afaqs!

Raj Kamble turns unconventional with Flying Squad

By Devina Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | February 11, 2010
The Flying Squad is Lowe Worldwide's new unit, which will offer its clients out-of-the-box ideas in the unconventional media space

Raj Kamble, till now creative director with Lowe, New York, finds himself in a new role within the Lowe Worldwide network. Along with partners, Kamble will now spearhead Flying Squad -- a new division within the Lowe Worldwide group, which will offer clients out-of-the-box solutions in the unconventional media space. The division is also open to offering unconventional solutions within the 'traditional media' perimeter.

& #BANNER1 & #In essence, Flying Squad is Lowe's experimental lab, which has been created for unconventional ideas for networked offices across the globe. The new setup is the brainchild of Matthew Bull, chief creative officer, Lowe Worldwide, who will head this initiative.

Four creative directors will report to Bull at Flying Squad. These creative folk, who will comprise the top brass at Flying Squad, are: Australia-based digital creative director, Tom Markham; London-based creative director (copy), Patrick McClelland; US-based creative director (copy) Jake Benjamin; and Kamble, who will serve as creative director (art).

"The idea is to break away from traditional norms to create creative challenges for the South African, British, Indian, Australian and American minds that make the Flying Squad," Kamble tells afaqs!. "We have come together with our varied cultural and religious backgrounds; hence, the flavour that we bring into our work is a unique mix of our influences and perceptions."

He adds that while problems may be conventional, what Flying Squad hopes to do is solve them atypically.

As of now, Flying Squad will not have an office in India, but options are open for the future. Currently, it has a setup in New York and another in London. The clients it has on-board include Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Knorr.

On Flying Squad's philosophy and reason for existence, Kamble says, "I think new media is the future of advertising. Gone are the days of the web being just about website advertising. Social media has opened a new chapter in the way we communicate with the consumer."

He elaborates that initially, advertisers and agencies made ads and spent monies to buy media, but now, consumers find products and information on their own. Therefore, it is essential for brands to create a presence on the web to make sure that the consumer 'discovers' them. "It is a craft that we have to learn," he adds.

For the record, Kamble has worked with Lowe for 14 years across three continents, during his stints at Mumbai, New York and London. The 34-year-old adman has also worked with Enterprise Nexus (now Bates 141). Kamble is over 150 awards old in the ad industry, including wins at Cannes, One Show, D&AD and Clios.