Well, I am neither an ad veteran nor an award-winning copywriter but I am this: 'A girl who grew up watching ads more than TV shows and dreamt of working in an ad agency and making ad films that will be played at least a dozen times' (well, I got more than a dozen thousand hits for some of my ads on YouTube, guess that counts).
I won’t say I have all the experience and pompousness to tell you that these are the most important truths in advertising life but I do have the courage to tell you that these are the five most essential truths (there may be more but for now, these prove sufficient for adulting) that helped me survive life, in general. And, I believe it would surely do you good if you understand these (and also share it around) sooner than learning these through trial and error (Ain’t nobody got time for that!)





1. ‘YOUR’ CREATIVITY IS ‘YOUR’ IDENTITY




Everyone has a little bit of creativity and that’s what makes one different from the other. From the way you approach issues to the way you solve problems to the way you see the mundane to how you react in a situation, your creative streak defines your personality. And, in an agency, your creative ideas will differentiate you from the others. It takes some time to discover ‘your kind of creativity’; it could be serious, it could be witty, it could be street-smart, it could be over-the-top but you will surely have to find it to define your identity. So, when I started working in an ad agency, I realised that my creativity is different from the person sitting next to me and I shouldn’t be comparing my ideas with theirs but with my ideas itself. One of my creative directors often said “You are only as good as your last ad!”  Soon, people around me saw my ideas as unique and stood by some scripts I wrote even during times when I doubted myself. My creativity is my identity!



2.  YOUR TALENTS HELP YOU RISE ABOVE THE REST



To survive in any industry you need to be good at your job but to excel in it, you need to be talented. Am sure you’ll agree (If not, give me a chance to convince you). Especially in advertising, your talents will tell more about yourself and what you can achieve than what your job description says you can do. I know a lot of fellow copywriters who draw so well and some art directors who narrate a script effortlessly and some account managers who have crazy ideas. I, a copywriter who lives with words, love everything design. I love a good logo, an interesting painting, an obscure photograph and even the way a kettle is designed. You’ll find me doodling my ideas on my notepad first before typing out my script on MS Word. So, I used my other talents and interests to my advantage in my current role as a copywriter and made a difference in what I did. When a mere PPT was enough for a client presentation, I made a video. When there was a jingle in the script, I sang it. When there was no art director for a last-minute job, I designed the layout. All of this helped me rise above the rest and be remembered for not just a job well done but a job done excellently!



  3. DON’T BURN ANY BRIDGES, YOU’LL NEED THEM LATER




Flare-ups are so common when you have to make a point but you can’t seem to get the other person to agree. If it’s a game, there’s an umpire or a referee to point out the problem-areas, but this is life. You need to be a judge of your actions. I have seen so many ugly fights over briefs and in meetings but they were never personal (at least, most of them). The same people were seen sharing a cigarette the next hour or going for lunch the next day. Am saying, keep the fights, egos and prejudices within ‘workable’ limits but never burn the bridges. Focus on winning the game than avenging your opponents. You might want to toss the brief at your client or slam the door on your creative director or beat the living sh*t out of your lazy art/copy partner. But hold on, don’t do it just yet! Because, you WILL meet the same person again in your life and that time you will have to (for some strange karmic reason) depend on them. So, it will only do you good if you remained in their good books. Just imagine, your senior colleague in the current agency who you called names and had an ugly showdown with, turns out to be your creative director in the next agency!  That surely sucks, doesn’t it? So, hang on to that bridge, even if it’s rickety but never burn it down, for you’ll have to cross it sooner than you expected!


4. HARDWORK ALWAYS PAYS. 


Right now, this seems like a clichéd statement that I took out of a quotes’ book or found it carved on the stone tablets of time immemorial. But it’s true, not just in advertising but in life as well. You would have heard your teacher say it a thousand times or your parents would have nagged you with it or that stand-up comedian would have boasted about it while making his life look so effortlessly cool! All said, hardwork IS really the game changer. Be consistent in what you do and focus on getting better at what you do, constantly. You may not see the results immediately but you will see it when it matters the most. (I guess, I kind of made hardwork sound like weight loss). I am not saying you should die working your a$$ off but it’s ok to break your back a little but never lose your balance. Anyway, to come to the point: When I was assigned something, I was dedicated to it and always took it up as my sole responsibility to see it through from start to finish, by whatever means I could. I must say, it led to the right people noticing it and in turn, I got more and more opportunities to rise up and prove my worth, and I can confidently say that I never disappointed them. Work hard even if no one is around you. Believe me, someone important is watching your every move. (Didn’t mean to scare you, but agencies do have CCTVs).


5. THE BEER AND BIRYANI ARE A BRIBE NOT A BONUS




“Ad agencies are such a cool place to work! Parties, booze, free trips…oh it must always be fun!”
This is a phrase agency folks are tired of hearing and am sure everyone believes this just like how the glamour of stardom blinds us from seeing the pain behind it all. Yes, I won’t deny that we have one too many parties a month to celebrate little triumphs, big victories, birthdays, farewells, nominations, promotions, pitch-work weekends, intern initiations, late night sessions, just-for-the fact-that-it’s-Friday sessions, and lots more! (The empty liquor bottle towers adorning as desk-décor, literally, stand as a proof to that). BUT…behind it all, we have struggled. We have toiled, we have bruised and we have bled. I, like every adman/adwoman, will swear by that the parties are really an intoxicating bribe and are actually distractions from all the pain and dread we go through to bring out one good ad to life. So, the booze and biryani at the end of a loooooong hard day is indeed a motivation to push us into yet another week of deadlines and minefields (Cheers to migraines, acidity and kidney failures!). We all need some ‘tips’ to carry the luggage of life, even if our job is to be a bell boy. Take any thrills and pleasures as a mere bribe to do your best in life but not as a bonus. Choose your booze and biryani of life in limits, indulge a little to push yourself ahead a little more!





