Sumita Vaid

Creative duo Freddy and Naved to launch Shop

Shop has already picked up a set of clients including Godfrey Philips, The Times Of India, HCL, ITDC, First City Magazine, Parenting Magazine, Yo! China restaurant and 32nd Milestone

What's common between Gullu Sen, Shovon Chowdhury, Sujit D'Souza and V Sunil?

Well, apart from the alphabet ‘s' in their names or surnames or both, all these top-notch advertising professionals chucked up plum jobs at their respective agencies - and along with that the trappings of their "routine" work - to join the long list of people who just want do their own thing. On their own terms. Here are two more.

Ex-Mudra, ex-McCann Erickson hands and highly awarded creative duo Naved Akhtar and Freddy Birdy would soon join this brand of entrepreneurs when their advertising outfit, Shop, becomes operational next month. Shop will specialise in television, print, outdoor and radio advertising, including direct mail and all other co-laterals. Shop's bouquet of offerings would also include design work, ranging from corporate identities and logos to merchandising and interiors.

The reason why Freddy and Naved quit the secure environs of an established agency was one missing element in their lives - fun. "Agencies have become boring places to be in. They are too structured, there is no sunlight. Basically there is no fun anymore," says Freddy, who has won a record 11 Copywriter of the Year awards, making him the most awarded copywriter in Indian advertising. McCann Erickson offered them the position of national creative directors, which would have entailed extensive travelling, something they were not comfortable with.

Now, working out of the ground-floor office at their residence, in a pool of sunlight, their dreams would probably be one step closer to fruition. Both seem confident that Shop would do great business. Says Naved, the only Indian art director to have won the prestigious Art Director of the Year award at three award shows - CAG, A&M and Delhi Advertising Club - all in the same year, "Our approach to design solutions would be brand centric, something people here have begun to realise only now, while in the West, this has been the standard approach."

The two are certain that their innovativeness would set them apart "Mumbai is a concentrate of creative talent compared to Delhi, which has fewer creative people," says Freddy, a fact, he believes, would work to the advantage of Shop. What is most exhilarating for Freddy and Naved is that they get to interact with clients directly, without the "obtrusive layers in an organisation". "It is a liberating experience because you get to speak with the client directly and get a clear brief," concur Freddy and Naved.

Shop has already picked up a set of clients including Godfrey Philips, The Times Of India, HCL, ITDC, First City Magazine, Parenting Magazine, Yo! China restaurant and 32nd Milestone, an entertainment destination on the Delhi-Jaipur highway. In a sense, Shop began working on these brands even before its formal launch was envisaged. Shop has to its credit the launch of Jaisalmer cigarettes, the re-launch of Four Square, the launch of The Times Of India in colour, that of TOI's Speednews and, more recently, the repositioning of HCL. Shop had also undertaken the painting of the exteriors of The Times Of India building and is currently working for an "extensive interior and exterior project" for 32nd Milestone.

The two, however, plan to continue their association with McCann Erickson even after they formally unveil Shop. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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