Ready Set Rocket and Kenneth Cole Talk Advertising with Google Glass

KCOLE TOP

The very phrase “advertising with Google Glass” may seem like a contradiction, but Kenneth Cole recently became the first brand to do just that with the help of Men’s Health magazine and New York-based digital agency Ready Set Rocket, which collaborated with Cole’s in-house creative team on a Glass-powered project to help launch its new fragrance “Mankind.”

We spoke to Ready Set Rocket co-founder and Chief Strategist Alex Lirstman and Robert Genovese, VP of integrated marketing at Kenneth Cole, to learn more about the campaign. (Genovese has also worked in the agency world as a media planner at Wieden+Kennedy and associate media director at MPG.)

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5 Takes on Facebook’s New Ad Platform

The Zuck

One of the biggest announcements at this year’s Advertising Week concerned Facebook and the “relaunch” of its advertising platform, Atlas.

Whether we want to admit it or not, Facebook plays a huge role in determining which ads audiences see — and this move is its attempt to knock Google off the online ad throne. The idea is that Facebook can more effectively show the ads you make and place to people who actually want to watch them…but you knew that already.

We asked five contacts in the ad/marketing industries for their takes on this development.

First, two voices from the (digital) agency world.

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Agency Founder Selina Petosa Talks Gender Imbalance and the Future of Digital

The ad industry rarely finds common ground on much of anything, but two particularly contentious topics do seem to have long shelf lives: gender imbalance and the “digital vs. analog” divide.

We spoke to Selina Petosa, founder and chief creative strategist of Seattle-based digital agency Rational Interaction, to get her take on these subjects.

First, here’s some work Rational created for client Microsoft in 2012 (other major clients include Sony, Amazon, AT&T, Expedia and Cisco).

Q&A below.

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So What Do You Do, Tiffany R. Warren, Chief Diversity Officer for Omnicom Group?

Tiffany-Warren-wpSome people simply talk and others do. Tiffany R. Warren belongs to the latter category. When she tired of seeing the same groups being honored year after year at advertising awards shows, Warren took it upon herself to create a space to celebrate diversity in the advertising, marketing, PR and entertainment industries. Now in its 10th year, ADCOLOR has grown to include myriad events and programs aimed to not only champion diverse professionals in these industries, but also to truly prepare them to soar in careers with longevity and purpose. The theme of the 2014 ADCOLOR Awards and Industry Conference, taking place Sept. 17-20 in Beverly Hills, Calif.,  is “We Are Here” to further drive home the point that these industries are rife with diverse talent. This year’s awards will honor Judy Smith, founder and president of Smith & Company (aka Scandal‘s Olivia Pope) and Charles King, partner/agent in the Motion Picture Department at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment.

“I always felt compelled to do something that was of service. That’s just a family trait. My family is full of teachers and daycare providers and people that just give back. We have some sort of DNA thing going on,” Warren shares. Her altruistic gene must be strong because in addition to the transformative work she does in her roles with Omnicom and ADCOLOR, she serves on the boards for several organizations such as Ghetto Film School and GLAAD and somehow finds the time to mentor 126 people. You read that right. One hundred and twenty-six people.

Here, learn what it takes to be a true agent of change and find out Warren’s thoughts on the current state of diversity in the advertising industry.

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R/GA Global CCO Nick Law Thinks Analog and Digital Can Get Along

In case you haven’t seen it yet, IAB’s Peter Minnium recently had a conversation with Nick Law, global CCO at R/GA, about a subject close to all of your hearts: digital vs. analog in the ad world.

In this one-on-one interview, Law elaborates on a point made in an earlier lecture: storytelling and systematic thinking can both be creative. In fact, Law implies that the ad world’s focus on narrative above all other things (combined with the egos of certain “analog” creatives) has placed agencies at a disadvantage.

We’d like to see creative departments’ reactions to Law’s assertion that the new dynamic duo isn’t an art director and a copywriter but, rather, “a storyteller and a systematic thinker” — and that the two mindsets aren’t as far apart as we might think.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Fine Brothers Discuss Rebranding and the Future of Digital Agencies

Fine, previously known as Fine Design Group, is one of the oldest “digital agencies” around. After founding the company in the halcyon dial-up days of 1994, brothers Kenn Fine and Steven Fine created “some of the first marketing websites on the public Internet” with the help of partner Josh Kelly.

