A PLACE IN ADVERTISING

                                                   A PLACE IN ADVERTISING

                                                                                   -Yugika Mital

 

Every week at school, we used to have two hours of extra-curricular activities. You name it and it was on the calendar.

I was sitting at the intern’s desk in J. Walter Thompson, Mumbai and my brain just said ‘What will I ever have to do with Advertising?’

I paused. Dug a little deeper; out came a memory that had been forgotten for 7.5 years now.

8th grade. Mock Advertisement for that week’s extra-curricular lessons.

We were divided into teams of eight and I fail to recall the product we were to create a TVC for. I was a very active student in extra-curricular activities but those particular two hours didn’t spark any enthusiasm in me. I chose to be the narrator for public speaking was what I breathed.

That moment, at my intern’s desk, I smiled.

To enter the Advertising industry was never my plan. To enter the Media industry was never my plan. I just liked meaningful communication and honestly didn’t want to succumb to the engineering race. But I didn’t know that I’d find such a satisfying place in this industry.

I understand that I’m simply a student right now who knows nearly nothing about the actual industry. But I know, that I’ve found a balance between what I like doing, am decent at and what I think will fulfil my purpose in life while paying my bills – something I hold necessary from a session at Initiatives of Change, a leadership programme that helps people understand themselves and come face to face with reality.

Advertising is powerful. It is communication that can drive meaningful conversations, influence mind-sets and build brands at the same time. We can’t fathom our lives without the myriad brands, no matter how commercial they are. Advertising puts a name, a feel and a connect between people and brands. They build brands as personalities. They share a hand in shaping the world we live in every day.

Advertising sets trends, it adapts to trends and the industry needs to stay updated to stay relevant. Advertisers, I feel have a voice which can be moulded into an entertaining 30 second story, a thought provoking short ad film, an influential but minimalistic visual, a captivating audio, a tourist destination worthy statue or any other form that you can image. These voices share a role in driving the everyday thoughts and conversations among people.

Advertisers don’t just tell people to buy a brand because it’s good for them. They, now, more than ever, drive conversational commerce. They inspire people to think. That’s the new way to stay relevant that’ll go a long way. They have this unique channel where they can amalgamate entertainment, meaning and commerce together, on one platform. Advertisers create content that might not directly be related to the product/ service their client wants to sell but the way their communication unfolds does wonders.

An idea can come from anywhere and being an advertiser means to make that idea into a bridge between people’s well-being (material and social) and the commerce that drives the way of living.

I may have not known, as a Middle Schooler, that being an Advertiser was an actual profession, a powerful one at that. But now I just want to gather the tools and the knowledge to use this profession to do the best I can. I know I’ve found my place.

Find some interesting advertisements –

A statue of a girl facing the Wall St. Bull is seen in the financial district in New YorkThe Fearless Girl statue by the State Street Global Advertisers, to push businesses to have more females on their boards. Agency – McCann, New York

 

Rescue Rashie by Westpac Banking Corporation to help save children’s lives by an accidental drowning. Agency – Saatchi and Saatchi, Sydney

 

eBay’s #ThingsDontJudge campaign that shatters stereotypes in the Indian society. Agency – BBDO, India

 

Breaking taboos with Stayfree’s Project Free Period. Agency – DDB Mudra, India

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EIGHT WEEKS OF IMPROVEMENT

EIGHT WEEKS OF IMPROVEMENT

If we make up our mind to improve and become better people, life seems better. If we accept and acknowledge the faults in ourselves, we finally begin to see ways to overcome them.

It is one thing to be aware of your faults. It is another thing for a stranger to tell you that. After two sessions over call, each lasting an hour or more, the voice on the other side said that I had a trait called obsessiveness. It isn’t a ‘mental problem’ but if not taken care of could hinder my professional and personal lives. It meant that I focussed more on the results of a task or a situation than the efforts put into them. Angeera, my mentor from Dharma Life Sciences, patiently listened to all my anecdotes that answered her questions. The aim was to understand her mentee better and analyse her personality trait. Ultimately, she said that over the years, my continuous neglect of health and sleep to get my school/ college work done was the biggest example of me focussing on the result rather than the effort. Since I was still midst student life, there barely was any counter-argument from my end. However, I repeatedly thought of the times beyond my academics like of cooking, exercise, public speaking, writing and others where the effort was much taken into account. Though not completely on the same page, after some refutation, I decided to go ahead with the programme anyway because of its attractive name ‘Student Success Program’.

As asked, I downloaded the required app and hoped that by the end of eight weeks, I would be able to see a positive change in myself. I allowed for my mentor’s qualification in psychology to overpower my understanding of certain traits within myself. Each week, Angeera introduced me to a new interaction on the app. Curiosity led me to Dharma’s website and the voice on the other end had a vague face now. Patiently, week by week, she answered me on the importance of the program, the ethics of certain questions on the app and everything that my curiosity threw at her. If, psychologically speaking, my brain was being ‘rewired’; I had to be certain about the process and the authenticity of the program. DLS also offers Personal and Professional Development Programs.

