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THE DIGITAL ECTT NEC NN CON CO

INSIDE: SHREYAMS KUMAR: Brand Moderniser K. G. SURESH: Redefining Media TONNIT THOMAS: Design Entrepreneurship SURESH ERIYAT: Master Animator VINCI RAJ: The Poster Boy RJ NITIN: The Voice


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amith@creativebrandsmag.com

Volume 4,Issue1, June-July 2017


We have tried to cover almost all aspects of Brand Strategies to this Special Edition of the magazine. Hope you will like it.

Ramji Ravindran Managing Editor & CEO Creative Brands Magazine


RECASTING JOURNALISM | Page 22 |

CONTENTS FEATURES Haute Couture .............................Page 47 Spectral Magic .............................Page 53 Drawing the World Unto Itself .......Page 58

COVER STORY BRANDISHING THE DIGITAL | Page 06 | Digital is the new frontier. For brands, dealing with anything from salt making to space technology, the digital will determine their relevance and connection to their customers.

THE PERFECT MEDIA MIXER | Page 12 | A quintessential media man, Shreyams Kumar almost singlehandedly helped transform the 94 year old Mathrubhumi, one of Kerala’s oldest Malayalam newspaper groups into a vibrant, contemporary, multimedia powerhouse.

HE SHOOTS, THEY SMILE | Page 44 | ‘So I asked them to smile’ is what Jay Weinstein does — a photographer on a mission to take pictures of people around the world in serendipitous moments to document what he describes as “the effect of the human smile on a stranger’s face”...

Indian media needs to revisit some of its fundamental axioms and assumptions to be able to meaningfully engage in the act of asking the right questions and highlighting issues critical to the essence of nationhood, says IIMC Director General K.G. Suresh

DESIGN ENTREPRENEURSHIP | Page 28 | Creativity, inventiveness, and daring lie at the heart of advertising. In an interview with Creative Brands, Tonnit Thomas, the founder of Tonnit Design & Advertising, one of the top agencies in the creative world, talks about visualising ideas and transforming them into design.

MASTER ANIMATOR | Page 32 | For Suresh Eriyat, the creator of memorable ad film campaigns such as Chintamani of ICICI Bank and the Google Tanjore Film, design holds the key to creative interpretation. He believes content can be created in newer formats if one’s aesthetics are rooted in a strong design background.

THE POSTER BOY | Page 36 | Vinci Raj, the man behind the viral ‘Kabali’ poster and the super successful ‘Guilt’, ‘Talk Them Dead’, and ‘The Good Road’ campaigns, is a man driven by the call of conscience. Vinci says he wants his ads to not only highlight a societal problem but also propose a solution to it.

THE VOICE | Page 40 | Known as ‘Khurafati Nitin’, Radio Jockey Nitin is perhaps the most popular radio jockey of Delhi. With over a dozen years behind him, RJ Nitin has been associated with leading radio brands of the country. For Nitin, radio is not only a medium of entertainment but also of significant social change.


Digital is the new frontier. For brands, dealing with anything from salt making to space technology, the digital will determine their relevance and connection to their customers. Today, a world sans the digital is inconceivable. SANJEEV RAMACHANDRAN


I

N A WORLD OF RAPIDLY Changing customer preferences, enterprises have little choice but to

reinvent themselves. More so, in a world that has digitalised itself in ways inconceivable a decade ago. Thus brands have been constantly trying to relaunch themselves in a deepening digital terrain. Consumer response is equally critical. The recent Idea Cellular commercial on television and in the digital space is a clear demonstration of how the consumer, in turn, needs to brace up to a world driven by technology. The same applies to each and every brand that has been hitting the blazing lane of digital selling. So brands need to immerse in, and adapt to technological innovations in digital communication even if hardcore technology doesn’t drive their product stables.

Digital adaptation is of the essence. The 1990s marked the arrival of brands powered by digital props. The digital horizon has since deepened considerably and brands increasingly see themselves as digitally-powered entities looking to persuade a customer, who is also at once well-informed and knows how to tap the digital touch-screen to buy what she finds not only attractive but also of value. The Indian brand scene, powered by this digital revolution, has, no doubt, come of age. Mobile-phone penetration has proved to be the most potent catalyst of all, as digital branding cannot quite work without that ubiquitous device that literally places the world in the customer’s hands.

Everyone with a smart device is a digital enthusiast — and sometimes more than that. Customers’ minds are the staging posts where brands test

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and launch their strategies and these hand-held devices fetch the customer digitally powered brands seamlessly and efficiently. The digital savvy has also been powered by the Modi government seeking to usher in a ‘digitalised’ nation. So hard cash is beginning to look slightly old fashioned as the e-wallet increasingly takes over most transactions. The earliest brands to hit that digital highway were online vendors such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal, although today every other brand is looking to adopt and adapt to newer digital strategies to stay relevant.

More than ever brands and customers today connect seamlessly across the world. Connect is the norm. So, what could be a better way than the digital mode of reaching out to the end customer...


COVER STORY

For instance, the e-tailers who were the first-generation children of the digital revolution haven’t quite stopped reinventing themselves to stave off obsolescence. Consider the Big Billion Day and Big Shopping Days strategies from Flipkart. The digital route to consumers’ minds was played to perfection. In the case of Amazon too, this has been true. The regular updates of its campaigns that tread the digital terra firma have brought in untold gains to the Amazon India portfolio. The e-tailer, in fact, continues to roll out services that are placed firmly on the digital platform — like for instance its standalone service, Prime Video, which seeks to understand the experience that its Prime customers are used to and then places much of it on a separate website.

THE APP REVOLUTION App-driven is what enterprises are today. While looking to make themselves available 24/7 to the customer, companies are increasingly placing their brands on top of the app menu.

True to that, PepsiCo India has sought to embrace a digital and mobile future, in order to consittder effective measurement of customer reach and satisfaction and get the most out of their investments.

So everything has an app and brands are making their services and products available to the through a personalised app.

So PepsiCo India chose to increasingly focus on facilitating and sharing insights, and creating industry benchmarks and guidelines that would help marketers build their business and marketing strategies around the mobile platform.

As D. Shivakumar, Chairman & CEO of PepsiCo India, told the audience assembled at the IAMAI Marketing Conclave in New Delhi in June last year, the digital, and especially the mobile, would be the medium of choice for marketers looking to increase reach, engagement, and measurement. The Indian marketing domain is brimming with great opportunities for mobile media, he had said then. 09

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The brand has also taken to the digital space and created effective campaigns like the one where it partnered with Chef Vikas Khanna, to invite Indians to come up with their own recipes for Quaker Oats and compete for the prize of the ‘best bowl’. The brand was, in fact, displaying the power of the digital through these measures.


THE PERFECT MEDIA MIXER He is the immodest moderniser. A quintessential media man, he almost singlehandedly helped transform the 94 year old Mathrubhumi, one of Kerala’s oldest Malayalam newspaper groups into a vibrant, contemporary, multimedia powerhouse. SHAJAN C. KUMAR


M

EET M. V. SHREYAMS who at 50 last year, took over as the Joint Managing Director of The MathrubMathrubhumi Group. A postgraduate in business administration from King Langley College of Management, London, he took up responsibility as Director Marketing and Electronic Media at Mathrubhumi in 2000 and was instrumental in shaping the group into what it is today — a contemporary media powerhouse, straddling print, television, e-content, entertainment, and publishing. To his credit goes Club FM, today one of Kerala’s most popular FM radio stations, Mathrubhumi Television, and Kappa TV, a popular music TV channel. He also strengthened the online division of the newspaper, while adding an English version of it besides. As a natural extension of the media and entertainment business, he also introduced Event Management, a revenue spinner and brand builder. I met Shreyams Kumar at his Thiruvananthapuram office to discuss the redesign plans of the daily newspaper. I couldn’t have met a clearer design mind, for his concepts were focused on the aspirations and ambitions of the paper’s target audiences. After a long discussion he took me to his printing press at Kinfra International Apparel Park near Thumba in Thiruvananthapuram. Shreyams is clearly a technological connoisseur. His press is ultra-modern and his knowledge about it formidable.

THE FREEDOM MOVEMENT Set up to lend voice to India’s freedom movement, Mathrubhumi ranks among the front-runners of Malayalam newspapers. The first copy of Mathrubhumi rolled out of the press on 18 March 1923. K. P. Kesava Menon, leading freedom fighter, was

its first Editor, and K. Madhavan Nair the first Managing Director. Beginning life as a weekly, with just one edition, from Calicut, now Kozhikode, Mathrubhumi today is closely identified with Kerala’s social fabric. With 15 editions in all, 10 in Kerala and one each in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Dubai, the paper today has circulation of over 1.5 million copies.

The history of Mathrubhumi is closely linked with the history of the freedom movement and that of Indian National Congress. In fact, the four Malayalam newspapers (Kerala Patrika, Kozhikodan Manorama, Kerala Sanchari, and Mithavadi) and the three English newspapers (Champion, West Coast Reformer and Spectator), all of which predated Mathrubhumi and were also published from Kozhikode, on the other hand, supported British Rule.

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“From inception, Mathrubhumi had a nationalistic conscience,” says Shreyams. Realising the need for a pro-freedom movement publication from the Malabar, K. P. Kesava Menon, then Secretary of Kerala State Congress Committee, along with his confidants of the likes of K. Madhavan Nair, Kuroor Neelakandan Nampoothirippad, K. Kesavan Nair, and P. Achuthan, resolved to register The Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing Company Limited with an authorised capital of Rs. 1,00,000 with 20,000 shares of Rs. 5 each. Although the company managed to collect only about Rs.15,000, it was registered on 15 February 1922.

The history of Mathrubhumi is closely linked with the history of the freedom movement and that of Indian National Congress... The first edition of the paper carried an impassioned plea for support for the National Movement, with the editorial bearing a deeply patriotic fervour. The Mathrubhumi soon came to be identified with the common man’s concerns...


PROFILE

Later that year in November, the company made its first major technological acquisition, buying up the Empress Victoria Press owned by Kuruppathu Kesava Menon.

and aesthetics and became a benchmark for journalistic enquiry and excellence and rewrote the history of Malayalam journalism. THE LITERARY VEHICLE

The first edition of the paper carried an impassioned plea for support for the National Movement, with the editorial bearing a deeply patriotic fervour. The Mathrubhumi soon came to be identified with the common man’s concerns. In time, the paper built on

Mathrubhumi also became a vehicle of creative and patriotic expression for some of Malayalam’s great writers and poets. Vallathol Narayana Menon was a regular contributor to the paper, inspiring and energising the state’s freedom fighters.

ethics

Mathrubhumi lived up to its name and went on to essay decisive roles in some of Kerala’s most important social reformation movements, such as ‘Vaikom Satyagraha’ and ‘Guruvayur Satyagraha’. In fact, the day the Vaikom Satyagraha began, on 1 April 1924, Mathrubhumi mounted a blistering attack on Kerala’s established and socially sanctioned modes of discrimination. K.P. Kesava Menon, the editor himself, was arrested for participating in the Satyagraha and was sent to the Pujappura Central Jail at Thiruvananthapuram. Later, several men of great distinction, such as P. Ramunni Menon, K. Kelappan, P. Narayanan Nair, C. H. Kunjappa, V. M. Nair, and K. A. Damodara Menon, served as editors of the paper. Mathrubhumi regularly incurred the wrath of the British for supporting the National Movement. The then Madras Government ordered the paper to furnish a bail for Rs. 2000 for an editorial piece that appeared on 7 September 1932 censuring British rule. The paper was forced to go to press without editorials until 11 January 1933! More was to follow. During the Quit India Movement of 1942, the paper was once again forced by the British to go without the editorial column. In another instance of the ham-handed, the paper was banned for writing about how some European soldiers had misbehaved with women in Kochi. But widespread protests forced the government to rescind the order. The paper was also banned in the Travancore region for as many as nine years for a series it published against the dictatorship of Diwan Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer. THE PUBLISHING BOUQUET

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In 1932 the paper launched Mathrubhumi Illustrated Weekly, which saw the advent of a great literary era in Malayalam journalism and literature. Some of the giants of Malayalam literature, such as Jnanpith laureates G. Sankara Kurup, S. K. Pottakkad, Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, and M.T. Vasudevan Nair became familiar names among Kerala’s readers. In fact, Mathrubhumi Illustrated Weekly continues to be the top literary magazine in Malayalam, consistently publishing an array of some of the brightest writing talents today in poetry and fiction. In 1940, Mathrubhumi launched a Viswaroopam, a humorous magazine, with ‘Sanjayan’ (M. R. Nair) as Editor. It made it first non-Malayalam foray with Yugaprabhat, a bi-monthly in Hindi, with N. V. Krishna Warrier as Editor. However, these two publications are now no longer in print. In 1979, the company launched Grihalakshmi, a monthly magazine for women — it later became a fortnightly. Soon after, in 1982, the paper brought out Chitrabhumi, a cinema magazine. “With the economy growing rapidly, there was a felt need for a niche publication on employment,” says Shreyams. So in 1992, the paper rolled out Thozhilvartha. Soon after, in 1994, appeared Mathrubhumi Sports Masika, a monthly exclusively for sport. The children’s magazine Balabhumi was born in 1996, and in 1997 a health magazine named Mathrubhumi Arogya Masika came into being.

