afaqs!

Niranjan Kaushik launches Acid Brand Communications with Sameer Desai

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | January 12, 2011
The Kaushik-Desai duo has been together since 1998, working in agencies such as Ogilvy and Contract.

Strengthening the trend of senior advertising professionals turning entrepreneurs, McCann Erickson Mumbai's erstwhile senior creative director, Niranjan Kaushik has launched Acid Brand Communications. Kaushik ended a two-year stint at McCann in November last year.

Partnering Kaushik in the endeavour is Sameer Desai, founder, DesignCode. Desai quit Design Sutra (Contract Advertising's design arm) in April 2009 as the head designer, before venturing out on his own.

On the development, Kaushik says, "It is the era of entrepreneurial agencies. Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg for setting a fine example. Our effort is to provide clients with top notch creative and strategic thinking, minus the fanfare of a multinational setup. Our collective years of experience across industries, I believe, will help us bring a lot of value to the table."

He further tells afaqs! that there seems to be a clear demand for smaller setups, as clients seem to prefer smaller outfits run by experienced creative professionals.

Desai adds to this, "Acid is still at the conceptual level. I would like to call it a team of creative mercenaries. We do not want to be seen as one of the many agencies around. We will work like mercenaries. We can be hired by anybody; by a client or even an agency."

Acid has already kick-started work on campaigns for ISTA Group of Hotels and the brand campaign of wealth management firm, ASK. Meanwhile, Desai's four-month-old DesignCode will continue working in the graphic design space.

"Acid's focus will be on through the line communications, the operative word being 'through'. There will be a serious focus on digital, for which we are in talks with a couple of possible technology partners. Hopefully, things will materialise soon on that front," says Kaushik.

He talks about his three-screen -- mobile, laptop and television -- theory, as he elaborates on the digital focus. Communication, he explains, must be approached in the order of one's preference of "screens". While he acknowledges that television is still a mass medium, it is also true that consumers spend a lot more time with mobile and laptop screens.

Kaushik's career spans 13 years, across agencies such as Ogilvy, Batey Singapore, LHM Singapore, Contract Mumbai and McCann Erickson Mumbai. He has worked on brands such as HSBC, Asian Paints, Shoppers Stop, Mercedes Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Airlines, Disney, Kotak Mahindra Bank and L'Oreal.

Desai, on the other hand, with an experience of 17 years in advertising, has worked in agencies such as DaCunha Communications, Lowe, Ogilvy, Publicis Ambience and Contract Advertising, before setting up DesignCode. He has worked on numerous popular brands, including Park Avenue, Marico Industries, HSBC, Shoppers Stop and Asian Paints.

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