How do you see the influence of social media such as Facebook and Twitter on the creative industry?
Well, for starters, you reached out to us through social media and we are expressing ourselves on the same medium.
Social media is a medium that offers comfort, reduces efforts, & time and content, and everything is just a post away. One can easily express himself and tell the world It's such a bad morning, forgot to put in a new roll of toilet paper, adding a smiley thereafter. I watch engaging content, take notes on feedback, express my love to Ranbir Kapoor or comment on political affairs and appear intellectual. To be noticed, all I need to do is Tweet the loudest as far as producing creative content is concerned or become an online exhibit of my creativity in a way that draws crowds.
One instance wherein the use of social media made its noteworthy engagement was Coca-Cola's 'Share a Coke' campaign, where people got a chance to order their personalized coke bottles and share them on Facebook. Whether it's about generating buzz and attracting crowds on facebook, or garnering influence, and leveraging it in the best possible way to promote the brand, Coca-Cola always tastes the feeling!
The influence of social media needs to be put in a creative mould and delivered right away in order to create impact. It not only reduces the time to deliver the content but also reduces the time involved in creative productivity. On social media everyone is creative. It devalues the term 'creativity' when irrelevance is accepted, and it misleads people, creating distraction and wastage of time and cutting them off from reality. Now, I can be an exhibition but I also need to be the artwork that engages people. For that I need to sharpen my skills. Through social media we can share our work, get instant feedback, learn from criticism and know about what's changing around in the world but only if we are using it wisely. Besides all, such is the imapct of social media on our lives that I turned vegan. These Peta people!
How do you cope with or avoid innovation fatigue?
It's a phase where I become confused with myself. I don't know if I get depressed or am I just feel bad for not even knowing the meaning of art direction. Or if I just get drained out improving the anchors of drawn illustrations or work colleagues, or maybe just getting lazy to answer even a word. Well, my Sunday's sleep helps me overcome any kind of fatigue so that I can plan out the work, put in order and watch it get done as if the world's a wish granting machine. When in fact it's noting but a slot machine, wherein you pull the lever and find yourself awaiting the stupid stuff. And when you go all broke, it is at this point that you face fatigue. You could have gone to a shop and bought much better stuffed unicorn, no? But we love facing challenges. They certainly need be faced, but what about the worthless ones? Drop it.
When things can be done online why do people still want to queue up in lines and blame the government that the fan is not working? When the right approach towards the right set of audience is adopted, towards learning and most importantly towards yourself, shedding off expectations and overwork which causes you to burn out. When these things are taken in to practice and self evaluation, innovation fatigue disappears. All you need is to distance all those naysayers and negative people around who pull you down and deem your ideas trash. Working on improvising skills and good time management leads to innovation. So I won't be watching Game of Thrones this season. If we are passionate about something, we never really face a innovation fatigue and even if circumstances ever put us in such ' trauma' it's better to start working on it and get over it. That is what I have learnt. When you quit a job, upon being asked what's wrong, you may use this term 'innovation fatigue'.
It is stated that together, Creativity and Technology are powerful problem solvers. Your views?
Speaking of technology in terms of digital expansion, yes, they are great companions. When used with creative intelligence, online and offline advertising rules. Creativity is the innovation that resulted in Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, Facebook, channels carrying an idea further ahead. Technology pushes it on world stage. Be it the Samsung campaign 'Safety truck' carrying technology on its back spreading awareness, or the use of emoticons which is a mark of digital age by Mcdonald's to visually up their audience's experience or iPhone's 'shot on iPhone' promoting its camera feature entwining social media with creative strategy and providing a platform to amateur and mature photographers alike and connecting them to a larger audience. Where television commercials and radio jingles end up in geographical boundaries, technology esp. social media, makes it possible to reach out on a global scale. Creativity is bringing innovation in technology making it more accessible and easy to use, such as an app redesigned with creative innovation for the blind, or technology that creates virtual reality for kids in a bus to experience space travel, bringing innovation in learning techniques and so on.
Let's briefly talk about Creative Cloud. Which products make it easier for you to digitise your ideas?
Creative cloud, I have not started using it yet, but it's a great insight for those who are active between things, to create something while on the go or during a break, where one can scribble the idea, create it and save it on cloud. And so it comes across as a great tool to digitise an idea, integrating everything in one place. Since I haven't started using yet, so can't say much. Apart from a pencil that is free, easy and doesn't need any upgrades, Wacom and Adobe are daily necessities to digitise any ideas.