While the Fine brothers made their livings in molecular biology and bicycle apparel, Kelly had a different kind of background: advertising. In fact, he played a marketing role at DDB/Publicis early in his career, which explains the future direction of his partners’ digital branding business.

Now the Fine brothers have progressed, through two decades of digital work, to become a shop specializing in the sorts of things that dominate conversations in the ad industry: “websites, mobile sites, digital video, applications, social media, and search engines.” In their own words, they’re “an agency for the digital age.

The redesign specialists recently gave their own home page a makeover and changed their name — and they collectively answered our questions about their own rebranding and the future of the agency model in the digital world.

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Marcy Bloom on How Digital Media Has Changed Magazine Advertising

Marcy Bloom has spent 17 years working as a publisher on national magazines, from GQ to Lucky. Now, she’s taking on an even bigger role as senior vice president and group publisher at Modern Luxury.

With more than 40 titles across 15 major markets, the company has an abundance of content to be shared on various media platforms. Here, Bloom explains how digital has changed the magazine advertising landscape:

You know, I believe that one of the key things that digital has done is it’s allowed you to be more targeted. And that is from a national magazine perspective — you can’t get as close as you can in a digital sense. And that’s actually why I’m beyond inspired by what we’re doing here [at Modern Luxury] because we have a closeness and an intimacy. We have editors, sales staff and marketers in each market. Our brands reflect those markets. So we’re getting as close as you can via print, and that feels extremely relevant, especially because of what digital can offer.

For more from Bloom, including how the company is creating a national advertising platform for its many niche, regional publications, read: So What Do You Do, Marcy Bloom, Senior Vice President and Group Publisher of Modern Luxury?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

YP CEO David Krantz: ‘We Were Mobile Before Mobile Was Cool!’

This week, Adweek offered readers the gentle musings of YP CEO David Krantz. In case your Web browser doesn’t have that URL in its search history, that would be the former Yellow Pages

For the Millennials out there in AgencySpy land, that is what was once called a phone book.

It was a bundled array of print technology listing the numbers and logos of anyone in your neck of the woods. What was formerly the listing service of AT&T Interactive decided to skew a little younger by breaking out the two-letter moniker.

In the interview, Krantz stuck up for his brand, downplaying the influence 0f all those cool kids at Google and stuff.

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Agencies Officially Need to Pay Attention to Vine Now

You’ve heard of Vine, right? Of course you have–and we’ll go out on a sturdy limb in suggesting that most of our readers probably don’t think of Twitter’s six-second loop tool as the Next Big Thing in digital marketing.

This week, however, the company unveiled the latest step in its campaign to appeal to those of the agency persuasion: loop counts.

What does that alien phrase mean? Metrics to measure how many times people have clicked on given “vines” have been around for a while, but this one tells us how many times a given clip has looped–and it somehow controls for the “open tab” factor as well. The idea is that viewers will watch the most compelling Vines loop repeatedly, thereby increasing brand retention, etc.

In short, we can now get a better sense of how much Vine campaigns are worth–and, given recent agency trends focusing on more accurate measurement for social media campaigns, some think that this means more shops will have to take Vine seriously.

A few marketing experts weigh in after the jump.

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Shop Behind Viral Hello Flo Spot on the Agency/Production Company Model

You’ve probably seen the Hello Flo ‘First Moon Party’ spot this week; it’s already gotten 7.2 million views in four days.

You probably also noticed that there was no major agency behind the campaign, which followed an earlier, equally popular campaign released a year ago.

Today we spoke to Todd Wiseman Jr.–co-founder of Hayden 5, the production company behind the viral hit–about the way his shop works and how it’s different from traditional agencies.

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Li-Anne Dias : In conversation with an artist

Li-Anne Dias is an artist and illustrator. She grew up in Mumbai, and Graduated from Sir J.J School of Art
Classic stories and scenes from urban life are her favourite subjects. She likes experimenting with various media
and aims at achieving a blend of fine art and illustration in her work. View her website here.