“In any case, historically, we have had an illustrious literary tradition in publishing,” adds Shreyams. Mathrubhumi has also set up bookstalls in most cities in Kerala and is a regular in the exhibition and book-fair circuit. Their book stall opposite the Corporation Stadium at Kozhikode, a famous landmark now, provides book lovers a uniquely immersive experience. The K. P. Kesava Menon Hall near the bookstall has become a venue for members of the public to meet and interact with writers.

NEWER VISTAS In 1997, the company launched their online edition www.mathrubhumi.com for Malayalis around the globe. In 2005, the internet edition was upgraded into a portal with many channels. In 2008, Mathrubhumi launched a travel magazine titled Mathrubhumi Yathra and in 2010 Mathrubhumi Minnaminni, a weekly for children. Cartoon Plus, a fortnightly, too appeared in 2010, only to be replaced by the monthly Mathrubhumi Chithrakatha. The paper’s prestigious annual Mathrubhumi Year Book is published both in Malayalam and English. In 2013, the paper added a celebrity lifestyle magazine called Mathrubhumi Star & Style to its considerable stable. It replaced the weekly Chithrabhumi. Besides these, Mathrubhumi prints and publishes a number of supplements on various occasions — from trade fairs to festivals to important events. Mathrubhumi Books, the company’s publishing house, has carved a niche for itself in the Malayalam publishing industry and has published both fiction and non-fiction of almost all well-known writers in Malayalam.

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A publishing powerhouse, the Mathrubhumi Group is also a corporate entity in the mass communication sector industry, having struck deep affinities with Malayalis the world over. Today, Mathrubhumi is an important flag-bearer of Malayali art and culture, holding prestigious annual mega events, such as Mathrubhumi Kalotsavam and The Mathrubhumi Film Award Functions. The company also launched what was called YUVOG —YOUR VIDEO BLOG. A dynamic video sharing site, users could upload their own videos even as the YUVOG team created videos in news, features, culture, entertainment, music, information, and politics. A first of its kind, it, however, failed to create an impact and died a natural death!


PROFILE

“We need to evolve even more... News, content, and entertainment aren’t what it used to be. I think we have an exciting journey ahead of us...” The company entered television and telecasting with MBTV (Mathrubhumi Television), which produces serials and telefilms of some fine calibre. Stepping into broadcasting, the company launched its own FM radio station called ‘CLUB FM’ in

2007. The station broadcasts from Thrissur, Kannur, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kochi. CLUB FM 94.3 is today among the most popular FM brands in Kerala and has bagged several awards for quality programming. Mathrubhumi Music, another of its brands, is also a promising brand in hand. I n 2013, the group launched Mathrubhumi News, a 24x7 Malayalam news channel, followed by Kappa TV,specialty music and entertainment

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channel, which has received considerable recognition in the segment. The Mathrubhumi Group is poised for greater leaps of faith in the coming days. “We need to evolve even more... News, content, and entertainment aren’t what it used to be. I think we have an exciting journey ahead of us,” says Shreyams, as he signs off.


PRINT CENTRAL “Indian print media continues to occupy centre stage in the advertising plans of traditional sector advertisers,” says Kamal Krishnan, National Head — Media Solutions at Mathrubhumi Group. Print revenue has grown by over 14 percent in the last two years, adds Krishnan. AMITH RAHUL


PRINT CENTRAL

K

AMAL KRISHNAN,THE Media Solutions at Mathrubhumi Group of Publications, began his career with adver tising. He has worked with Contract Advertising, Rediffusion, and Percept Hakuhodo before moving into telecom. His marked his entry into media with Radio Mango, where he was the National Head for Sales and Marketing. How does it feel to be associated with Mathrubhumi? What are your plans for the organisation? It is a great feeling to be part of the leadership team of a 94 year old institution which has proactively played a big role in positively influencing and shaping the aspirations of every progressive Malayali across the world. It’s a name I have been familiar with, from my childhood and I have over the years continued to closely associate with the institution. The media industry is in the midst of a transition. It is challenging and indeed a great learning experience to take this great institution through this transitional phase. There is a definite game plan and we are confident about the future. Who were the sources of inspiration for you? At work, all my bosses right from my first job have continued to inspire me. They are people who I can only aspire to become... but it’s a long way off. I have been extremely fortunate to have such wonderful bosses all through my career. I still continue to reach out to them whenever in doubt and in every such interaction they help me to unravel a different perspective. Tell us about your role at Mathrubhumi. What will be your major areas of interest? The task assigned to me is to drive media solutions for print and magazines nationally. The challenge, as I mentioned, through this transitional phase of media is to help develop fresh approaches and strategies that can drive overall growth of the company. I am also working closely with-

the leadership on integrating our media businesses in order to help deliver value-packed solutions for advertisers.

The print industry has gone way ahead of selling defined spaces in the newspaper. Therefore, advertisers have increasingly started looking at innovative ways of using the print medium... With the emergence of digital media, what do you think will be the future of print advertisements? This has been an ongoing discussion, forecasting the slow death of print in the digital age. However, there has been no concrete evidence to prove this trend. In fact, in the latest report of KPMG, print revenue has grown by 14 percent in the last two years. Indian print media continues to occupy centre stage in the advertising plans of traditional sector advertisers (FMCG, automotive, durables, financial services etc). Traditional and digital are likely to coexist for a reasonably longer time in India. How does newspaper design impact space marketing of a newspaper like Mathrubhumi? Changes in newspaper design are brought about from time to time keeping in mind the best interest of readers and other stakeholders. As long as these changes appeal to existing readers and attract a new set of readers, it will have a positive impact on advertisers. The print industry has gone way ahead of selling defined spaces in the newspaper. Therefore, advertisers have increasingly started looking at innovative ways of using the print medium. Do you think a convergence of print and digital will work for better marketing 20

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for the group? Internet penetration is bound to grow exponentially in the near future. The advantage is that Indian media has had a better learning curve in the digital space and most companies are positioned well in their digital strategies. When you look at today’s consumer, they seamlessly move back and forth from the physical to the digital, be it shopping or entertainment. So in the case of Mathrubhumi, we use a ‘phygital’ approach. We no longer approach our products as traditional, physical or digital, but have a more encompassing outlook regarding them as ‘phygital’, something which has so far been welcomed by our advertisers and potential clients. Do you have any marketing strategies to attract the young Malayali who lives outside Kerala? Yes, we already have platforms that connect young Malayalis around the world. Of course, this is a continuous process and we undertake several initiatives to keep the connect strong and sustainable. One such initiative was the ‘Mathrubhumi Kalolsavam’ (youth festival) which was organised in Navi Mumbai. It attracted over 400 participants and was attended by a large gathering of corporates and community leaders in the region. It was a first of its kind event conducted by a regional player in Mumbai. As a strong regional player, Mathrubhumi continues to connect with the diaspora outside the state, providing opportunities for corporates and retail advertis ers to reach out to the young Malayali. Is Print really dying? As a marketing person what do you think? Did demonetisation make an impact? Print is here to stay, the trends aren’t really showing any negative growth. Of course, demonetisation did impact us like all other media houses in the country. It was a short-term impact, and post demonetisation the trend seems to be positive and we have aggressive plans for the future.


FLIPKART FIRST FLIPKART LAUNCHES ITS FIRST PRIVATE LABEL FASHION BRAND 'DIVASTRI’

Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce legend has announced the launch of its first private label fashion brand ‘Divastri’. With Divastri, Flipkart is going after the market for women’s ethnic wear, for which it says it has seen strong pull online. The firm said the designs for the apparel sold through the brand will be inspired by clothes worn by Bollywood actors and celebrities. Flipkart's fashion subsidiaries Myntra and Jabong already have a strong presence in the private label business with brands such as Roadster and HRX. Roadster is the largest selling fashion brand on Myntra today, with the company even experimenting with offline sales. "Over the years Flipkart Fashion has witnessed tremendous growth both in terms of sales and meeting customer needs. Keeping the momentum going, with our first private label launch, we aim to meet the rising demand for celebrity and Bollywood-inspired looks," said Rishi Vasudev, head of Flipkart Fashion. Amazon, the company's chief rival, says it has been seeing healthy growth in the fashion space and has launched two of its own private labels - Symbol and Myx. The company has also signed exclusive partnerships with some global fashion brands in order to get more high-end customers to its platform. Flipkart says it has looked at shopping trends over the past few months to create and design Divastri, and has partnered with global quality testing agencies to ensure it ships high-quality products.


RECASTING

JOURNALISM

Indian media needs to revisit some of its fundamental axioms and assumptions to be able to meaningfully engage in the act of asking the right questions and highlighting issues critical to the essence of nationhood. For that to happen, journalists ought to re-equip themselves both intellectually and technologically even as there needs to be deeper collaboration between industry and mass media-training institutions, says K. G. SURESH, Director General of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. SHAJAN C KUMAR


MEDIA

K

G SURESH WALKed into the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), JNU Campus, New Delhi, as its youngest-ever Director ¬General in 2016. Suresh has a tenure of three years. Prior to his appointment, he was Senior Consulting Editor with Doordarshan News, Chief Political Correspondent with Press Trust of India, and Group Media Adviser to Dalmia Bharat Enterprises Ltd. He is also a Member of the Governing Council, Film and Television Institute of India and is a Member of the Internal Quality Assurance Cell of Jawaharlal Nehru University. Suresh spoke to Creative Brands about his plans of restoring the prestige of IIMC as the premier media institute in the country both in terms of teaching and media research. EXCERPTS: What are your observations on Indian journalism today? When you look at the history of Indian media, it started out with a mission. The mission was freedom struggle. A lot of people came into it to fight for the country’s freedom and after independence to help rebuild the nation. So there were loftier motives which inspired the media, which inspired people to come into it. The media was never looked at as a lucrative, profitable profession. Rather, people who came into it, came with a mission. People used to sell off their properties to run their individual printing presses. There were movies made on them and their struggles. In fact, male journalists were never seen as good prospects in the matrimonial market. People were not sure that their daughters would lead a happy life after marrying a journalist. To secure an accommodation for journalist was itself a struggle. Of late, a lot of professionals have come into journalism. To that extent I have no issues. My problem begins when it becomes a mercenary profess-

ion wherein there are people who now, for example, own media houses and have a real¬-estate background. And for them, running a media organisation is a fashion statement, or is a cover for their illegal activities. Look at the south, where political parties own their own television channels!

ion wherein there are people who now, for example, own media houses and have a real¬-estate background. And for them, running a media organisation is a fashion statement, or is a cover for their illegal activities. Look at the south, where political parties own their own television channels!

