Sumanto Chattopadhyay, chairman and CCO of 82.5 Communications, ran online tutorials to teach netizens English.
Adman Sumanto Chattopadhyay, fondly called 'Sumo', is highly sensitive to bad English and quite passionate about the language. The chairman and CCO of 82.5 Communications, WPP's special creative arm for the Indian entrepreneurship landscape, doubles up as 'The English' Nut or simply 'Mr Nut' on social media. Mr Nut provides tips and offers measures for avoiding misuse and mispronunciation of English words. The lessons are mostly in the form of short, witty films with proper scripts and roles acted out by Chattopadhyay himself (thanks to his acting skills). In one of the films, Mr Nut teaches his peon the difference between 'backside' and 'back'.
"The English language is one of my passions and it's my pet peeve to correct grammar and mistakes in pronunciation around me. It's almost like a bad habit. I am known among my friends and colleagues for this. In the office, I am also the go-to person for queries about English," says Chattopadhyay.
He mentions 'The English Nut' as the convergence of his love for the language, his hobby of acting and skill for writing cool copies as an ad-copywriter.
He is "not a digital native" and managing the profile on social media brings along "a beneficial side-effect". What started out as a Facebook page in January has now branched out to different platforms like YouTube and Instagram. "Social media is something you can't avoid when discussing advertising today. To know about it theoretically is one thing, but to create and manage pages on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube is different. The following on the pages has been growing steadily, but I haven't had the time to experiment and apply strategies for getting more traction. It's a fast learning curve, but I'm figuring it out slowly." he explains.
Most of the shoots happen at his home in Mumbai, usually on Sundays and they roll on jugaad with no budget at all. Once he was ready with the concept, he needed someone to direct and shoot the videos and also take care of the post-production on a zero budget. Many of the videos are shot on Chattopadhyay's DSLR and sometimes his phone. Things got rolling when friends and colleagues from the business pitched in. Chattopadhyay says, "The first person was Krishnakant Mishra from Ogilvy who was working on the Kumbh Mela project. He was showing me a video he had prepared about the things that can be done about Kumbh as a brand. I approached him to shoot my videos too. We shot a bunch of them and he went back to Kumbh for almost a month and could not edit them."
While much of the work like scripting, shooting and editing happens on the weekend, ideas are noted as they come. "Shooting and scripting are done quickly but post-production work like editing, adding music, etc. takes time," Chattopadhyay outlines.
The English Nut logo was designed by Mayur Varma, an ECD at 82.5 Communications. "I don't always like to go to my people since everybody is busy, but I do make requests sometimes," he states.
Chattopadhyay is now concentrating on maintaining a fresh supply of videos with a target of publishing one new video every week. A few of his videos (like the one on aptagrams) were also shot in Kolkata, while he was in the city on work.
The English Nut credits:
Directors: Krishnakant Mishra and Aadarsh Sharma from Ogilvy. Priyank Bengali from Red Fuse and Rana and Mangaldeep Karmakar from Chitro Bichitro (Kolkata).
Creative Director: Mayur Varma, 82.5 Communications
Design and art direction: Durga Bangde and Komal Ranjan from 82.5 Communications.
Kumbh episodes: filmed by Sumanto Chattopadhyay, edited by Pushan Mukherjee, 82.5 Communications.