Why are you an Illustrator?
My interest has always been in creating images and responding to stories through my work.
Besides, I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember but it’s not that it comes easy.
I have just begun to find a niche for myself as an illustrator.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes. I graduated from Sir J.J. School of Fine Art with a Degree in Painting.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I still don’t believe that I have a definitive style but I definitely feel like I’m on my way to one.
I also think the ability to change your style from one to project to the next is essential.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
There have been many role models. I look up to Ganesh Pyne for his exemplary use of line and form, and international artists like Joan Miro, Max Ernst and Francis Berry.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
There are many people who influenced me to take up Illustration as a career.
One of my first art instructors, Mr. Narendra Pavaskar, and my professors at Art College helped me most in discovering my ability to Illustrate.

What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
You have the opportunity and the freedom to choose your work.
It is a luxury to be able to select the projects you work on.

Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
Yes, there is an inclination towards the use of hand-drawn illustrations in advertising these days.
Some of the most inspiring, and award-winning campaigns of today involve the use of illustration in some way or the other.

I’m working on a few personal projects that I wish to publish soon.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
No. But there have been difficult times when I decide to take a break and explore new media.
I have been experimenting a lot lately with traditional print-making techniques.

Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys?
Of course. I have always been drawn to the idea of executing my art in unconventional media.

Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
I find the work of Mario Miranda and Deelip Khomane very inspiring.

Do you have any favorite fellow illustrators or resources relating to your fields?
Tasneem Amiruddin is a friend, and a wonderful illustrator. I think her style of illustration is both highly experimental and unique.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on Illustration as a career option? Is it paying well enough?
Enjoy what you do, to the extent that it is a pleasure to go beyond the call of duty. Everyone gets rejection along the way, but you have to keep going.
Illustration is a great career prospect as long as you’re extremely passionate about it, but you need to have self-discipline to pull through.

Whats your dream project?
To write and illustrate my own graphic novel.

Mac or PC?
Both. They are only tools.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My dad.

What’s on your iPod?
Young the Giant, Porcupine Tree and a few other artists.

 

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Ritam Banerjee : In conversation with a photographer

Based out of Mumbai, Ritam has never quite understood the need to create a niche. Shooting extensively across categories—travel, photojournalism, advertising, interiors, portraits, automobiles, fashion, food—he has always sought inspiration and challenge in variety. From training his lens at the blazing dome of the Taj Palace & Tower when Mumbai was under siege in 2008 to documenting the placid course of the middle and lower Ganges, Ritam has framed things as disparate as spas and slums, ketchup and cars.

Over the last decade, Ritam has worked with corporates and publications across continents, and has also been associated with the global agency, Getty Images.
 
Apart from stills, he shoots commercial AVs, and has recently won an International Best Cinematographer Award in London for his first feature film. Ritam has also been in the news for his theme-based calendars and his exhibitions.

Why are you a photographer?
Guess, I couldn’t think or dream of doing anything else. Life is all about what we see and the way we see them. So, perhaps, the innate desire to tell stories the way I see it led me to photography. Whether it’s documenting something or creating a piece of art, capturing a moment or depicting an idea, it’s really about telling a story and telling it well.

Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt ‘I want to be a photographer’?
My father, Robin Banerjee, was a serious hobbyist and still practices photography for the pure love of the medium. Seeing him and his work when I was growing up must have influenced my decision. So when I got the first opportunity to explore photography during my college days in Fergusson, Pune, I took it seriously and started my journey as a photojournalist with the Times of India, Pune edition. I haven’t looked back since.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Like I said: my father. His passion for the art was contagious. Thanks to him, I was exposed to the works of legends like Richard Avedon, Herb Ritts, Steve Mccurry, Annie Leibovitz, Ansel Adams, Robert Capa, Patrick Demarchelier, Max Vadukul, Henri Cartier Bresson, Raghu Rai, Raghubir Singh, Gautam Rajadhyaksha, Prabuddha Dasgupta and several others. Even painters, musicians and filmmakers influenced my sensibilities.