You also have had the Radia tapes, and then paid news. It began as ‘lifafa’ (envelope) journalism, where you put money in an envelope and hand it over it to journalists along with a Press Release. Now they plant stories on your behalf, what you call advertorials. Readers are unable to distinguish between what is promotional and what is news.

You also have had the Radia tapes, and then paid news. It began as ‘lifafa’ (envelope) journalism, where you put money in an envelope and hand it over it to journalists along with a Press Release. Now they plant stories on your behalf, what you call advertorials. Readers are unable to distinguish between what is promotional and what is news.

Of late, a lot of professionals have come into journalism. To that extent I have no issues. My problem begins when it becomes a mercenary profession wherein there are people who now, for example, own media houses and have a real¬-estate background. And for them, running a media organisation is a fashion statement, or is a cover for their illegal activities. Look at the south, where political parties own their own television channels!

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The credibility has eroded and the media is losing accuracy and objectivity. However, I still believe whether it’s corruption, the shenanigans of people in high places, farmer suicides, or harassment of women, media hasn’t spared anybody. So, media continues to be a beacon of hope for society. I must say media is doing a great job. People have high faith in media. When we point one finger at someone, remember three fingers are pointed towards ourselves. So there should be introspection. There may not be any regulation to bind us. But there is a need for self regulation. Are we


doing the right thing? Are TRPs the be-all and end-all of everything? Are we sensationalising things? Generally, the Press Council of India is compared to a toothless tiger, as it doesn’t have the power to punish. We should have a larger media council in place which will monitor all sorts of media organisations. Self-regulatory mechanisms of the media are not adequate. But I think that a body, comprising eminent citizens, experts, members of the judiciary, and all stakeholders concerned, is necessary to guide the media. The present set-up is inadequate. Do you think State-owned media helps in providing balanced news for the public? There are two issues: when Prasar Bharti was conceived, there were no private channels. Doordarshan was the only channel. There was then widespread demand that it should be an autonomous body and as a public broadcaster it should cater to all views. Today, we have a situation where all views find expression through a different channel. That initial demand has lost its relevance. Today’s commercial media does not focus on developmental issues or issues concerning the masses, or schemes that are beneficial to them. All these beneficial schemes should reach the people. I think it is equally important. So if the government has channels, then it shouldn’t be a problem. I can tell you that when I was in Doordarshan, I never ever got a call from anybody or any organisation telling me that I shouldn’t air this or that programme. I have never been discouraged. The focus has been on developmental journalism. The focus has been on educating and creating awareness among people about various schemes besides inculcating a civic sense among them. That is why I think DD plays an important role in being a good public broadcaster. How happy are you with the state of journalism education in India?

We teach a lot of theory. I know theoretical aspects are important for laying a sound foundation. But at the same time, there is an urgent need for enhanced deeper academia-industry collaboration. This is important because today I find that a lot of media houses aren’t open towards internships. They do not encourage it! The media industry should realise that it is their responsibility to groom the next generation of journalists... I have been teaching journalism at IIMC and various colleges for the last 17 years as a visiting faculty. We teach a lot of theory. I know theoretical aspects are important for laying a sound foundation. But at the same time, there is an urgent need for enhanced deeper academia-industry collaboration. This is important because today I find that a lot of media houses aren’t open towards internships. They do not encourage it! The media industry should realise that it is their responsibility to groom the next generation of journalists. Or they should not complain about the staff they get. You know, it is a competitive 24

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market. The best prevails. It is the survival of the fittest. Besides, in-¬house service training should be made compulsory. By and large I find that once a mediaperson graduates, he thinks he has conquered the world and there is no need for him to look out for any other profession. We do not have media professionals who would like to go back to ¬school. Many do not even imagine that once in a while they should be going back to their institutions for a refresher course to learn about the latest changes on the technological front and in content. On the other hand, some of the private institutions lay too great an emphasis on practical training without giving learners any theoretical exposure. I also find it rather strange that journalism students should study only journalism. When you go out as a journalist, you are dealing with science, politics, and business. Shouldn’t you get an exposure to that? So I would love to have people from all these disciplines come over and interact with my students. We teach them editing, the 5w’s and the 1 h. But we don’t teach them what is happening on the agricultural front, what is happening on the technological front, what is happening on the rural development


MEDIA development front and so on. I think it is very important that they constantly engage with people from different disciplines. Press Clubs all over India have been supporting working journalists in many ways. Some of them even run courses. Will IIMC support them with study materials or other aids? Well, nobody has approached us so far. But IIMC as the country’s premium media institution, and as an institution, we are committed to our principal objective of setting the benchmark for media education in the country. We would be happy to share our knowledge and expertise with any such institution. We are open to collaboration. We are already working with so many institutions. We do undertake a lot of courses. We are here for the media. We are here for the industry. We also have five centres across the country, each with the objective of becoming the knowledge hub for media of that particular state/region. The idea of a Digital India is being promot

ed by the Prime Minister himself. How are you going to integrate it into your courses? We have a new-media department which is already integrating a lot of stuff with other departments. Our library has around 30,000 books and we have already asked it to digitise it. I was a little surprised when I came to know that we did not have a Facebook page or a Twitter handle! As a prominent institution of India, it is necessary to have a Facebook page. There has been talk for long that print media is dying. Do you think a country like India can survive without a newspaper? A lot of youngsters are shifting to new media on mobile phones and other platforms. But at the same time, I would say that the situation is slightly different in India even as the print market seems to be winding up in other parts of the world. We see plenty of newspaper editions coming out in India because there is growing literacy. And for them, a newspaper is just not a status symbol, it is a symbol of empowerment. For them, a phone

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alone will not suffice. They would not only like to read the newspaper but also flaunt it. In fact, this is one country where newspapers are thriving and their circulation is going up. In India, as of now there is no threat to print media. Do you think there is a need to focus on fashion journalism or technical journalism? I won’t say that journalism students will require a one-¬year full-time course. Any journalist should first be a journalist. Fashion or technology can be a specialisation and can be acquired either through a certificate course or a part-time course, which even working journalists can enrol for. The idea is to equip them. We have to make it industry friendly. They shouldn’t lose their jobs for gaining knowledge. I think for working journalists our emphasis would be on providing a week-long course so that they can avoid spending a year on the course. This will be feasible for them for skills development. Research is an area of major concern for journalists. We don’t have major research


MEDIA facilities in India compared to other countries. We have a very good research department at IIMC. Three of my focus areas are: 1. Improve the quality of media training; 2. Improve the quality of research; and, 3. Improve the quality of our publications. These are the core areas we are looking at. We have a highly respected journal for media which has not been coming out, so I would like to bring it out. It would be a ‘Peer Reviewed Research Journal’ of international standards. I think that focus on research needs to be brought back. We may produce a large number of doctorate degree holders but what is the quality of research? What have they contributed to the international discourse on media for example? I think that is very important. When you look at a column in an international newspaper we find a lot of background information. We have a lot of information but knowledge is what we have to focus on. It is very important to invest in it. Do you have any new courses in mind? We have already issued the admission notices. Maybe during the current academic year, we will have some short-term courses. But the long-term courses can only be added from the next session. There are about 342 postgraduate diploma students on campus, besides mid¬-career journalists from other countries attending the 17¬-week diploma course. They are from Jordan, Cuba, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Latin America, West Indies, and Africa. I will also be looking at institutional arrangements so that there is greater synergy between the industry and the institute. The IIMC campuses in Delhi and Dhenkanal have been operating for long. Four more centres have been set up, one each in Aizawl (North East), Amravati (West), Kottayam (South), and Jammu (North). The idea behind

I would say that the situation is slightly different in India even as the print market seems to be winding up in other parts of the world. We see plenty of newspaper editions coming out in India because there is growing literacy. And for them, a newspaper is just not a status symbol, it is a symbol of empowerment. For them, a phone alone will not suffice. They would not only like to read the newspaper but also flaunt it. In fact, this is one country where newspapers are thriving and their circulation is going up. In India, as of now there is no threat to print media...

opening these centres is to train regional students and prepare them for both mainstream and regional media. We want to develop them as centres of regional excellence. I would like to have more regional input from these centres. At present, we have a course in Oriya journalism 26

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at the Dhenkanal campus. I want the Jammu facility to teach Kashmiri and Dogri journalism. Kottayam should hold classes in Malayalam journalism and Marathi journalism should be taught in Amravati. A journalism course should also be started in a north-eastern language in Aizawl because the future of the Indian press lies in the regional media. I am looking at these things but these are only ideas as of now. What about upgrading infrastructure? We have one of the finest media libraries in the country. It has over 25,000 books. I plan to get them digitised and made available to researchers. I want it to emerge as a resource centre for scholars and researchers, a major media resource centre for the entire subcontinent. Digitisation is the key area that I will be looking at. For whatever reason, we could not celebrate the golden jubilee of the institute last year in an appropriate manner because there was a transition. We will be organising a befitting golden jubilee celebration this year through events and seminars. IIMC should become a media and intellectual hub and thats my vision.


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EXPERIMENTS

IN DESIGN

ENTREPRENEURSHIP Creativity, inventiveness, and daring lie at the heart of advertising. In an interview with Creative Brands, Tonnit Thomas, the founder of Tonnit Design & Advertising, one of the top agencies in the creative world, says, “we are in the business of visualising ideas and transforming them into design... for the past nine years we have been known for our creativity, consistency, and design capabilities...� AMITH RAHUL


Dubai, not once, but twice. Tonnit swears by the strength of a passionate and loyal team and credits his team for the run of success his agency has had over the years. Under his leadership, Tonnit Design & Advertising continues to garner the most prestigious clients, not only in Dubai but also across the GCC countries. Tonnit’s motto is Stefan Sagmeister’s quote “Touch your heart with design”, which he truly, whole-heartedly believes in, and a philosophy that is clearly visible in the designs that his agency has created and been acclaimed for.

A

creative man through and through, Tonnit Thomas’s love for design led him to start Tonnit Design & Advertising in the year 2008. Tonnit began his career with Saatchi & Saatchi, before moving to Grey Worldwide in India. Several national and international advertising awards were to follow him thereafter in the years to come.

In the founding year itself, Tonnit Design won the International Luxury Award 2009 in Monaco for its campaign for a leading client and a couple of years later was featured as one of the top 10 published creative agencies in the region by Lürzer’s Int’l Archive’s online edition 2011.

Cut back a little earlier, to 2002 when he moved to Dubai to join Bates Pan Gulf as Creative Partner. It was in Dubai that Tonnit carved a niche for himself, having earned widespread recognition for his work on reputed government and retail brands, such as Dubai Shopping Festival, Jumeirah Beach Residence, and Rivoli Group.

Tonnit is known in the industry for his attention to detail and breaking patterns. He is keenly involved in every project the agency takes on, big or small —a rare quality amongst senior management, but Tonnit believes in adding a personal touch to every piece of work. And this is what goes a long way in weaving the kind of creativity that his agency does.

