Aishwarya Ramesh

"Great work is often born out of real debates": Kainaz Karmakar

Ogilvy India's chief creative officer busts myths about the world of advertising in a short audio tweet.

When we think of advertising, we tend to think of swanky offices with pool tables, creative directors sitting on bean bags, rubbing shoulders with celebrities at parties and brainstorming to come up with cool ideas for fun ads. The truth is a little far removed from this image, especially in the context of working from home because of the Coronavirus.

Episode two of Twitter Marketing India’s new series, titled 'Share of Voice', features Ogilvy India's chief creative officer Kainaz Karmakar. It starts by Karmakar stating that advertising isn’t entirely a glamorous profession. Most of the industry is working from home and the glamour quotient is certainly missing, she says.

“It (advertising) was (glamorous) in the days of Don Draper and 'Mad Men'. Right now, I am sad to say that we have lost our cigars and hats. But our work can still be sexy.”

The second myth is that a business will grow if the agency agrees to what the client says. “The client comes to the table to hear your point of view on things. Great work is often born out of real debates. I have experienced this myself while working with stalwarts like Piyush (Pandey) and Aggie (Agnello Dias),” says Karmakar.

Kainaz Karmakar
Kainaz Karmakar

According to her, the third myth is that advertising is a reclusive art. “If you can’t collaborate today (in a remote working scenario), or inspire people to change the culture, you won’t get very far.”

Another myth is that ads compete with other ads. Karmakar admits that if this was the case, then life would be much easier. But these days, ads compete with content available on platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

“People are not just changing channels, they're changing screens. Your brand is only as cool as your work. So, be fast, sharp and very interesting.”

Elaborating on being interesting, she talks about the final myth – that hardworking communication is not very creative. “Gone are the days when people could hide behind the word 'hard-working'. Today, the hardest working work is also one that is most creative. If your client is not doing their best work with you, if your juniors are not on stage, then it's time for you to upgrade the creative software within you.”

'Share of Voice' is an audio series, where creative experts will talk about all things advertising, content, social media and more. It is intended for (and with) brands, marketers and creators across India.

The first episode featured Suchita Salwan (@suchitasalwan), founder, Little Black Book (LBB). She spoke about branding for Gen-Y in 'Marketing to Millennials', and the episode was roughly three minutes long.