Though I grew up in a small town– Jamshedpur — my upbringing made the canvas in front of me that much wider. From Michael Jackson to Tchaikovsky, Monet to Nandalal Bose, Tagore to Shakespeare, Satyajit Ray to Vittorio De Sica, my education in aesthetics and culture has luckily been quite diverse.

Who was the most influential personality in your career in photography?
As I just mentioned, there were several who influenced my ideas and opinions. Hence, naming one personality wouldn’t do justice.

How has photography changed over the course of the last couple of decades? Is execution/art direction more important than it used to be?
With time, everything evolves. So has photography and us as practitioners of the art. Sensibilities have changed and so have the tools and techniques. The ability to instantly view the results and even tweak the images at will in post-production effectively means: one’s only limitation is the periphery of one’s imagination.

And yes, eye for detail, subtlety in styling and approach, precision in execution and innovation and imagination in art direction has resulted in a sea of change in the manner in which we even perceive an image today.

Given a choice, no other constraints, film or digital?
Both have their own charm. It’s like saying Test Cricket or T20?

What do you think of the current state of Print Advertising photography in India? Is it at par with the work done worldwide?
Print advertising has evolved many folds in India. Not only in terms of ideation, even in terms of execution, we have achieved very high standards. Not only photography, but in many cases, even CGI has had a major role to play. Several jobs done here today are definitely at par with the work done worldwide.

Where do you get your inspiration?
From sounds of nature to people on the streets, everything influences my thoughts and ideas. I keep an open mind, as one never knows what might trigger that ‘Eureka’ moment. No matter where I am, be it in a coffee shop or in the middle of maddening traffic, I keep looking around. I often shoot such moments with my iPhone. Works of different artists also influence me. Whenever I get a chance, I try and collaborate with different artists to not just create but to learn and get inspired. This year too, I did two calendars, one with the dance maestro, Astad Deboo in Mexico and the other with the sculptor, Arzan Khambatta in Mumbai.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit photography?
I would be lying if I said no. There have been times, when the work at hand hasn’t challenged me creatively or technically. There have also been moments when the demands of the job have been unreasonable to the point of being silly. Sometimes things have seemed monotonous. Thankfully, such instances have been few and far between.
What’s your dream project?
Several. But if I had to choose one, it would involve travelling across the globe and collaborating with artists, designers and models from varied ethnicities to create a seamless confluence of different worlds within each frame.

Who would you want to spend a dinner with?
Since I stay away from my family and the demands of my job don’t allow me much quality time with them, I always lookout for the next opportunity to have dinner with them.

Whats on your iPod?
I like all kinds of music. From classical ragas to rock, from Bollywood’s latest number to Hungarian folk, I love it all. What I play, from Bob Dylan to Munni badman hui, depends on my mood.

Mac or PC?
Mac. Since I have been using it for quite a while now. I guess, I am too used to it.

Ritam can be contacted via his website here.

 

 

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Microsoft Global Media Director Joins Ad Tech Startup

Today we received news that true[x] media, an L.A./New York-based “engagement advertising platform” company, had signed former Microsoft global media director Meredith Brace as its new director of sales for the Northwest region. Brace, with more than 15 years experience at Microsoft and HP, will run the company’s new Seattle office.

We were interested in learning more about why Brace made the move, so we got her thoughts regarding trends on the media side of the industry.

Brace says:
“I have spent many years on the client side looking at solutions to major global marketing challenges.

In my experience, media buying is getting polarized.
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Updates on Leah, the Energy BBDO ‘LEGO Intern’

A few weeks ago, a clever and creative young woman with agency aspirations named Leah Bowman won a bit of attention on this Internet of ours by submitting an account services internship application that starred herself in LEGO form.

You may have heard, via our morning stir or some other party, that she did indeed score an internship with BBDO.

Today we reached out to the newest member of the agency world to learn a little more about the application that went viral.

Our questions and her answers after the jump.

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Charudutt Chitrak : Interview with a photographer

“I would rather talk about me through my pictures than in words. And may be thats why I m a Photographer.”

I have always tried to create pictures that come through self expression, even in advertising no matter how tight the clients brief is .
So you would know something about me in most of my images.

According to me a picture is pointless without a photographers view point a photographer has to put something of himself in every picture he takes whether it is for selling a product in advertising, documenting the truth in journalism or the opulence in fashion.