With over 17 years of international experience in the creative field, Tonnit is not just a creative guy — he is equally at ease as a savvy businessman and operations head. He is also a founder of Artry, a Dubai-based art and design forum and has been ranked amongst Dubai’s Top 100 SME CEOs by the Government of Creative Brands

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EXCERPTS: As the founder of Tonnit Design, tell us a little bit about starting an agency. What were the challenges? What did you see in the market that signalled your future success? My dream was always to build a brand equity of my own. My passion for design and entrepreneurial instinct pushed me to start Tonnit Design. With no business plan, funds, or space I had no choice but to start my business venture in my guest bathroom of my one-bedroom apartment with a table and a laptop. I soon got an opportunity to pitch for a real-estate business alongside the best in the industry and independently won the biggest account of my life with the creative we presented. This triggered my partner to invest in my business... Tonnit Design was born thus. What challenges have you faced in brand development? How did you overcome them? Operating an agency comes with its fair share of challenges and is primarily about hitting the right notes when it comes to the creative and the commercial aspects of the business. Not everyone has a business instinct and most times I have noticed that creative people lack that business instinct. You are perhaps best equipped to handle the work that comes into the agency, but you also need to learn to factor in finances, administration, operations, suppliers, internal overheads, etc. To overcome the challenges of a start-up, one must have a proper business plan, clear business projections, cash flows, overhead plans, costs, and so on. My growth curve was no different. I made a few mistakes, learnt from them, rectified them, and moved on to become better, brighter, and sharper.

digital has been thriving and growing stronger by the day. While every brand worth its salt has a digital presence, Social Media is where brands try and outdo and outperform each other. So for us as an agency there is always room to deliver creative ideas on a variety of platforms. Digital is one of them. How influenced are you by trends? Every year new trends emerge in the design and creative business. Recent trends have been influenced by media, technology, the fashion industry, and indeed usability. For instance, semi-flat designs, isometric patterns, courageous colours, colour transitions, split content, omnipresent videos, logo trends, infographics, and animated logos are a few. Another creative trend has been to somehow balance the past, the present, and the future on the same plate. Taking something that ignites a feeling of nostalgia and relating it to something futuristic is really picking up. And by the way, typography is integral to any design trend. What impressive changes have you witnessed in the creative industry? When we first made our foray into advertising, there were few mediums

How has the internet affected your business? The emergence of the digital platform has certainly changed the game. While conventional media is not dead yet,

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of expression when it came to the creative industry. But today it is a different balgame altogether. Technology has played the paramount role in changing the fortunes of many industries. And design and advertising has been no exception, having been similarly transformed. Trends these days are changing rapidly than ever before, and in today’s world of digitisation there is one forming every hour. Having said that, I truly believe that no matter which device you use, at the end of it all, the true hero is the germ of the idea. A good idea shines bright and survives every onslaught that comes its way. Every now and then you see that one star that touches your sensibilities and makes you sigh: wish I had thought of it! How do you see brands utilising the creative medium to increase brand awareness and engage consumers? At the end of day it is about communication. The medium and the message need to go hand in hand to create an impactful impression. Integrated marketing is the key in this day and age. Every touch point (OOH to mobile) matters and helps in crafting a piece of communication that influences behaviour, creates a following, and ultimately converts the TG (target


audience) into an endorser of the brand. Every strategy differs depending on where the brand stands in the market — a leader and an entrant will have different approaches and dynamics. So consumers will engage accordingly when they relate and when they adopt. Would you like your agency to be recognised for a certain type of work or are you open to executing different styles? We are in the business of visualising great ideas and transforming the ideas into design. For the past nine years we have been known for the exceptional quality of our creative consistency and design capabilities across the region. We certainly work on what’s best for the brand, and that is our core focus. We do not believe in sticking to one style because that will make us stagnant. In fact, we love exploring, experimenting, and finding a visual language that best suits and solves the brand’s current marketing problem. What kind of legacy would you like to leave? What are your future plans? Tonnit Design has great goodwill and reputation within the creative fraternity in Dubai. Like many agencies, our vision is to take TD globally and create various creative and design verticals, including digital, 3D imaging, creative content, packaging design, product design, retail space design, title design, motion design and many more. The idea is to collectively take it forward with a team that’s ready to fly. I believe that a strong team can sail smoothly and sail farther. The future plan is to almost run it independently, where talent collaborates, grows, and sets new benchmarks within the industry. The creative economy of UAE is also burgeoning. What do you think about the future of media business? The UAE’s rapid progress stems from its leadership that wants the emirate to innovate, create, and flour

ish within the region and ultimately in the world. When one talks about the creative economy of the UAE, one needs to understand the fabric of the administration. The UAE has risen past many of its fellow Arab neighbours and countries due to its investment in various fields and industries. Be it social, political, or environmental, the UAE’s creative economy is at a par with the best of the world. As far as the future of the media business is concerned, it will continue to thrive as the country continues to grow and capture the world’s imagination. Does strong networking help in setting up a creative business in the multicultural population of UAE? How difficult was it for you to introduce this creative and progressive business in the Dubai market? Creative entrepreneurship is, after all, a business like any other, looking to make profits. Networking is of extreme importance in the creative industry because that’s what usually gets you most of your initial jobs. At these initial jobs, the creativity of the budding entrepreneur needs to speak for itself. But to be able to reach that stage, the best route to take is one equipped with a strong business network. At the end of day, businesses

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thrive on relationships and networking is the oxygen that keeps every business alive, especially advertising. Like every business, ours also faced many challenges (the 2008 recession for example) but we did manage to stay afloat. Determination and the zeal to succeed have made us resilient, innovative, and adaptive as an agency within one of the most multicultural cities of the world: Dubai.


Master Animator

Suresh Eriyat is the creator of memorable ad film campaigns such as Chintamani of ICICI Bank and the Google Tanjore Film. With a portfolio of over 300 ad films and over 100 national and international awards under his belt, Suresh is the Founder and Creative Director of Eeksaurus Productions, one of the country’s top animation houses.


FANTASIA

S

URESH

FOUNDED

Eeksaurus in 2009 with the aim of creating ads by blending high-quality live production through a design-driven approach. With a 40-strong creative team, Eeksaurus looks to newer ways of telling stories and creating slightly unusual and kitschy content that resonates with the audience. For Suresh, design holds the key to it all. He believes content can be created in newer formats if one’s aesthetics are rooted in a strong design background. Today, Eeksaurus has successfully woven stories by marrying modern sensibilities to Indian aesthetic traditions. It’s to the animation firm’s credit that it has had the opportunity to work with a host of top brands, such as ICICI, Dominos, Britannia Nutri Choice, Horlicks, Nestle, UNICEF, Rotary International, Sony Pix Films, Bank of Baroda, Sulekha.com, Google, Usha Janome, Woodland, Dulux, Cadbury Gems, BP, Ixigo, Levis, and Channel [V], among others. Suresh has had an interesting journey into the field of design and advertising. His childlike curiosity and enthusiasm — he sketches compulsively and extensively, transforming ordinary day-to-day events into brilliant narrative spectacles — led him to the National Institute of Design (NID). At NID, Suresh mastered the technique of animation and interned with animation exponent Ram Mohan. It was at Famous Studios, where he began his career and where in partnership with its owner, Arun Roongta, he later helped set up Famous House of Animation, that he learnt to weave animation into his campaigns . Remember the story of the rabbit and the tortoise? Suresh adapted the story idea to create an iconic ad film for Amaron Batteries. At a time when agencies and creative art directors regarded animation and technology

only as fillers in their campaigns, Suresh made it central to his art and craft and deployed it effectively. Amaron sales rose ten-fold!t In creating a brand identity, Suresh seeks to understand the history of the brand in order to be able to evoke its core ethos and culture in the campaign. Google’s Tanjore ad campaign was a classic from Suresh’s repertoire. The brief was simple, but Suresh added a native element by recreating web pages in Tanjore art style. In fact, Suresh and his team travelled to Tanjore to learn about Tanjore art before they set down to work on the campaign. The result was spectacular. Suresh managed to ‘Tanjorise’ the internet! One of his latest wins has been that for ‘Tokri’, which won the prestigious 60th Cine Golden Eagle Award for Independent and Emerging Media in the Animation Short Film Category in Washington in July this year.

I think the trend of targeting each individual for marketing a product or a message or a brand is going to be the trend. Right now it all works like fishing. Throw a large net into the pond and some fish get hooked, many don’t. In the near future, more focused advertising is going to evolve, using user-targeted apps and stuff... Suresh’s body of work has been recognised at major industry platforms. Since 2007 he has been on the jury of the Clio awards — widely regarded as the Oscars of advertising. Suresh has been instrumental in creating a market in India for animated ad films by pushing the frontiers of storytelling.

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EXCERPTS: So how long have you been around... I have been in the industry for more than 15 years and have worked on more than 350 ad films. How did you set up Eeksaurus? After a glorious decade at Famous House and setting up the Famous House of Animation, it was time that I, along with my wife Nilima, set up Studio Eeksaurus in 2009, India’s first studio with an ideal in mind of mastering the art of intertwining design, animation, live action, and other mediums to synthesise new ideas and unforgettable brand identities. Through Eeksaurus, apart from working on live action ad films, we are also looking at creating our own content through animated short films. While the initial few months were difficult, today we have our feet on the ground and have worked with brands such as Honda, Cartoon Network, Samsung, ICICI, Britannia Nurtri Choice, Nestle, Dominos, Luv It, Horlicks, Sony Pix Films, Bank of Baroda, Sulekha.com, Google, Usha Janome, Woodland, Dulux, Cadbury Gems, BP, Ixigo, and Levis to name a few. Having won the first-ever award for India at Annecy 2015, the world’s oldest and most prestigious animation film festival, we knew we were going in the right direction. What’s on the horizon — are there two or three future trends, issues or opportunities you believe will significantly change or impact the ad industry? I think the trend of targeting each individual for marketing a product or a message or a brand is going to be the trend. Right now it all works like fishing. Throw a large net into the pond and some fish get hooked, many don’t. In the near future, more focused advertising is going to evolve, using user-targeted apps and stuff. That’s what I think about trends looking at


FANTASIA

the logical progression of things. In tomorrow’s consumer market, each individual is going to matter and will make a difference. Because of this trend, more custom-made products will also evolve. We constantly hear about the role of “creating value” and “delivering innovation” as strategic brand necessities. Are agencies contributing to this equation? If so, how and how can we do more? Basically, the consumer needs a value for anything that he pays for, or else there are umpteen others who are looking to sell the same or a similar product. Only if one’s product is delivering better value than the other would that product stand a chance to cut ice with the buyer. Innovation, therefore, plays a key role in both product development as well as advertising. Mundane advertising is a passé. Only innovative advertising can grab attention and convince the customer. Do you think that the advertising industry has evolved with time and technology? Yes, in an unbelievably short span of time, new technology has changed the way we interact with our world on a daily basis. It has had an impact on our lives — from the tools we use at work, to the abilities of the phones in our pockets, to the way we spend our free time. It has had an impact on almost every industry, and advertising is no exception. New technology has had a huge influence on both the channels through which we receive advertising and the amount of control that we have over those channels. Today, we use our computers as much as our TVs. Is traditional advertising going to disappear? No, I don’t think traditional advertising will disappear anytime soon because in our country people will consume newspapers and television as

Innovation, therefore, plays a key role in both product development as well as advertising. Mundane advertising is a passé. Only innovative advertising can grab attention and convince the customer...

a medium at least until the next decade. I have been hearing people talking about TV and newspaper getting wiped out for some 10 years now in the international market. Neither has it been discontinued there or here. So my conclusion is that every medium will evolve based on changes in lifestyle and culture. What are your thoughts on the shifts from traditional media advertising to digital/social media marketing, and how are clients responding to it? Again, traditional media will adapt itself to take on newer forms even as

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digital/social media takes the front seat. Clients are looking into new possibilities within the digital/social media marketing avenues. As much as users need to adapt to smart-phones, clients too need to capitalise on new-age marketing means.


