Ogilvy Bengaluru's Debangshu Kerr joins Think WhyNot as ECD

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | February 08, 2011
He will handle all four divisions of Think WhyNot, namely, Atlantis, an advertising agency, Caffeine, an activation specialist agency, Twist in the Tale, a films company and Voila, a strategic brand design outfit.

Ogilvy Bengaluru's creative director, Debangshu Kerr has moved to the Mumbai-based integrated brand services agency, Think WhyNot as executive creative director. Kerr will report to the agency's chief executive officer, Sangram Surve. Kerr was with Ogilvy for over three years, from September 2007 to December 2010.

As executive creative director, Kerr will now head all four divisions of Think WhyNot - the advertising agency Atlantis, Caffeine - an activation specialist agency, Twist in the Tale - a film production house, and Voila - a strategic brand design outfit.

Kerr's role involves encouraging a free flow of ideas between all group companies, mentoring creative talent across all four arms and thinking strategically across brands. These brands include Nirvana Jewellery, Singapore International School, Welingkar School of Management and some parts of Unit Trust of India (UTI). The group also has the mandate for a lot of BTL (below-the-line) communication for ICICI, IDBI and Diageo (marketers of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Vat 69).

His responsibilities back at Ogilvy were to ensure the health of brands across a portfolio comprising names such as Manipal University, IBM, Indus Pride Beer, Prestige Constructions, Megamart (a Meridian brand) and ITC Royal Gardenia Hotel, among others.

Citing reasons for his move out of Ogilvy, Kerr says that Think WhyNot offered him an opportunity to be part of setting the agenda for a particular place, and creating an ethos, a philosophy of work, which is his forte. "Also, there are no formats or precedents to follow. It is a young place, with young people, and therefore, young ideas," says Kerr. Ogilvy, he claims, was also a great place to work at. "Just that one feels like plowing one's own furrow, sometimes," he adds.

Kerr holds a masters degree in English Literature and has over 15 years of work experience in the field of advertising. He started his career at McCann Erickson as a copywriter. While there, he worked on brands such as Coca Cola, Fanta, Columbia Tristar Films, BPL Mobile and TimesBank. His next stint was at Publicis Ambience (then Ambience) as senior copywriter where he worked on brands, which included Zee TV, EsselWorld, Water Kingdom, Onjus, TVS, Good Knight and Parachute Oils.

He went on to don the hat of copy supervisor at TBWA (then TBWA Anthem) where he worked on accounts such as Frooti, Appy, Bailley's Water and Soda, IndianOil, LIC and Nivea. Next, he moved to Saatchi & Saatchi (worked on brands such as HDFC Mutual Funds, Zandu Pharmaceuticals, Aptech, Bridgestone Tyres and Birla Cements), followed by a spell at Mudra (worked on Reliance Infocomm). He served as creative group head at both, Saatchi & Saatchi and Mudra.

His next stint was as creative director at Confluence Communications where he worked on the DKT India (Zaroor Condoms, XXX Condoms, Choice Birth Control Pills), Golden Tobacco Company, Shalimar Paints and TCL Televisions accounts. After a brief stop at Think WhyNot Communications, Kerr moved on to Ogilvy Bengaluru.

Now, he has come back to Think WhyNot Communications.

The Think WhyNot group is expanding and plans to explore cities beyond Mumbai.

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