Why are you a photographer?
Because nothing seemed easier to me, as per me photography is extremely simple and that is what makes it so complicated.
It is one of the best ways to create art and at the same time document life ,photography gives you the power to freeze moments in time, it’s upto you how beautifully you do it.

Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt ‘I want to be a photographer’?
Wanting to give photography a try as a carrier I looked for photographer to assist.
And got an opportunity to meet Pradeep Das Gupta. It was the first meeting with him in his Khirki Studio that comes closest to that decisive moment.
I was in awe of dada as everyone fondly calls him. His personality, his work and his space left no doubt in my mind that i wanted to be a photographer.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
As I was growing up it was like any other kid in school.
My role models were Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, Sylvester Stallone in Rocky and Cobra, Michael Jackson, George Michael, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan. In short all the role models you can think of from my generation. I was and i am still very easily influenced . It was a great time. Sorry wish I could give a more intellectual answer.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in photography?
My mentor Pradeep Das Gupta.

How has photography changed over the course of the last couple of decades? Is execution/art direction more important than it used to be?
The shift from analogue to digital did not only changed the material, but also the pivotal moment has become a product of a more conscious thinking than what we called an accidental moment. No matter how sure or planned you were while shooting on film there was always something accidental and unforeseen to the extent of being mysterious, which you only realised when the film was later developed. That was the real juice or gift of photography to a photographer. That moment does not exists anymore. You know everything before it is printed, you are too safe and anything can be changed later on Photoshop. Todays digital photography is like knowing everything about your child even before it is born. God forbid if you had the means to design your own child your would never be satisfied and thats what digital is. Analogue is like the excitement, the joy of seeing your child for the first time.

This was exactly what we saw in the work of great masters of photography whether fashion or journalism the beauty of accident.
The technique of execution was a big part of becoming a master photographer (of course the idea was always of utmost importance).
But today you don’t have to be a photographer in the literal sense the line between a photographer and visual artist has burled out.

Today we shoot and shoot till we get it perfect or rather what we think is perfect.
Since technology is in a race to make photography a child’s play, photography has come down to only the exclusivity of subject and idea.
Which kills the romance that once revolved around execution of it, going to locations, waiting for the right moment, fabricating sets, and days of planning a shoot is in most cases has been replaced by green screen with endless days of staring into a monitor.

What do you think of the current state of Print Advertising photography in India? Is it at par with the work done worldwide?
Are you kidding..
Unfortunately today advertising and therefore advertising photography with it, is a money game. Photographers come under the category of vendors
India is going through a phase where quantity is more important than quality. Furthermore the lack of awareness and understanding of art in majority of our population makes it even worse.

To be fair we cannot compare Indian photography to the world because considering the history of advertising photography in the west we are mere infants.

I am not saying that India advertising photography is not at par with the world but there is a lack of personal style and originality in our work which is because photographers here are not encouraged or chosen for a particular assignment on the basis of there personal style but for all the other reasons like rapport, cost factors etc. May be that is why we don’t have photographers in India like David LaChappel, Helmut Newton, Antin Corbjin, Tim Walker, Steven Meisel, who have their own distinct styles. S o much so that sometimes campaigns are designed around them.

Where do you get your inspiration?
From everything around me.
Anything and everything.
Was there any time when you wanted to quit photography?
As they say once a photographer always a photographer.
You just cant stop looking at the world in light, shade , objects, perspective and shapes.

So yes quitting photography would only mean two things not earning my bread and butter through it or when i have nothing left to say.

Any current work in Indian Advertising that you find exciting? Especially Print?
Hoping to see one soon.

Whats your dream project?
My dream project would be to create fashion images influenced by social issues and current affairs. I feel in india our view on fashion photography is very limited to conventional aesthetics and beauty (what ever that means). And this is most evident in the field of celebrity portraits in India. I would really enjoy shooting a series of Indian celebrity portraits in my own way. Something that talks about there achievements, personality secrets etc. Rather than just a beauty picture.

Who would you want to spend a dinner with?
I. Cant think of one person I am more influenced and greater than that.