THE POSTER

Vinci Raj, the man behind the viral ‘Kabali’ poster and the super successful ‘Guilt’, ‘Talk Them Dead’, and ‘The Good Road’ campaigns, is a man driven by the call of conscience. In an interview with Creative Brands, Vinci says he wants his ads to not only highlight a societal problem but also propose a solution to it. And that, he says, is his essential dharma. AMITH RAHUL


SLICE OF LIFE

V

inci Raj, the man behind the viral ‘Kabali’ posters, is a hardcore Rajini fan. Working in a Rajinikanth film was Vinci’s dream come true. A Bachelor’s in Computer Applications, he went on to do an MBA, but soon decided his interest lay in the creative field. He took on a second Master’s, this time in Digital Communication, and began his career in advertising. Vinci has worked with several popular brands and has helmed numerous awareness campaigns. He won the Cannes Lions 2010 award for the ‘Talk Them Dead’ campaign for the Karnataka Traffic Police and the Spike Asia 2014 award for the short film The Good Road about the importance of wearing a helmet. Vinci got his first break in the movie industry through Attakathi. Vinci Raj then went on to design posters for Soodhu Kavvum, Mundasupatti, Thegidi and Indru Netru Naalai. Rajinikanth movies are always much awaited. Vinci’s posters do not disappoint either. In fact, the official movie poster that Vinci designed stormed social media, going viral almost instantly. The posters could have been designed only by a diehard Rajini fan. Creative Brands caught up with Vinci recently for an exclusive chat.

EXCERPTS: How did you come up with ‘Guilt’? I had noticed that after drinking sessions, people would always ask each other to call them and let them know that they had reached home safely. But mostly no one would bother to really find out if they have or had... Most people would be okay with the fact that they had ‘asked’ and had fulfilled their responsibility. The responsibility,

though, is to actually get your friend home — safe. Now, if something were to happen to a friend after a drinking session with you, and even if you were to take the blame on yourself for not being responsible enough, will the law question you? You can escape that, even if you don’t want to, but what about the guilt? Your punishment will be the guilt that will keep nagging you, haunting your conscience.

We have to understand that our lifestyle is such that we end up partying and we end up drinking. Bars will not close and government will not restrict the sale of alcohol. But the end doesn’t have to be a disaster. We can propose a solution. Too many ads have focused on the problem of drunken-driving. I wanted to propose a solution — to call a cab after a drinking session...

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We have to understand that our lifestyle is such that we end up partying and we end up drinking. Bars will not close and government will not restrict the sale of alcohol. But the end doesn’t have to be a disaster. We can propose a solution. Too many ads have focused on the problem of drunken-driving. I wanted to propose a solution — to call a cab after a drinking session. I wanted the ad to strike people hard. It had to be relatable enough to make them think. And act. A very close friend of mine had lost his life in a road accident, so ‘Guilt’ was something that I really wanted to bring to life. What were your favourite projects at the Cannes Venture? I would say one of them was ‘The Good Road’ campaign. It’s something powerful — something that I am very proud of. To put a full stop to unsafe riding something like this was required. That you just cannot ride your bike without your helmet. Young


SLICE OF LIFE

boys were shocked and curious and excited. They were asking for these helmets, wanting to wear it. It was suddenly a cool thing to wear a helmet. What more would I want from an idea?! Another one was the ‘Talk Them Dead’ campaign. Not only because it had gone viral but also because it was impactful. A colleague of mine came up to me even before the ad was released and told me how after seeing my campaign she decided to not call her husband because it was his usual driving time. The visual did not let her call him, scared of the consequences. Imagine the impact it would have created on anyone who had seen the final ad. Do you agree that clients play a vital role in the final outcome of a project? Of course, they do. Their contribution is what helps shape the final thing that people see. I believe the idea is primary, the bigger thing. Our creative aspect and their strategy aspect have to come together to make the outcome beautiful and impactful. Anyway, at the end of day it’s the client we have to sell the idea to.

Oh, wonderful! It was a big opportunity, considering I’m a huge fan of Rajnikanth Sir. It was like a family working together with the support that I got from everyone. We had a good time, good fun. I learnt a lot and, I would say, I’m still learning. What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals? Just do it from your heart. Believe in what you’re doing. Every day we are growing and learning.

To judge whether a film is successful, I go by two parameters: one is when people share the ad with other people, taking the idea forward. The other is behavioural change — when the ad touches them in some way and brings about a change, in their heart, in their lives...

When can you claim that a short film is successful? Who plays an important role — the audience or the awards? To judge whether a film is successful, I go by two parameters: one is when people share the ad with other people, taking the idea forward. The other is behavioural change — when the ad touches them in some way and brings about a change, in their heart, in their lives. And of course, the audience. For awards, you have 20 people in a room. The audience, though, is the real jury. It’s the rest-of-the-world who judges the idea and accepts it. How was your experience working with the Kabali team? Creative Brands

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Do you think that digital advancements have changed the face of art and design? I don’t think so. It’s all about creativity, the idea. But there are so many artists who are super creative, yet they do not get recognition. They are nowhere. But if these creatives got the required software, they just might make it big. And we might get bigger, better ideas, and better solutions. I think digital advancements should be made affordable for real advancement.


THE VOICE RAPA and Promax award winner Jonathan Philemon Nitin Brady, better known as ‘KHURAFATI NITIN’, is perhaps the most popular radio jockey of Delhi. With over a dozen years behind him, RJ Nitin has been associated with leading radio brands of the country. For Nitin, radio is not only a medium of entertainment but also of significant social change. “My point was radio is a big medium that it could be used to influence people and make a difference. So I decided that I am going to start doing CSR on radio,” says the well-known voice in an interaction with CREATIVE BRANDS. AMITH RAHUL


RADIO

K

HURAFATI NITIN’ loves to entertain people with a heady cocktail of humor and prank. Radio was was not his first choice, but today he is one of the top voices on air in the industry. Interestingly, he always wanted to be an actor, a villain to be precise. RJ Nitin is also India’s most decorated Radio Jockey, with a list of awards from the RAPA award to the Media Federation of India Award to the India Achiever’s Award for the best Radio Jockey on his mantle. In 2014 he was recognised for CSR initiatives on radio, a unique step for a RJ to take. Nitin began his career with AIR in 1999 where during his audition, he was asked to speak for about 4-5 minutes. For some reason, the auditioners had to step out, but our man continued to speak nonstop until they returned! He subsequently moved to Radio Mirchi, Red FM, and now leads the evening show for Fever 104 FM. In a conversation with Creative Brands RJ Nitin talks about talking on radio. “…I get to do what I used to get scolded for, you know for talking a lot, and now I get paid for doing so,” says Nitin. EXCERPTS: How has the journey been for Delhi’s favourite RJ? The journey has been very adventurous but also very tough. Because you know, since radio was such a small industry we did not have many options! There were always some sort of hurdles waiting for me but then I just say that you cannot taste the sweetness of success till you have gone through a lot of troubles in


life. Having said that I won’t say that I did not get opportunities… yes I got the opportunities and did make the best out of it. One thing that has always held me in good stead in my journey is the support of my parents. When I was graduating, most of my classmates wanted to become engineers and they went on to earn big degrees. But I turned around and told my parents that I wanted to act, I wanted to do theatre, and, a little later, I told them I wanted to do radio. You know the beauty of it? Never did they oppose my ideas or have any doubts about my choices. Because when I started with radio 15 years ago, it was not a full-time profession, although it was one for a privileged few. The rest of us were given like three or four shows a month. With the salary I got then, we couldn't have lived happily ever after. And at that point when I said I wanted to do radio and my parents stood by me, it was a big thing. So I think the journey was sweet and fruitful because of the support of my family and that is really important.

These images are the heart of my project. Its goal is to recreate the mindset from which we view a stranger, and then bear witness to it as our assumptions transform with their smile. So there are no names, No occupations, No confirmed religions or ethnicity. No intriguing life lessons or heart-strumming anecdotes...

For everything we needed to go to Mumbai and as I came from a middle-class background, I didn't have the kind of backing in Mumbai to go into the movies. I also had some responsibilities to fulfill. So, I decided I had to stay in Delhi. Radio seemed like a really nice option. So soon I joined a private FM channel because it was lucrative and it was paying well. And I got to do what I used to get scolded for… you know for talking a lot, and now I get paid for doing so! What are your own favourite radio shows?

What inspired you to become a radio jockey? Frankly speaking, I never wanted to become an RJ. In fact, I did not know that RJing was a career option. Actually when I was waiting for my results, one of my relatives asked me to try out radio jockeying. I just went to try it out just for the kick of it. So there was a room with a mic. They asked me to speak for 2 minutes and I went on till 7-8 minutes. That’s how I began my career in radio. Also I wanted to act, but there wasn’t any option in Delhi.

A lot of people may not know this, but the moment I sit in my car I listen to religious music. It’s not any particular religious music. I listen to bhajans and hymns on my way to work. That’s my way of relaxing and rejuvenating. But if you ask me who I like to listen to, there is a new girl called Stuti who has joined us. So I listen to her show. There’s a saying in Hindi. “Halwai apne meethai khud nahi khata” (The confectioner doesn’t eat his chocolates himself). I remember Ameen Sayani saab was fantastic as we grew up


RADIO listening to him, and of course Roshan Abbas. If you ask me about my favourite it’ll be Ameen Sayani saab and Roshan Abbas saab. For an RJ, it’s their voice that gains them recognition and a fan base. And today we have an audience reared on social media. Do you think the RJ’s of earlier times missed this opportunity? There are two sides to a coin. One side is that yes social media has made our faces recognisable. I remember in an earlier life whenever I was invited as a chief guest for an event, few would recognise me and step forward to welcome me. Today, it’s a different ball game because of social media. But if you ask me, the other side of the coin was that there was a different charm to it all in a world where there was hardly any social media and where RJ’s were hardly seen! What used to happen was each person listening to an RJ had a different image of the RJ. They could paint me into any image they wanted to and I could be that ‘best’ friend they always wanted to have. It was the voice. But now it’s changed and they know you. Now, thankfully, I look like ‘Khurafati’ Nitin with all my tattoos and piercings. I thank god for that. But the funny part is even when we weren’t seen, I remember listeners calling up and telling us what they thought we looked like! They listened to us carefully and made out how we looked. That was fantastic. In radio you can’t see people. That makes it precisely and, ironically, more transparent. Being ‘Khurafati Nitin’ is not an easy job, that is, always beibeing happy, cheerful, and witty. How do you manage to be enthusiastic all day long? It is the love of the listeners that got me here. In any profession, if you perform well you will definitely go ahead. But it is the other way around in radio. You need to get the love and appreciation of your listeners while doing well. Because if you don’t get that, no matter how well you do the show it becomes useless. I am not oblivious of the fact that wherever

I am today it’s because of my parents and god’s blessings and the love of my listeners. So it becomes my duty and responsibility that every time I go on air I must make sure that whoever tunes in must have a good time.

Now the reason they were kept in jail was because they failed to pay the fine, but poverty is not a crime. So I paid their fines and got them out, got them rehabilitated, and got them jobs so that they wouldn’t go back to the world they once inhabited. I have also worked with HIV+ people who were facing troubles. Recently, I also started the ‘Ambulance first’ initiative where I urge people to give way to ambulances. So those are the things I have started doing ever since I joined radio. So yeah, I have to be cheerful and chirpy, but at once responsible. It’s only because of the love of my listeners that I am able to do so.

Radio is such a transparent medium that the moment you lie, the moment you say something you don’t believe in, your listeners will find out and once you lose your listeners they won’t come back to you… But there are other ways as well. Recently, I launched a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative on radio. No one does that. When I started with fever 104 FM I told them that I’d do radio with a difference. I wanted to make sure that whenever I went on air I was helping people in some way. Then I told them I wanted to do CSR which was a big move. CSR was normally perceived to be boring. People never took CSR seriously. My point was radio is a big medium that it could be used to influence people and make a difference. So I decided that I am going to start doing CSR. For example, there were people who committed petty crimes like juststealing a piece of scrap iron so that their younger sister could go to school, or then there were people who stole for food. These people would end up languishing in jail. They had already served their sentences but their sentences were doubled because they couldn’t pay the fine.

