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Sunday, May 19, 2013

With Portfolio Night, ad frat looks to connect with creative minds

This Q&A first appeared in DNA Money edition on Friday, May 17, 2013.

JWT India, a unit of WPP, the world’s largest advertising group, recently unveiled a theme ‘An Eye-Opener’ for Portfolio Night 11 to clear misconceptions aspirants have about the advertising industry and people associated with it. Portfolio Night is a global event that would take place in 20 cities including Mumbai on May 22. Tista Sen, national creative director and senior vice-president, JWT India, speaks on the theme in connection with event. Edited excerpts:

What is the purpose of Portfolio Night 11 in connection with the advertising industry?
I think advertising to a certain extent needs to get back its mojo and Portfolio Night can play a significant role in achieving it. This event is an attempt to establish a dialogue with the young people. It’s also an eye-opener for people within the trade who may have got slightly deviated from the purpose they chose to be in this field. This is also to reinforce our clients’ belief in the work we do — the what, how and why of it — thereby regaining the credibility and authenticity of being a communicator, someone who builds brand value and brand equity so that it connects with consumers.

What went behind putting the theme for the event?
While putting together a theme, we felt it was time to really bring back the glory, prestige and values of what advertising really is. In the last couple of years there has been a huge erosion in terms of the core value of advertising. We wanted to approach it from the youngsters’ point of view — the superficial side — do you speak good English, is your hair long, do you wear earring?, etc.

That’s one part of it. The other part is that being in advertising is as serious as being in any other profession. Attributes like hard work, perseverance, commitment and putting in long working hours are true for advertising as it is in any other industry. So in that sense, the campaign is a real eye opener clearing all the notions in the market place.

How has the initiative been received thus far?
We created the initial buzz and excitement around the campaign on the Twitter platform with a hashtag  #WhatIThinkAboutAdvertising. It was decided that as and when thoughts on advertising are shared, we will busts the myths and tell them this is what advertising is all about. We created three campaigns (consist of posters, hoardings, radio spots, social media activities and TVCs) highlighting some of the misconceptions about the advertising industry including ‘Women creatives can’t make it big in advertising’, ‘You cant be creative if you don’t have long hair’ and ‘Copywriters do all the thinking, art directors merely execute’.

How many people have registered for the Portfolio Night 11?
As we speak, there are 88 aspirants who have registered for the event. That’s a fantastic number considering we still have 4-5 days in hand before the event.

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