In Conversation With Viral Pandya, Co-Founder & CCO, Out Of The Box
10 years of Out of the Box. So how are you celebrating?
Well, to be honest the last 10 years have been one huge celebration.
We have had something to celebrate every single day – exciting briefs, getting something right after so many rejections of our own, great client meetings, seeing one’s work appreciated, and beer sessions after day’s end.
We are still figuring out how to top it all.
How much has the environment around OOTB changed since its inception in 2006?
We started out as a bunch of crazy dreamers. We still remain a bunch of crazy dreamers.
We operate out of the same office we started in. We still have most of the people we had when we opened shop. We still work for the same brands, though the roster has grown longer.
Over the years, we have filled our shelves with One Show Pencils, a Cannes Gold Lion trophy, and awards from everywhere. Our team has grown larger, though surprisingly not as large as you’d imagine for the quantum of work we create.
Now for the most significant change – the brands we have handled have gone from strength to strength, grown in stature and are today market leaders.
What do you think was the driving force behind Out of the Box reaching so far in just 10 years?
An uncompromising attitude.
We consider no work to be too small.
We don’t let anything go out of the agency unless we are fully satisfied with the work.
Our clients trust us, and the trust is well earned.
And lastly, we don’t take the easy way out.
How would you describe the past 10 years in Out of the Box in just one line?
When there’s no agency that meets your standards, it’s up to you to create one.
How "out of the box" are the folks at Out of the Box?
We are an eclectic lot of writers, art directors, digital artists, designers and illustrators.
Vaibhav Pandey: He would have been a commercial pilot, had he cleared the physicals. Today it’s creativity that gives him a high.
Ravinder Soni: He owns a fleet of autos, and he’s so driven at work that he’s always the last to leave.
Arvind Yadav: Has designed award-winning books for preschool children to IIT aspirants without ever reading a sentence in them.
Sukhdayal Singh (Montiji): Jack-of-all-trades and the master of fabrication and office administration.
Ajay Yadav: Stares at fonts and psychoanalyses them, and has the largest collection of typefaces this side of the Equator.
Mansi Sharma: So sincere that when asked to illustrate ‘a guy on a Harley’ she drew a cow riding a Harley in two hours flat.
Pallavi Chandra: She cries when she’s low, she cries when she’s high. She cries when she loses, she cries when she wins.
Dev Bisht: Custodian of 10,000 jokes and all the important files at work.
Jaskaran Singh: Fond of DC and Marvel, but his superpower is watching two movies and doing photoshop at the same time.
Sabu Paul: So difficult to please that the last time he called a work ‘not bad’, it won a Gold at Cannes Lions.
Komal Tandon: Despite many awards to her credit, her biggest achievement is losing .5 kg in a week (which she put right back in a day).
What binds us together is the passion for great work, other than the occasional tasting sessions of single malts.
Since its inception, OOTB has won Awards at One Show eight years in a row and many more awards after that. So are you award focused?
True, we have won quite a few awards, both nationally and internationally. Our award tally matches that of huge network agencies. We admit that we love winning awards – who doesn’t? The awards we have reinforce our belief that our work can compete with the best, and win.
However, just about every award we have won is for brand work. In 10 years, we have built great brands. To us, this is a big achievement – as big, in fact, even bigger than winning awards. The other day a stranger I just met told me that she looks forward to our next ad; now that to us is as big an honour as winning an award.
So make no mistake, we are not in the business of winning awards; we are in the business of building brands. Awards happen to be a fringe benefit.
What sets Out of the Box apart from the rest?
We are not a regular agency, and we never will be.
We love our work; everything else comes second.
There isn’t one piece of work that we have done that we aren’t proud to showcase. How many agencies can say that?
Everything we do is aligned to making great work happen.
What does the next decade look like for Out of the Box?
The industry is evolving, and in 10 years quite a few things might change – the primacy of mainline advertising, for instance. All I can say is that we will be ahead of the curve.
We are beefing up our team and building expertise in the digital and social domain as well. And we all set to move to a swankier office in Gurgaon.
As they say, the best is yet to come.