Manish Bhatt quit Contract Advertising as senior vice-president and executive creative director in October 2009, in order to take a short break from advertising. Now, he has announced the launch of his agency, Scarecrow Communications, in collaboration with Raghu Bhat, who also quit Contract soon after Manish did.
"We think Scarecrow is an effective, powerful and a visual communication," Manish tells afaqs!, about the agency's name.
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The duo has on-board another former Contract colleague, Joy Sengupta, as the third partner; while Concept Communication's Vivek Suchanti is also associated with the agency.
"The tie-up with Suchanti will be more of a financial one; while Raghu, Manish and Joy will be the 'face of Scarecrow'," says Raghu. "It's the question of whether you are tying up with a person or a company. We do not want to be a ninth agency. If the partnership is complementing, it is better," he adds.
The idea to start the agency was on the cards for a while, and after having been approached by both international and national players, Scarecrow is finally ready.
"Whoever we otherwise spoke to was more interested in looking at balance sheets than anything else, because we were dealing during the recession time. Also, the freedom to say 'no' is very important. We want to work with people we like and enjoy the work process as much," Raghu says.
The agency will be formally launched on February 09 with a group art-show themed 'Scarecrow' in Mumbai. Featured artists would include Nikhil Purohit, Ajinkya Patil, Somnath Mane, Sukhada Das and Dileep Mestry.
Also on the cards is an initiative that the duo calls "Scarecrow Designs", which will feature in-house and industry talent, who would showcase their pure art creatives. The agency is also planning to launch art-based merchandise on a commercial Web portal -- here, T-shirts for sale will carry prints of selected works of young artists.
"We want to give young minds a platform to express their creativity. We want to give pure creativity an output," Raghu says.
On the Scarecrow philosophy, Manish says, "In our mind, the idea is bigger than the media. We want the role of communication to have an overview on all media. Mediums are going to increase with time. Whatever is the appropriate media, we want to collaborate it with the right idea."
Wanting to create ideas with "no expiry date", the duo claims that the agency has three clients on-board already and has begun work that will appear in public soon.