Whats on your iPod?
I can’t find my i pod may be its lost. But if you want to know what was on it then everything from trance to techno, underground to U2, Sting etc.

Mac or PC?
I am not a techno loyalist.
Which ever is more convenient and simpler to use at that moment.
Currently Mac though.

 

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Rohit Redkar Photography

Rohit is a man of few words, lets his work do the talking for him. Probably he was attracted to the camera before he noticed the opposite gender ;). As much as he is comfortable behind the camera the situation is totally reverse when he has to smile for the camera.

Why are you a photographer?
It’s the only Best thing I can do in this life. I m leaving my dream.

Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt ‘I want to be a photographer’?
Nothing specific moment, when I decided to be photographer.

I was an engineering student. I was very bad in studies, never enjoyed studying.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Outside the field of photography the only person I look upto is Sachin Tendulkar.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in photography?
Umesh Aher and Saish Kambli, my mentors.

How has photography changed over the course of the last couple of decades? Is execution/art direction more important than it used to be?
Earlier as options were few and work was in abundance things were a bit sorted and the photographer took the calls on how he/she wanted to shoot their campaign. The pioneers of photography like Gautam Rajadhyaksha ,Suresh Natarajan & Tejal Patni had given a whole different dimension to photography and youngsters looked upto them and idolized them for their vision to bring fashion and commercial photography to the notice of one track minded Indians. Whereas now photography has become more of an extracurricular activity.

Given a choice, no other constraints, film or digital?
Digital.

What do you think of the current state of Print Advertising photography in India? Is it at par with the work done worldwide?
Deteriorating day by day on the basis of creativity. Indians are focusing more on the quantitative work rather than qualitative. Whereas the worldwide print advertising scenario is progressive and diverse when it comes to creativity.

Where do you get your inspiration?
New day new leaf. Only an amazingly good day which brings forth new challenges and opportunities can inspire me.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit photography?
No. Never

Whats your dream project?
Want to shoot with my favorite actor Mr. Amitabh Bachchan.

Who would you want to spend a dinner with?
My Wife.

Whats on your iPod?
Bollywood and Trance.

Mac or PC?
Mac anyday!

 

 

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Simran Nanda: Interview with a Student Illustrator

Simran Nanda is a Communication Designer specializing in illustration. She will be graduating from The Pearl Academy of Art Design and Fashion, New Delhi this year. She loves spending time with her family, friends and her pets. She wishes to get married to the city of Bombay in her near future!

Why are you an Illustrator?
Since I was a child, I’ve always been fascinated by cartoons. I had a collection of stuffed animals! I think this is where my vision to create different characters came from.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
I’m studying at The Pearl Academy of Art Design and Fashion. I will get my degree in B.A Communication Design this year.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I have always wanted to sketch but initially I was afraid to do so. I have been observing the work of various illustrators over the years. Some of them have different styles of illustrating. It took me a while to find my own style. I feel it came from practice and a lot of passion for the work I do.  I love digital work in particular, playing with different shapes and colors to create my characters. I love robots and monsters!

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
My role model is and always will be Shah Rukh Khan. I admire the passion he has for his work. I have always looked up to him. Even though he doesn’t know me, I hope he does someday!
 
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
It’s difficult to choose one in particular but I remember going to Bombay for the first time and I was fascinated to see Mario Miranda’s work on the walls of Café Mondegar. I am truly inspired by his work.
I also love Mattias Adolfson, the German illustrator. Observing his work and made me pay attention to detail in my illustrations.

What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
I was motivated to do so by my mentor in college.  After building on my portfolio, I have done some freelance work as an illustrator. I have illustrated characters for social media icons and graphics for toys. I haven’t got a chance to illustrate for advertising as yet.

Tell us something about your graphic design work.
My work is mostly digital based. I have a particular style that has developed over the years. I love illustrating for children in particular. I am very fascinated by monsters and robots!

Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
I think it depends on the brief given to us. If the ad requires illustration as a medium, then yes. I have mainly worked with design houses and advertising agencies.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
Not as yet! I hope I never do. But I have always wanted to see my characters in motion. So if I ever plan to divert from illustration, I would want to specialize in animation.