Well, that’s it folks! I have laid out the five truths of life I have learnt during my time in advertising (as a copywriter. Let’s assume it may differ if you are a visualizer or an account manager or a producer or an illustrator). I stuck by, still do, these 5 points in any situation which has helped me somewhat define my identity, often rise above the rest, always have a sturdy bridge to cross, count on my hardwork that has so long paid all my bills and stay on a full stomach with enough booze and biryani to keep me motivated in life! I hope you find these useful like I did and may you have a use for these 5 valuable lessons in your life. After all, advertisements mimic life and we mimic advertisements.

Cut! Now, that’s a wrap.





Gifs from Giphy


Well, I am neither an ad veteran nor an award-winning copywriter but I am this: 'A girl who gr...


Picture shot on Samsung Galaxy S7


Picture shot on Samsung Galaxy S7



It's a crazy thing this roommate relationships. You practically live with a stranger, mark your boundaries yet remain friendly and share your things. It's scary at first but you'll soon get used to either being taken for granted or being given your space.

I must say, roommates are the best and the worst part of living in a hostel/PG (Paying Guest Accommodation). They make or break your living-on-your-own years but you can be sure you'll have stories to recount when you move out, to really live on your own.

They come with their baggage (pretty literally), their pet peeves, their way of living and all that makes them opposite to you. Because, that's just how karma works. You like the doors closed all the time, they like it open. You like the TV on volume level 50, they love it till the neighbours complain. You want to crash by 11pm and their life starts right then. You hate leaving dirty plates in the room, they'll leave them on the bed (also add some dirty clothes for days). So basically, you are put to the test when you live with a roomie. A test of faith, patience and practicality.

I've had my fair share of roommates over 4 years of my hostel/PG life. The odd thing about my PG was that in addition to the single room that they call double occupancy, me and my roomie had to share one king-size bed. So, we draw an invisible line (in our minds, of course) in the middle to mark our respective side of the bed. Accidental crossing-over happens but we soon demarcate our territories with a pillow or a book or our laptops or even dirty clothes. It's funny how we thought that any dirt left on our side (read dirty clothes, plates, food packets, socks, etc.) will remain on the same side and even the germs will be polite enough to not cross the border. Well, one of us soon realized that it's a stupid theory, a logic of the lazies and got down to getting it cleaned up (read confrontations, arguments, mutual cleaning marathons). And, that's how some of the significant lessons of life were learnt.


My roomie relationships were more like blind dates, only difference is that i had to live with them and not just share a cup of coffee. I've had the most messy ones to the most OCD ones, to the hardly-there ones to always-around ones, to the most friendly ones to the over-friendly ones, to the most annoying ones to the most amusing ones. But they all have left with me a little piece of life, that i'll always treasure as wisdom.

All said, in these roomies i've found some amazing friends who have made my growing-up adult years more enjoyable, birthdays more crazy and midnight gossip sessions more frequent, unplanned outings more adventurous and for all this and more, i will cherish their friendship for life.

Since the end of my PG days, i keep an open mind. I embrace change more freely than before. I respect boundaries and responsibilities. I play by the unspoken rules and speak my mind when rules aren't played by. I have learnt the art of polite confrontation. I've learnt to live with opposites. I've put my patience to the test and the results will be out soon. I am game for anything life throws at me.

I am married for one year now.


The demarcation continues, the invisible rules prevail, the cleaning marathon never ends, the patience test calls for a re-evaluation, and i feel like i have just began a new roommate relationship. Only difference, this time i chose this life-long roomie for love! (the sparkle on my finger will remind me of it every day).


It's a crazy thing this roommate relationships. You practically live with a stranger, mark your boundaries yet remain friendly a...

                                      
My love for coffee meets my love for doodling. Started as a silly scribble one lazy morning at work, my coffee doodles have now grown into a tall collection indeed.


                                       My love for coffee meets my love for doodling. Started as a silly scribble one lazy morning at w...


Doggy Talk
Doggy Talk
Nom Nom Nom
Gettin' High
I Leaf You!
Sea you soon Goa!



Doggy Talk Nom Nom Nom Gettin' High I Leaf You! Sea you soon Goa!





Goa is not a place. It's an emotion. Every one who visits Goa, leaves with the bite that forces them to return year after year. This time, the Goa bug has bitten our very own yellow fellow, Stuart. And this time, his adventures begin in Goa, India. 


Goa is not a place. It's an emotion. Every one who visits Goa, leaves with the bite that forces them to return year after yea...


Here it is. The truth. Am a seasoned procrastinator with a million little ambitions but never got the time (that's my favourite excuse) to actually do the things I want to. So after all this time, I've landed myself with the task of starting a blog (well, i had one before, but it was more of an adolescent diary. So let's forget that i mentioned it.) This is serious. This is worth my time, your time. 


Here it is. The truth. Am a seasoned procrastinator with a million little ambitions but never got the time (that's my favourite ...