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.
It was early in my advertising years. I was at
an interview with a celebrated Creative Director at one of the big agencies in
Bangalore. Eager as I was to put my best foot forward, I started talking him
through the ads. He stopped me and told me something I still remember.
"You won't be there to explain the ad to every reader of a
newspaper." Things have changed much since
then. We now have social media. Ads are created, and if you haven't caught it
on TV or in the papers, there is the grand release on Facebook. Now there's absolutely nothing
wrong in putting your work out on Facebook for people to see, and all would be
well if it stopped there. But no. The talking up begins shortly thereafter. The ad
is explained. The “idea” is put on a pedestal. It's called a game changer. The
agency chief pats the team on their backs. The team gushes over the big man's
attention, but insist they couldn't have done it without their ACD, SCD, ECD
and OCD, not to mention…