The interesting part was that it was during this time that I had decided for myself to be a little stringent and learn to let go. I think the combination of Dharma and my mind already in preparation of it had the process succeed much faster and more efficiently.

The interactions on the app required me to answer in terms of efforts put in a certain task rather than the results of it. Initially, it was getting repetitive and monotonous but again, as Angeera faced this question, she clarified that the repetitions are the ones that do the rewiring and it simply meant that the programme was working. Consciously, on regular days, I started noticing the efforts put in everyday college assignments. Not that the results were neglected but now efforts were getting noticed. There is a thin line between the two. I understood that in order to become a manager of myself or the tasks given to me, I had to strike a balance between efforts and results. This was exactly it. Not being too stringent with yourself yet achieving the required outcome. Measure the pros and cons and then take a decision. Calculate what’ll use your energy, take up most of the time and what’ll have to be given up for a result to be achieved.

One of the most interesting parts of the assignment was the app interaction from the last two weeks – Real World Actions. This boiled down to ultimately doing things that I avoided and those that hindered my personality growth. My tasks included socialising more, taking proper breaks and others that made me more relaxed and aware of myself. You know a programme has succeeded if by the end of it, you can feel the difference in your vibe.

Dharma’s team is extremely helpful. Ms. Rhea, Learning and Development Associate, who was my first contact in the programme took regular updates and constantly enquired if I had anything to say. The team is young and enthusiastic. That is what makes them connect to their clients. Anecdotes about colleges, lunch breaks and assignment deadlines even sometimes deviated the conversation from the set questions but again the important thing was to understand the mentee better.

It is a lengthy process, yes – weekly calls with the mentor and daily interaction on the app. But it all works well if one does it diligently. It is a training of sorts to keep improvising yourself. Stuck in the shell of adulthood, we might fear to change ourselves. But it is necessary for growth. Dharma Life Sciences has taken a good initiative to get the youth to realise the importance of change at an early stage.

 

 

 

 

THE FIRST OF MANY LECTURES

                                            THE FIRST OF MANY LECTURES 

                                                                                          -Yugika Mital

He’s a small man. His glasses resemble those of my grandfather’s. He sticks his hair together and is always dressed as if for a professional interview. Today, he wore a red and blue checked shirt with a dark brown pant and walked into the classroom with the usual calm he is known to maintain. Continue reading “THE FIRST OF MANY LECTURES”

IMAGINE

IMAGINE

                                                            IMAGINE

                                                                  -Yugika Mital

 

How could we ever live without imagination? Without creating a more fantastical version in the mere spheres of our heads?

Where we stand has a major role to play in what we imagine, both metaphorically and literally. If I look out the window from the 10th floor as the city lights sing and rhythm with each other under the dark shadow, I imagine a world of progress, speed and untiring effort. In some more hours, as silence would dominate the empty space, Continue reading “IMAGINE”

TO THE ONE INSIDE

TO THE ONE INSIDE

                                                         TO THE ONE INSIDE

                                                                        -Yugika Mital

 

‘Maybe if I watched an emotional motion picture, I’d be able to express better.’

‘Maybe if I read a beautiful poem on love, loss, cheer, I’d finally be starting on writing my masterpiece.’

‘Maybe if I went through some old photographs, collected memories from the shut closets of my imagination, I’d have better metaphors.’

‘Or maybe if I stayed silent, let my hands and my heart do the talking, it would actually turn out to be an honest piece. An article written for the soul. That is all that suffices.’ Continue reading “TO THE ONE INSIDE”

FROM START TO MID

FROM START TO MID

                                                                FROM START TO MID

Yugika Mital

Standing in a group of people you’ve met for the first time.

A new campus.

A different city.

The same you.

If you signed up for Mass Communication then does it mean that it’s easy for you to converse in this situation or is there still time to improve your social skills?

The truth remains that no one shall sit you down and make you feel like home, but with the right effort you can learn, grow, see the reality and mould yourself for good.

My college is not wholly comprised of the usual students, Continue reading “FROM START TO MID”

ONE MILLION GOALS, ONE WAY

ONE MILLION GOALS, ONE WAY

                                                        A MILLION GOALS, ONE WAY

                                                                                          -Yugika Mital

If we were to be stuck in the bubble where we resided 5 years or even 6 months ago, then could we say that we did justice to the time given to us? That we learnt and grew and in turn helped others grow? Could we say that we hold the right to complain about the numerous things even if we did not take a step to improve them? Continue reading “ONE MILLION GOALS, ONE WAY”