What will you tell budding RJ’s of this generation? I just want to tell them two things. First, don’t copy anyone, because I keep looking out for new people in the industry (laughs). Just because someone got successful doing something doesn’t mean that you take the same route as well. You have to create your own style. Second, be honest. Radio is such a transparent medium that the moment you lie, the moment you say something you don’t believe in, your listeners will find out and once you lose your listeners they won’t come back to you. Do you think social media has made connecting with listeners easier for an RJ? Yes, it has certainly become easier. Earlier I used to connect with my listeners only when I came on air. Now, because of social media, there are so many advantages for an RJ. Recently, we had got a free surgery done for a kid who was suffering from brain hemorrhage. I get to learn of a lot of such cases through Facebook; in fact, I get messages at odd hours too. But the good thing about it is that it makes you a real person… For I am just not just a voice on air, I am a friend to millions of people out there. And which is why I reply to each and every message I receive on Facebook. Social media has been real helpful in connecting with people.


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SHOOTS, THEY SMILE

So I asked them to smile’ is what Jay Weinstein does — a photographer on a mission to take pictures of people around the world in serendipitous moments to document what he describes as “the effect of the human smile on a stranger’s face”... AMITH RAHUL


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OR JAY WEINSTEIN to India was an exciting experience. With his school teacher parents, he moved to India the tender age of three and spent the next 12 years living in Vrindavan. Jay has borne witness to the widespread aura of languages, foods, cultures, and arts of India. Even though he has lived and worked in most parts of the world, Weinstein feels at home in India. His current project ‘...So I asked them to smile’ originated towards the end of 2013 in Bikaner, Rajasthan, while on one of these adventures. The project has grown to also feature Nepal and Australia, and will expand further in the coming days. When and how did the idea of ‘So I asked them to smile’ strike you first? Who did you shoot first and why? December 2013. I was on a photography trip to Bikaner, in the deserts of Rajasthan, India. Near the busy train station, I saw a man I wanted to photograph. I hesitated. The look in his eye and his stony, stern look intimidated me. It’s always that moment of hesitation that kills a shot! I ended up avoiding him and photographing other subjects until I heard his jovial voice, “Take my picture too!” Camera lens focused, my finger poised to fire. ‘Smile’, I called out. And he was transformed. His face radiated warmth, his eyes sparkled with a sense of humour I had completely missed. Even his posture softened. I knew then what my next project would be. To document the effect of the human smile on a stranger’s face! In the days, months and years that followed, I asked random people on my photography adventures (mostly on the streets of India) to pose unsmiling and with a smile. These images are the heart of my project. Its goal is to recreate the mindset from which we view a stranger, and then bear witness to it as our assumptions transform with their smile. So there are no names, No occupations, No confirmed religions or ethnicity. No

intriguing life lessons or heart-strumming anecdotes.

What are your plans for the months ahead? To expand ‘So I asked them to smile’ to other countries. It currently features five (India, Nepal, Kenya, Australia, and China) and I want to cover more and more of the globe. I am also finally taking the project into galleries, where I think its real strength lies. People can spend time with the images and have the time to notice their own thoughts and assumptions play out.

These images are the heart of my project. Its goal is to recreate the mindset from which we view a stranger, and then bear witness to it as our assumptions transform with their smile. So there are no names, No occupations, No confirmed religions or ethnicity. No intriguing life lessons or heart-strumming anecdotes...

What is your favourite image you have shot recently? Can you describe its creation with regard to location, lighting, and composition and so on... Also your thoughts when creating the image and what it means to you? I loved the Yamuna Aarti image from Vrindavan. It captures the spirit, colour and chaos of that event. I got a bit lucky as a boatman brought his boat into frame just as the priest reached into a plastic bag and hurled a handful of bright pink rose petals into the air. I had been there before so was waiting for that moment but the elements came together, including the boat, adding layers of nuances to something that has been photographed by countless photographers. Creative Brands

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I am also busy with the travel company I am setting up so that I can introduce people to the India I explore and treasure. Very grassroots, with a lot of walking around and talking to people, somewhere between planned and unplanned, and in places that are beautiful and worth visiting anyways. India can be challenging and I find that when one can contextualise the sights, sounds, ideas, smells, tastes, and people that seem to be indiscriminately heading in your direction, India makes a lot of sense! That's when the magic happens and then a deep seated appreciation and gratitude spring forth. Who are some of your favourite photographers from the past or present? That’s a hard one for me to narrow down, there are far too many! Right now I am really enjoying the work of Sudharak Olwe. I think he brings an authenticity to his images that I aspire to, a gritty reality, a feel for colours and lines as well as an unpretentious take on the streets and villages of India. I also admire that he chooses to use his photography, his gift, to give voice to those who have none, to shine a light on the parts of our society that we may not always want to see or hear.


PHOTOGRAPHY

What are your plans for the months ahead? To expand ‘So I asked them to smile’ to other countries. It currently features five (India, Nepal, Kenya, Australia, and China) and I want to cover more and more of the globe. I am also finally taking the project into galleries, where I think its real strength lies. People can spend time with the images and have the time to notice their own thoughts and assumptions play out. I am also busy with the travel company I am setting up so that I can introduce people to the India I explore and treasure. Very grassroots, with a lot of walking around and talking to people, somewhere between planned and unplanned, and in places that are beautiful and worth visiting anyways. India can be challenging and I find that when one can contextualise the sights, sounds, ideas, smells, tastes, and people that seem to be indiscriminately heading in your direction, India makes a lot of sense! That's when the magic happens and then a deep seated appreciation and gratitude spring forth.

It currently features five (India, Nepal, Kenya, Australia, and China) and I want to cover more and more of the globe. I am also finally taking the project into galleries, where I think its real strength lies. People can spend time with the images and have the time to notice their own thoughts and assumptions play out...

Who are some of your favourite photographers from the past or present?

When did you know that you wanted to pursue photography as a career — and travel photography in particular? How did you get your start?

That’s a hard one for me to narrow down, there are far too many! Right now I am really enjoying the work of Sudharak Olwe. I think he brings an authenticity to his images that I aspire to, a gritty reality, a feel for colours and lines as well as an unpretentious take on the streets and villages of India. I also admire that he chooses to use his photography, his gift, to give voice to those who have none, to shine a light on the parts of our society that we may not always want to see or hear.

I never looked at it that way, it is just slowly happening. My space is between travel and photography. They both go so well together and there is a large space where they overlap. I love exploring places where the people and environment feel authentic. Photography is a great tool to notice things you would otherwise walk past, and thus it is an ideal combination for me. I can explore, photograph, and then later share those places with other visitors, while photographing some more!

What was your experience travelling to India?

Your love for photography has sent you all over the world — what are the biggest advantages (and challenges) of living a largely nomadic life?

I have spent many years travelling in India, and it’s always an adventure! The simplest thing becomes an adventure, and that is magical, most of the time. I love it.

I love that every day is different and that there is a momentum that I

missed when I was in a more stable situation. I am learning that the comfort zone we all are drawn towards provides less happiness than leaving it, as regularly as possible. I am a better version of myself when I travel which was a scary reality to acknowledge. I would say that the biggest challenge is maintaining the routine or discipline that is required in order to make the most of every day. When I am truly connected and present, there is no room for loneliness, but when I lag, it can be a challenge. What are your upcoming titles or other projects that we can look forward to seeing? I am fully focused on taking ‘So I asked them to smile’ to the widest possible audience and the largest number of countries I can. There is no room for other projects at this time!


PHOTOGRAPHY , 3D IMAGE RENDERING & CG www.pumpkin-production.com , +91 9966202213, +91 9866209216

DELHI . MUMBAI . HYDERABAD . BANGALORE . DUBAI . COLOMBO . KUALA LUMPUR . MANILA . SYDNEY


YOUR CHEAT SHEET FOR MEN’S TRENDS 2017


HAUTE COUTURE

FASHION The year 2017 has ushered in a style revolution. The repertoire of styles and trends from the sartorial to the hirsute is pushing newer frontiers. For men the options have widened and deepened, offering the metrosexual man-about-town choices that once could have seemed outlandish. AANCHAL PRABHAKAR


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HANGE IS THE ONLY constant in fashion”and the opportunity to change and evolve is what we all choose to embrace every season. What better time of the year can it be to begin a journey for the quintessential man in you, who adorns many hats as stylish office-goer, roving traveller, sporty fitness freak, traditional family man, and the metro-sexual entrepreneur. A man who understands the importance of constantly evolving in a trendy ever- world, where the reigning mantra is ‘Evolve or Perish’! Gianni Versace, the late and legendary Italian fashion designer and founder of Versace, once said, “Don’t be into trends. Don't make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.” So here we go with upcoming trends, style ideas, and sartorial tips that the dapper man in you can pick and choose from, to suit your persona. Feel free, play, and experiment with the get-up that best suits the hat you have on today. Heighten your style quotient and catch the spotlight. Here are the style cues for you to begin your sartorial journey with…

TRENDS IN STYLE 2017 Having travelled recently to one of the world’s fashion capitals, I got early glimpses of what is going to set men apart in 2017. From the impeccable fashion displays at the merchandise windows of the haute streets in London to the eye-catching streetwear and compelling array of style wear on the streets of Mayfair, there couldn’t have been more exciting times in fashion. So here are the 7 key areas of style that will help you rule 2017 in style.

#1 — COLOURS & TONES

Spring means fusion — bright and vivid, along with the earthy. Pantone’s Island paradise (sky blue), Kale, Primrose Yellow, Hazelnut, Lapis blue, and Green were some of the prominent colours on the S/S 2017 runways, projecting a blend of liveliness, peacefulness, and the outdoors. HOW TO ADORN THE MOST PROMINENT COLOURS At the risk of stereotyping, let’s accept it — colour is really not “HIS” forte. But the importance of colour in men’s wardrobe cannot be overstated. Blue, in all tones of the sky from light to deep, seems to be the most outstanding colour for men this year. Peep into your wardrobe and you will most certainly find a true blue shirt there and if you don’t then invest

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in one as it’s a classic wear that never goes out of fashion. Especially when it comes to club wear, it is almost critical to have a nice dark-blue, slim-fit shirt which puts you right in the middle of the action. Yellow too has been spotted in many designer collections. For men, the colour is best suited to uppers (T-shirts, shirts, jackets) or accessories. This should be paired with dull-coloured lowers and day wear, preferably in informal settings.

From the impeccable fashion displays at the merchandise windows of the haute streets in London to the eye-catching streetwear and compel. ling array of style wear on the streets of Mayfair, there couldn’t have been more exciting times in fashion...


HAUTE COUTURE

Interestingly, formal office wear is trespassing boundaries these days. While the standard Blues and Greys continue to be the most favoured in traditional office set-ups, the new kids on the block are not afraid to experiment. Just a tiny word of caution —don’t go too bright on this one, as this could cut both ways. Whites, Creams, and Neutral Tones What do you do with these? Pair them with the brights to get the trendy vibes of the season. Color Advice Avoid wearing fabrics of largely the same colour, but when experimenting with colour go with one colour at a time. For example, if should you play with yellow, leave everything else blue or grey.

#2 FABRICS & PRINTS The fluidity, the crispness, the firmness of the fabric weave set the tone and overall mood of the person wearing the ensemble. 2017 will continue to see a playful mix of textures from light-weight to heavier ones. Sheers, linens, vinyls, velvets, and bonded will all find place in the alchemy. Prints inspired by childhood vignettes for jackets and shirts in lively hues to prints and checks in Black and White along with camouflage military fabrics are the best bets for the year. The latter part of the year will also see velvet and thick fabrics, with embroideries and sequins in outer wears.