Have you considered turning your illustrations into toys?
I have made graphics for paper toys that are used as night lamps! It was a concept based on reusable packaging for children. So the packaging converts into a paper toy or a lamp.

Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
I love Prashant Miranda’s work. He was called to our college for an interactive session where he showcased his work. It was great seeing his travel logs. I love his use of watercolors.

You have such a wide experience as a top working professional. What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Would you advise them to take on Illustration as a career option? Is it paying well enough?
I’m just about to graduate! So I think its too soon to give my view about taking Illustration as a career option but I think it depends on person to person. You need to be connected to your work that makes a big difference. It pays well with the amount of experience one has.

Mac or PC?
I use a Mac

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Shah Rukh Khan! I want to take him out for dinner and thank him for singing for me on my birthday!

What’s on your iPod?
I listen to The XX and Phealeh while working. I love music that helps me work in peace.  Also I love bollywood!
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Interview with Zohar Furniturewala– ECD Scarecrow Communications, Mumbai

Creative, adventurous, non conformist. Thats how Zohar would describe himself.
Why are you into Advertising?
Because I was convinced by my family in not joining the army. Since I was very good in art so joining an Art college was the next option, after passing out or applied arts, advertising was a natural choice.

Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
I have graduated from the Sir JJ Institute of Applied Arts specializing in Typography.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Not any in Particular, I was and am influenced by different people for different things at different times.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
Again no one in particular, but in college and even later was very inspired by the work done by Pentagram Designs, Saul Bass, Michael Bierut, Paul Rand, Paula Scher, Milton Glaser, Albert Watson, Herb Ritts, David Carson, Neville brody, and above all my college Professor Prof. Saynekar. ?From the industry: Elsie Nanji, Divya Thakur, Cyrus Oshidar, Rajiv and Mahesh (RIP).

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Good Design around the world, in everything, not limited to only advertising. ?By great work done by other creative people as well.

What do you think of the state of Print advertising right now?
What you see in the mainstream is very mediocre with flashes of some brilliant work here and there. In selective medias people are doing good work. The possibility to do great work is always there. I also don’t differentiate between print and other medias. As a communication and creative person I believe great work can be done on any platform and in any media.

How do you think Advertising should move into a new age with severely segmented media, short attention spans and declining print and TV viewership amongst the young??
I am not an expert on advertising per se but one has to adapt to the reality of the times we live in. ?If you are referring to creative work then by doing eye grabbing work, in whichever media and space one gets to do.

Do you think brands who’s advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
Yes it does.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals??
For your work to be fresh and relevant, you have to adapt with the times and trends (unless you yourself are a trendsetter). ?Expose yourself to other arts outside advertising. ?You are as good as the last piece of work you have done, it means the hunger to do good work has to always be there, otherwise you are on your way to becoming obsolete and outdated.? Be very serious about your work but don’t take advertising and yourself too seriously.

Mac or PC??
Both.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My Wife and son.

What’s on your iPod?
I prefer silence.

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Dharmesh Shah : Interview

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Dharmesh Shah is a Creative Director at Draft FCB Ulka, Bangalore

Why are you into Advertising?
I am a trained diamond grader, have learnt jewelery manufacturing, tried selling/marketing diamond jewelery. I joined a science college to become an engineer. I don’t think I can do anything else.

Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
No. I did my b.Com from Bhavan’s Andheri- Mumbai. Then a one year course in advertising by Noorul Islam.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
Kapil Dev.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
Can’t name one. I read a lot about David Ogilvy and Bill Bernbach before I joined Advertising. In my career though, Chax has been a big influence. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everything. I am big copycat. Everyday life gives you so much to use.

Tell us something about the work environment at Draft Bangalore.
I have never seen anyone really do work here. Yet we end up doing a lot of work. I wonder how.

How do you think Advertising should move into a new age with severely segmented media, short attention spans and declining print and TV viewership amongst the young?
We have to move from loud and in-your-face to subtle and less intrusive. Media segmentation is one problem. Larger concern is people hate advertising. When I was growing up advertising was fun to watch, sing along, remember and talk about…if we can achieve that again…tv, print, internet or outdoor is just means to reach. If people like us they will hear and see us.

