afaqs!

Ramkrishna Gopi Yadav: The man who does it all

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | September 02, 2008
Lowe's Yadav juggles many hats, from being a creative director to lending his voice for voiceovers and acting in ads. He even plans to produce his own Hindi film some day

Thirty-two & #BANNER1 & # year old Ramkrishna Gopi Yadav, creative director at Lowe Mumbai, does not believe in limiting himself. Besides donning the creative hat at Lowe, he has juggled with doing voiceovers for ads, acting in an ad and writing plays and screenplays. He even harbours dreams of making a film some day.

At Lowe, Yadav has written campaigns for brands such as Pepsodent (Cheatercock), Axe, Kissan and Wheel. He began giving voiceovers for TV commercials and radio spots while working at O&M Delhi and continued to do so at Lowe. He has lent his voice to ads such as Doublemint Aquasplash (Fresh Rahoge Pyaar Milega), Idea, Axe Clicker (Click More, Keep Score), Havell's (Shock Laga) and Kissan (Chatakdar). He explains that often, as a writer, one feels that the voice artist is not doing justice to the script. In such situations, one has to step in.

Ramkrishna Gopi YadavYadav has also featured in the VIP Innerwear 'Adjust' ad as a middle class man trying to squeeze himself into an already packed bus seat. He is shocked that people actually recognise him from the ad, since he appeared only for a few seconds.

In a conversation with afaqs!, Yadav says, "My watchman recognised me and asked me about it, as did two strangers some time ago. No wonder Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan are so happy. Their faces are on TV all the time. Just imagine the recognition they get! Being recognised like this definitely made me feel good."

Hailing from Begusarai in Bihar, Yadav finished school and moved to Delhi for further studies. He graduated in Arts from Hans Raj College, Delhi. He says, "Being a person from North India and Bihar, your parents want you to become either an engineer or a doctor. If that fails, you have to get into the civil services. So, the idea was to finish graduation and study for the civil service entrance examination."

While preparing for the civil service examination, he realised that this was not something he wanted to do. At that time, one of his friends moved to Mumbai as a writer for films. "Writing was one thing that I wanted to do and which I want to do all through my life. That friend triggered off the whole thing. When I started thinking about coming to Mumbai, my family got very worried because there were so many people struggling in this city."

He adds, "One of my brother's friends, who studied journalism at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) in Delhi, recommended a course in journalism. I went and applied for advertising because it sounded so cool." He says that hordes of people applied for the 40 seats along with him. He was sure he wouldn't get through. Thanks to this, he appeared for the entrance exam "dil khol ke" (with a free mind) and, luckily enough, did get through.

"Suddenly, I was reading about Philip Kotler and honing up on advertising jargon. For the first time, I got to know how organised advertising was. I started reading up on international and Indian advertising and about the legends in advertising. My perspective on advertising changed," he says.

As part of his IIMC course, Yadav worked on a project for an apple juice marketed by the Himachal Pradesh government. He created a campaign with the tagline, 'Daba Ke Piyo', which he believes made his life because his work paid off when he went later to apply for a job.

"After college, everyone applied for internships. We thought O&M would be a great place to work. So, some 20 of us went to meet Soumya Sen at O&M Delhi. He was kind enough to meet all of us. He liked the campaign that I had created for the apple juice. It was used for some other campaign later and I don't know how it got out, but I had cracked it first for this college project," he says.

Sen liked Yadav's work on that project and took him on. He joined O&M Delhi in 2001 as an intern. His work on a radio spot for Limca helped him bag a position as a trainee, at a salary of Rs 4,000. He worked at O&M for three and a half years on brands such as Dabur, Ranbaxy, Limca, Essar Telecom and the first Pulse Polio Campaign with actor Amitabh Bachchan.

Later, when he was trying to move to Mumbai, he met R Balakrishnan (Balki) at Lowe, who hired him that very day. Yadav, inclined towards filmmaking, draws inspiration from Balki, who has made the critically acclaimed film, Cheeni Kum, and is now working on his second film, Pa.

Yadav is a total movie buff and says he enjoys films such as Deewar, Sholay and Teesri Kasam. He also likes the films made by Manmohan Desai, Priyadarshan, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. He loves watching other language films as well. "I buy 20 DVDs at a time. I love sitting in my dark room and watching movies," he says.

Besides films, Yadav's other love is football - be it the Spanish or the English Premier League, and he is a diehard fan and supporter of Barcelona and Ronaldinho.