#3 SHAPES & SILHOUETTES A broad styling study reveals that as the lines between casual and dress/formal wear blur and the Ath-leisure wear settles in, the focus is shifting more towards blending the relaxed-comfort-casual look with the stylish-luxurious-suave style statement. The key here is ‘utility ward

robe’, which is a mash-up of runway and streetwear. Ath-leisure as a trend is here to stay as oversized suits, flood pants, and track suits with comfort-fit clothing seen doing the rounds of major design shows. When playing with this trend, try juxtaposing by wearing a loose piece with a well fitted one to give you a more suave look. However, if you are the one who always wishes to dress up smart and appear prim and proper, skip this get-up as there is more to suit your taste.

Peep into your wardrobe and you will most certainly find a true blue shirt there and if you don’t then invest in one as it’s a classic wear that never goes out of fashion. Especially when it comes to club wear, it is almost critical to have a nice dark-blue, slim-fit shirt which puts you right in the middle of the action...

#4 MADE-TO-MEASURE ‘Bespoke’ is the ‘it’ word for the millennials who want pretty much everything custom made. From shoes to clothing to sport to travel, bespoke or made-to-measure is a trend that’s here to stay. So, if you are one of those savvy gentlemen, this one is the right cue to pick and indulge in the luxury of custom tailoring by getting yourself a three-piece suit in royal British cuts. Choose from fine wool to woollen blends in intricate Glen, Tartan, Houndstooth, or Windowpane check patterns.


#5 HAIRSTYLES & BEARDS Hairstyles Predictions from Esquire and other top authorities on men’s hair suggest a classic clean British look that’s polished to perfection. Men with thicker textures can opt for the short and huffy look, whereas the ones with soft curls can go for the 80s big-hair wonder look. All in all, hairstyles are experimental and the cuts and bangs can go as far as your imagination goes. The comb-overs and side fades in hairstyles are here to stay, so it’s your call where to begin the fade. Beards The facial hair may have caught on because of the ‘No-shave November’ or ‘Movember’ fad, but is decidedly

more than a fad. The beard is here to stay, with all the manly and sexy appeal it brings to a man’s face. One quick note: Those extra full-beards are no longer in, so come out of those woods and strike that fine hirsute balance to exude your macho. Beard rules for 2017 The unruly and the untidy are out. Give the hair on your cheeks a light

The fluidity, the crispness, the firmness of the fabric weave set the tone and overall mood of the person wearing the ensemble. 2017 will continue to see a playful mix of textures from light-weight to heavier ones. Sheers, linens, vinyls, velvets, and bonded will all find place in the alchemy…

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trim, while leaving it a little longer under the lip (goatee area). Hygiene First and foremost, maintain good hygiene, shampoo your beard as frequently as you shampoo your hair. Mild hair products should work fine for your beard too and 2-3 times a week is a good frequency). Once your beard is dry, apply a light hand of beard oil and you are set with a lush, healthy beard. Trimming the Beard What make-up is to a woman’s face, a neat and in-shape beard is to yours as it clearly defines the contours of your face and highlights the cuts. A routine trim every 7 to 10 days to shape and set your beard in style will be ideal. Do it yourself or if you are not too confident about it, visit your local stylist/barber whom you trust.


HAUTE COUTURE

#6 SHOES The Ath-leisure trend has trickled down to footwear as we saw towards the end of 2016 with sneakers being paired with almost everything from suits in formals to Indo-westerns by Kunal Rawal at the GQ fashion nights. The sneakers are, therefore, set to take on a more value-added, luxurious dimension. Another shoe that you can invest in this year is the ‘Monk Strap’. The Monk Strap shoe is also commonly referred to as the ‘most advanced’ dress shoe. Rakish, daunting, debonair, fashionable, and flashy are some of the adjectives used to describe this shoe type. According to Wikipedia, the ‘Monk Strap’ falls in the ‘moderately formal’ category of shoes and is considered less formal than the Oxford but more than the open Derby shoe. The shoe is trending in the US and the UK with interest climbing over time.

#8 BAGS

‘Bespoke’ is the ‘it’ word for the millennials who want pretty much everything custom made. From shoes to clothing to sport to travel, bespoke or made-to-measure is a trend that’s here to stay…

Last but not the least, is the ‘it’ BAG for men that is bound to be a head-turner. It’s the leather duffle! A bag you can carry on work, travel, or playing sport. This bag has the looks and the savvy no man can go wrong with. So go on and invest in one today!

Style-conscious men around the world wouldn’t want to skip the trend. Display windows across cities have the ‘Monk Strap’ shoe prominently set to lure its fashion forward men clients. Types of Monk Straps Available in single (one strap, one buckle) and Double Monk (two straps, two buckles) strap varieties, these shoes are the current favourite amongst the most fashionable men on the planet. How to wear the Monk Strap Wear them with a sharply tailored suit or pair them up with a casual dinner jacket and you will get noticed for all the right reasons. This shoe also plays out stylishly when worn with a distressed pair of denims. Colour Shades of Brown are the best bets for moderately formal settings. Burgundy will go well with Navy-Blue suits. Avoid Black with the Double Monk Strap shoe, instead, go for Black in Oxfords. Material The Monk Straps are available in Leather and Suede. Stick to leather as they look classier.

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Finally, you will never get a second chance to make that first impression. So work consistently and constantly to become that ‘man of substance’. Begin with your looks and persona to cast that memorable first imprint on those you meet. So exercise, experiment, and explore to step out in style every day of your life!

…………………………………… — Aanchal Prabhakar is a Communications and Content Specialist, Blogger, and a Textiles & Apparel Expert


SPECTRAL

MAGIC

The consumer of today is always on the look-out for a premium brand experience... Apart from the product itself, we aim to enhance this experience from the moment one walks into our stores which have been modelled on the lines of international store formats, while retaining the warmth of Indian hospitality,� says VIJAY JAIN, Founder Director of ORRA.


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AST YEAR, ORRA, one of India’s premier diamond jewellery brands, was featured as a case study by Google, in India. The video demonstrated how ORRA tapped the power of the digital medium to increase sales and broadcast their brand essence. With over 30 retail stores across 25 cities in India, ORRA now plans to deepen integration in the online space through omni-channel marketing. The man behind the remarkable transformation at ORRA has been CEO and Founder Director Vijay Jain, who brought to the company wide-ranging experience in Advisory, M&A, and investment banking. Jain’s banking brand wagon includes Kotak Mahindra, Peregrine, SSKI, and Rabo Bank. He has also been an adviser across to companies in luxury goods, retail, beverages, media, internet, and infrastructure. In retail, he has advised companies, such as Café Coffee Day, Barista, and Crossword, among others. Over the years, ORRA has been named the ‘Best Jewellery Chain’ and ‘Most Innovative Jeweller’, standing out among the best in the game. Most recently, at the National Jewellery Awards 2016, it won the prestigious award for the ‘Best Earring Jewellery Design’ of the year. In an interview with Creative Brands, Jain, who has a master’s in management from the prestigious S.P. Jain Institute of Management, says, “ORRA has always focused on design and innovation... and this sets us apart from the rest...” EXCERPTS: So, what is unique about ORRA... In the current jewellery market of which 85 percent is dominated by gold jewellery, ORRA has created a niche

for itself with its diamond centric positioning. Diamonds already account for more than 50 percent of our sales. We have understood the changing perception of the consumer at every level. When it comes to diamonds, we have moved beyond the 4C’s (which is an industry norm) to focus on brilliance in our product (which is a consumer insight). In addition to this positioning, ORRA has always focused on design and innovation with five global design centres in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Antwerp, Mumbai, and New York — and this sets us apart from the rest. Our designers have won several prestigious awards such as the De Beers International Award (DIA), among others. ORRA has also won awards from the National Jewellers Association, Retail Jewellery Awards, and PGI.

ORRA’s digital journey began with the seeding of an idea that incorporated the notion of constant evolution... In a category such as ours, where word-of-mouth is critical, social media plays an increasingly important role. Our focus, therefore, has been on making “one view of the customer”, “one view of stock”, and “one similar experience” unified across different channels... The consumer of today is always on the look-out for a premium brand experience and that is exactly what we strive to provide them with when it comes to jewellery. Apart from the product itself, we aim to enhance this experience from the moment one walks into our stores modelled on the lines of international store formats, while retaining the warmth of Indian hospitality. Equipped with all the embellishments required to select the

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piece that was crafted just for you, these boutiques have today become, I believe, the ultimate destination for the choicest jewellery in the country. How important was the digital technology in ORRA’s journey? ORRA’s digital journey began with the seeding of an idea that incorporated the notion of constant evolution. Today, the consumer is already present in different mediums. Therefore, omni-channel marketing has become critical to growth. One in three consumers is simultaneously on their cell phones while watching television, even as one in four Indians are already online and accessing multiple channels. Even when customers walk into stores, they are checking their phones for price comparisons and product details as well as the choices available to them. In a category such as ours, where word-of-mouth is critical, social media plays an increasingly important role. Our focus, therefore, has been on making “one view of the customer”, “one view of stock”, and “one similar experience” unified across different channels. How important do you think is digital advertising in India? Digital advertising has gained a lot of importance in India today. We can feel the difference from how the concept of ‘discovery’ has changed. While the traditional place of ‘discovery’ used to be the store, word of mouth, and advertising, today this has shifted to the social and digital mediums. Our key focus has, therefore, been to build a stronger connect with the consumer through an omni-channel presence. In a country like India with such diverse markets, each market has a different set of preferences. In such a scenario, digital advertising has helped with generic communication, diversity of languages, and strategic targeting of products


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at different locations. We believe ORRA has a unique advantage, given our strong offline presence with 34 stores across 25 cities besides a strong online presence. How did the Google tryst take shape? The point of inflection came about at the Google CMO Boot Camp, a two-day intensive programme which helped us further realise the magnitude of change in the internet space. It also gave us an opportunity to meet with and exchange several ideas with the senior management of Google, allowing us to translate this into an executionable idea.

th on-month online sales through our digital presence. The biggest advantage has been the discovery of ORRA by consumers online. We have been able to extend our reach to new markets where we did not have an offline presence. Besides attracting new customers in existing markets as well as bring back customers who were once patrons of ORRA. By being able to showcase our products to a larger audience online we have also been able to get a broader understanding of the changing tastes and preferences of the consumer. Such an exploration has helped us experience double-digit growth.

How has digitisation affected your online sales?

What has been the impact of your digital campaign on your offline stores?

We have seen a huge jump in Mon

Our focus is on giving our customer

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high-calibre design, quality, and experience. Within the category of jewellery, consumers are still look at experiencing the product before making a purchase. So they carry out a fair amount of research online. A stronger online presence has, therefore, allowed us to expand the experience of the consumer online before they walk into our physical stores. With the option of in-store delivery of the products that are available online, we aim to unify the experience of the product in the online and offline worlds, thereby, facilitating a seamless consumer experience.