Do you have any kind of a program to nurture and train young talent? 
Yes we do. We have Star One. It is the only program in the industry today that inducts creative as well as account management and media trainees in the a real way. It is a two month process that teaches you what colleges and management institutes do not.

What do you think of the state of Print advertising right now. At least here in India, the released work is most often too sad? Why do you think it has lost the shine? Why are the younger lot more interested in TV? 
I think I have partly answered this above. It will take a while before print gets better. I do not like the way our industry, especially the seniors around look at the decline of print and sort of blame it on youngsters. The fact is we live in a country where we are selling to a major illiterate population or people who do not read even if they are literate. Kids grow up watching television and make their choices based on what they see. Written content in general is poor. I hate reading the newspaper for the sheer bad quality of news and journalism. So why will I read ads or rather where will I read ads. Also visuals stories reach more people irrespective of language/region. So we all watch tv. So there are more tv ads.  So why complain?

More and more young people are web savvy and want to work on the internet or on more entrepreneurial ventures. Has that affected the quality of people advertising has been getting?
To a certain extent this is perception. The numbers really are not that large. More people talk internet than actually living it. Also internet/web is really restricted to FB or youtube. How many of us use internet beyond that? The entrepreneurial ventures yes, but for every one online venture that succeeds…how many fail to even take off?

Do you think brands whose advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
No always.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? 
Know what you are good at and what you want. Do not join advertising because you want to become a lyricist in Bollywood and need a job to sustain while you struggle. Or you want to become an artist but no one would buy your stuff.

What is your dream project?
Where the client is willing to use common sense and not common knowledge.Where ideas are need not be restricted to certain individuals’ sensibilities. Powerful ideas are judged by powerful minds.

Mac or PC?
PC.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My wife.

What’s on your iPod?
Sa Trincha, AR Rahman, Amit Trivedi, Gregorian Chants, Bhimsen Joshi, KishoriAmonkar, Anoushka and Ravi Shankar and a lot of fusion stuff from Talvin Singh, Zakiretc










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Jitendra Patel : Interview with an Illustrator

Born and raised in Baroda, Jitendra Patel (aka Jitu) has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. Currently, he works as an art director at Ogilvy and Mather, Mumbai. Besides his art, Jitu is also passionate about movies and old-time songs. He spends his leisure time sketching and lately, attempting to learn how to play the flute!

Why are you an Illustrator?
Since childhood, drawing and painting have been my first love. My notebooks were filled with drawings rather than notes. So you could say my childhood passion lead me into the world of art.

Did you attend school for fine art or design?
Yes, I went to one of the best art schools in India – Faculty of Fine Arts MSU University, Baroda.

You have a distinct style of illustration. How long did it take you to develop your style?
I love doing realistic illustrations. You have to really bend your back and put in those extra hours. But once you master in realistic style, you can do any style of illustration. I remember in college we would do handwork and when I became comfortable with my craft I started doing my work with digital tools.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
I was lucky to have some brilliant teachers and mentors at the university. Their work always inspired me to get better.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Illustrations?
There’s no oneperson who had been influential. With me, it has always been the phenomenal work happening around in the world that has always pushed me to improve and keep working.

Are many advertising agencies getting illustrations made these days? Do you work more with agencies or publishers?
Touchwood! There is plenty of work. Also, with more and more illustration based print campaigns winning big time at the national and international awards, agencies are always looking for talent. I also get good amount of work from publishers.

What made you decide to become a freelance illustrator? When did you start freelancing? Do you illustrate for advertising?
In advertising you don’t always get to do illustrations. So doing freelance allows me to enjoy what I love doing the most. And whenever the opportunity presents itself in advertising, I take it up.

Was there any time when you wanted to quit Illustrations?
No. Never.

Have you considered turning your illustrations into graphic novels?
That’s a good idea!

Any other Indian Illustrators who you admire?
I admire any illustrator from whom I can learn something.

Tell us something of your personal projects.
I still keep a scrapbook and update it regularly.

What is your dream project?
I want to illustrate the Mahabharat in contemporary style.

Mac or PC?
They are just tools. I’m comfortable with both.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My beautiful fiancé.

What’s on your iPod?
I don’t have one.

 

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