After hours: Life beyond advertising

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising
Last updated : February 23, 2006
Advertising is a profession that takes a toll on one both mentally and physically hence the constant need to rejuvenate oneself

You are considered

lucky if your hobby is your profession. With their work providing them creative outlets, most people would consider advertising professionals lucky too. Yet, at times, life can get monotonous for even these creative maestros, what with juggling between client meetings and racking their brains for that elusive one liner.

Not surprisingly, many of these advertising professionals have found new interests beyond advertising, which relieves them of the mounting pressure.

While people already know about McCann Erickson's Prasoon Joshi's and O&M's Renzil D'Silva's skills in script writing, thanks to 'Rang De Basanti', not many know that JWT's Hemant Mishra acts in at least one play every year. He even has a theatre group called 'The Entertainer' and has worked with the likes of Habib Tanvir.

For Bhupal Ramnathkar of Umbrella, the creative outlet comes from a field more closely linked to advertising -- photography and interior decoration. Ditto for Gullu Sen, vice-chairman, Dentsu India, who is into charcoal painting.

For Joshi of McCann, his activities outside mainstream advertising are his parallel profession and it also helps him in growing as a professional. Joshi, who is into writing books, short stories, singing jingles, writing lyrics and dialogues for movies, feels that the need arises from the simple desire to communicate his craft to people.

He says, "Advertising is a borrowed art form where it draws heavily from various other fields. And Bollywood is a good medium which has successfully understood the pulse of the masses. This understanding of the psyche of masses is necessary for advertising too."

But then are also those who are passionate about something which has no relation with advertising. For instance, Kenneth Augustine, the creative head of Saatchi & Saatchi, Delhi loves angling Mahaseer (a huge fish), and has been pursuing this for the past 30 years.

Similarly, Rajeev Raja of Bates Enterprise has always had his foot in the music world. He plays the flute and is a member of a band called India Chapter, which recently played at the closing ceremony of the Bandra Festival in Mumbai.

For Raja, playing music has helped him hone his creative impulses and move beyond being one-dimensional. "Creative is not only about the 30-second commercials and having something outside advertising helps in widening the horizon," he notes, adding, "The creative process drains one emotionally so there is a need to recharge the battery."

He says, "One has to mix different worlds in advertising and look for other inspirations." He feels that for a good advertising professional it helps to understand what it is to be creative in other fields.

Naren Kaimal of Dentsu Communications loves motor sport rallying as much as advertising. Kaimal dreams of being the first Indian to participate in the Dakar rally. For Kaimal who came second in the Raid-de-Himalaya, an off road adventure - considered to be the toughest motorsport in India - has graduated to officiate many Indian rallies. He sees advertising as a skewed world with strange perspective and this kind of passion gives an opportunity to get in touch with people who have nothing to do with advertising.

His partner Amardeep Singh at Dentsu has scaled difficult terrains in his many mountaineering expeditions. Singh who was initiated into mountaineering when he was around 25 years old has done a basic course in mountaineering and later graduated to being an instructor for various camps. He has represented India in the first ever joint Indo-USSR mountaineering expedition to Pamir and Caucasus mountains in 1989 and takes an annual expedition to Himalayas. He says, "In cities, one can't have an appointment with oneself. This gives me a chance to rediscover myself."

On a philosophical note, he says, "There is a jungle out there in advertising and everyday is an expedition in cities. So taking such expeditions is a challenge and makes you a survivor which is also the need of the profession."

Joshi concludes, "Advertising is a creative process and the danger is that if one does not constantly reinvent oneself, you could fall into a rut. This can turn one into a factory where one churns out creatives set on any formula and become repetitive."

2006 agencyfaqs!

First Published : February 23, 2006
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© 2006 agencyfaqs!