PHOTOGRAPHY , 3D IMAGE RENDERING & CG www.pumpkin-production.com | +91 9966202213, +91 9866209216

DELHI . MUMBAI . HYDERABAD . BANGALORE . DUBAI . COLOMBO . KUALA LUMPUR . MANILA . SYDNEY


Drawing The World Unto Itself

India has emerged as a global tourist destination. In fact, its revenue equivalence is staggering, for tourism accounts for 7.5 percent of the countryʼs GDP and is its third-largest foreign exchange earner. Indiaʼs diversity is unmatched and is not surprisingly ʻincredibleʼ... CB BUREAU


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OURISM IN INDIA IS growing as the world looks to the country for deeper scenic and immersive experiences, given the country’s extraordinary diversity. If the numbers are any indication, inbound tourism, as well as domestic tourism, is only set to grow. In fact, tourism in India accounts for 7.5 percent of the country’s GDP and is its third-largest foreign exchange earner. In 2016, tourism and hospitality contributed nearly US$47 billion to the national GDP. In the 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), released by the World Economic Forum, India was ranked 40th among the 136 economies across the world, climbing 12 places from the earlier 52nd position in 2015. Domestic Tourist Visits (DTVs) grew by 15.5 percent year on year to 1.65 billion (provisional) during 2016, with the top 10 States/Union Territories making up nearly 84.2 percent of the total number of DTVs, according to the Ministry of Tourism. On the other hand, Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) rose by 19.5 percent

year on year to 630,000 as of May 2017. FTAs on e-tourist visa showed an increase of 55.3 percent year on year to 68,000 as of May 2017. The tourist arrivals have had a significant impact on India’s foreign exchange earnings, which rose by 32 percent year on year to touch $2.278 billion as of April 2017, according to data from the Ministry of Tourism. Meanwhile, India’s growing middle class, as well as increasing disposable income, has also helped accelerate the growth of domestic tourism. Every family in India is now keen to take a vacation sometime or the other. They wish to travel, stay in resorts, and enjoy their lives! In 2002, India’s Ministry of Tourism launched a campaign to promote India as a popular tourist destination. It was then that the now famous phrase “Incredible India” was adopted as a slogan by the ministry. The Ministry of Tourism made a conscious effort to bring in more professionalism in its attempts to promote tourism and create a distinc tive identity for the country. It formulated an integrated communication strategy to help promote India as a destination of choice for travellers the world over.

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The brand design was carried out by Ogilvy & Mather (India) under the leadership of Amitabh Kant, who was then Joint Secretary of Tourism. The campaign soon established India as one of the world’s must-see destinations, leading to a 16 percent increase in tourist traffic in the first year of the campaign.

THE DIVERSITY India’s North East North East India is the easternmost region of India, consisting of the famed ‘Seven Sisters’, the state of Sikkim, and parts of North Bengal (the districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, and Koch Bihar). In the extremities of the northeast, the Chin Hills and Kachin Hills, both deeply forested mountainous regions, separate India from Myanmar or erstwhile Burma. The Patkai, or what is called ‘Purvanchal’, is situated on India’s eastern border with Myanmar, consisting of the Patkai–Bum, the Garo–Khasi–Jaintia and the Lushai Hills. The Garo–Khasi range lies in the spectacular state of Meghalaya. Mawsynram, a village near Cherrapunji, located on the windward side of these hills, is the wettest place on earth.


TOURSIM

The India-Bangladesh border is defined by the Khasi Hills and Mizo Hills, and the great watershed region of the Indo-Gangetic Plain.

Central India The Vindhyachal mountain range is the defining feature of central India and is situated at the heart of the Indian subcontinent. In fact, it is this mountain range that divides India into two distinct halves: Northern India and Peninsular India. The mountain range extends from Gujarat to Bihar, passing through the central Indian states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The well-known rivers of Sonabhadra and Narmada originate from the Vindhyachal.

Western India

Northern India

Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, and a part of the extensive central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh constitute Western India. Beginning from Gujarat and running down to Goa and Maharashtra, the west coast boasts of some of India’s finest beaches. The coast is populated by lush rainforests.

Himalayas, the world’s highest mountain range, dominate India’s northern border. Following the sweeping and spectacular mountains to its northeast, the country’s borders narrow to a tiny channel that passes between Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, and Bhutan, before opening up to meet Burma in what is called the ‘Eastern Triangle’.

The Western Ghats separate the spectacular western coast from the Vindhya Mountains and the dry Deccan plateau, which is further inland. India’s western border faces Pakistan, barring the Arabian Sea stretch.

North India is the country’s largest region, beginning with the northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir, with a variety of terrains —from arid mountains in the far north to the lakes and forests of Srinagar and Jammu. Moving in a southerly direction along the Indus River, the North becomes flatter and, indeed, more hospitable, before widening into the verdant and fertile plains of Punjab to the west and the Himalayan foothills of Uttar Pradesh and the Gangetic valley to the East.

Southern India India’s peninsular tip covers Southern India, which begins with the Deccan in the north and ends with Kanyakumari on the southernmost tip of the country. The southern states are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, and also comprise the Union Territories of Pondicherry, Mahe, and Lakshwad weep. The south-eastern coast, skirting the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, is overlooked by the Eastern Ghats, which slopes down to the Indian Ocean.

Located between these two states is the country’s capital city, Delhi, its power and politics extending back to over a thousand years. India’s diversity — geographical, cultural, and linguistic — is such that it can be, sans exaggeration, said that it is a nation of many nations!

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CREATIVE DUTIES


LOWE LINTAS BAGS CREATIVEBUSINESS FOR CARGILL FOODS INDIA

BLK J DDB WORLDWIDE BAGS CREATIVE AND DIGITAL DUTIES OF STB

Cargill Foods India, a leading FMCG company in India, called for a creative pitch for its wide array of consumer brands, from edible oils to atta. Lowe Lintas Delhi (part of the Mullen Lowe Lintas Group) was declared the winner for the creative pitch as they formulated a customised approach, taking into consideration local insights, given the range of Cargill Foods India’s portfolio and presence across markets. The pitch was announced for Cargill Foods India’s brands, such as Leonardo range of Olive Oils, Nature Fresh range of edible oils, Nature Fresh Sampoorna Chakki Atta, Sweekar Refined Sunflower Oil, Gemini Refined Cooking Oil, Sunflower Vanaspati, and Rath Vanaspati. Out of the 11 agencies, Lowe Lintas portrayed an organic understanding of managing a leading regional brand as well as a global premium olive-oil brand. The agency brought it alive in the form of creative advertising ideas and communication with a 360-degree integrated approach

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has appointed Blk J DDB Worldwide as STB’s creative and digital agency for creative, digital, and production duties. The appointment is for three years for a hotel career perception and recruitment campaign. Founded by DDB’s Rowena Bhagchandani, Joji Jacob, Khalid Osman, and Lester Lee, Blk J was launched in November 2016 as an independent creative agency. The agency will be working in partnership with DDB Singapore on the new Singapore Tourism Board project.

MEC INDIA BAGS MEDIADUTIES FOR THE HINDU GROUP MEC India was recently awarded the media duties for The Hindu Group, after robust rounds of scouting. Kasturi & Sons Ltd (KSL) is a 138-year old institution and one of India’s leading media houses, best known for its flagship English-language newspaper, The Hindu, since 1878. It was the first media house in India to start online news operations and has multiple daily newspapers, magazines, and online portals, including The Hindu, Business Line, Sportstar, and Young World.

DENTSU IMPACT HAS WON THE CREATIVE DUTIES FOR ALL BRANDS FROM HT MEDIA Dentsu Impact has won the creative duties for all brands of the HT Media stable, including Hindustan Times, Hindustan (Hindi), Mint, Shine.com, HT Campus, Career Plus, Study Mate, English Mate and Bridge School of Management. With this move, Dentsu Impact becomes the prime strategic and communication partner for HT Media, handling communication for all brands of the group, barring its radio brands Fever FM & Nasha FM, which are handled by Ogilvy & Mather. The HT Group, which has so far worked with multiple agencies for different brands, initiated a process of consolidating all the brands with one single agency sometime in November 2016. Following an exhaustive pitching process, in which some of the country’s top agencies participated, HT finally decided to award the duties to Dentsu Impact.


SOCIAL KINNECT BAGS THE DIGITAL BUSINESS OF FASHION AT BIG BAZAAR Social Kinnect bags the digital media business for FBB (Fashion at Big Bazaar). The mandate includes the digital duties of creative strategy and management of the brand’s digital assets. The agency will kick start their partnership by launching the brand’s Spring Summer 17’ collection.

BBH INDIA BAGS CREATIVE BUSINESS OF BOOKMYSHOW Online entertainment ticketing website BookMyShow has appointed BBH India (Bartle Bogle Hegarty India) as its creative strategy partner. The agency will spearhead the development of business-driven marketing campaigns and concepts for the brand. BookMyShow is India’s largest online entertainment ticketing portal with over 4,000 screens on its platforms and presence in more than 400 cities and towns across India. It created history by selling over three million movie tickets for the Christmas weekend of 2016.

Creative Brands

PAPERBOAT BRANDWORKS BAGS CREATIVE MANDATE FOR CROMA The Tata group’s Infiniti Retail has appointed Mumbai-based creative agency Paperboat Brandworks as the creative AOR for its electronics retail brand, Croma. The account moves from Lowe which has handled the brand since its launch in 2006.

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DESIGN TO DISRUPT

Innovation, disruption, and surprise hold the key to superior and enduring consumer engagement, says PRERNA MEHRA of Cheil. In a conversation with CREATIVE BRANDS, Prerna says, “design needs to eschew trends and defy norms”. AMITH RAHUL


UNPLUG

EXCERPTS: Tell us more about Cheil Design. How is the creative department going to be structured? Cheil Design is a multi-disciplinary collective. Our areas of expertise encompass Brand identity and Strategy, Corporate identity, Brand Language, Packaging Design, Interactive Design — all intended towards innovatively engaging consumers with our brands. We have a highly awarded core team from the fields of design and advertising. They are committed to creating design solutions with a difference! And we are also looking forward to hiring experts from various facets of design. How are technology trends shaping the future of design? Is design becoming the differentiating factor? In the tech world, there has been traditionally more emphasis on engineering and technological innovation than on design. This is not the case anymore! More and more brands are equally focusing on getting the design right — especially as it relates to the user-interface. If the consumers/users don’t get it, no matter how innovative the product is — it won’t matter! Technology and design have to go hand in hand. Cheil Design promises to create impactful design solutions for our clients while truly engaging with the consumers.

(L TO R) – PRERNA MEHRA, HEAD OF CHEIL DESIGN WITH SAGAR MAHABALESHWARKAR, CCO AND NISHI SURI, COO, CHEIL SWA

ticed. Design needs to eschew trends and defy norms. I strongly believe brands today must also be ready to take risk — only then can they make way into the hearts of their consumers. What emerging trend in advertising are you most excited about and why? The fact that the advertising industry is thinking digital and integrating it with mainline is indeed the most exciting. The truly integrated approach will help us develop highly impactful solutions to best service the clients and offer added value.

Risk and design go hand in hand in the industry. How important is risk-taking in design?

Describe a challenging project, which resulted in a satisfyingly positive outcome for the client.

Most people are unwilling to take risks. As a result one sees conventional or stereotyped designs. Being clichéd and safe is the biggest mistake a designer can make. Unless a design is disruptive, provokes thought, surprises people, it will most likely go unno

We are currently doing some very exciting work which you will see very soon. Till then wait and watch what Cheil Design has in store! Who do you most admire in the advertising industry today, individuals and/or agencies?

It’s difficult to name one. I am working with a few I admire and then there are many I have worked in the past with. Michael Wolff of Wolff Olins is one guy I love. His sense of design is simply unmatched. I had a true fan moment with him. I was lucky to share my name on the same cover of a book as him, and after four years I met him, got his autograph on the same book like a 10 year old… Totally star struck! Any advice for young creatives looking to make an impression with their portfolio? Surprise. Create designs and work that surprise people, that’s the only way you will get their attention. That’s one motto I follow and mind you I consider myself young too (millennial by definition).


Creative Brands_JULY-AUG|VOLUME4|ISSUE1  
Creative Brands_JULY-AUG|VOLUME4|ISSUE1  

THE DIGITAL CONNECT Digital is the new frontier and is what makes or unmakes brands and their mindshare. Today, a world sans the digital is...

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