Ad land’s Young Guns: Anurag Chatterjee, Hakuhodo Percept

Anurag Chatterjee, Creative Group Head, Hakuhodo Percept, believes he works like a creative, but thinks like a planner. Chatterjee started his life in advertising as a client servicing executive with Ignite Mudra (now DDB Mudra). He has also worked with The Co., Dentsu Aegis Network and McCann Worldgroup. 

What does it takes to climb up the ladder in advertising? Here’s Anurag Chatterjee in his own words... 

How did you get into the role you are serving?
I was scouting for an internship when I was doing my MBA and I managed to land one with DDB Mudra, Ahmedabad (Back then it was Ignite Mudra) in client servicing. It was during this period that I worked on a TVC for Century Ply, which caught the attention of the ECD there and he asked me if I would like to swing over to the creative side. Next thing I know, I was swooning over ‘The Copy Book’ and Neil French. 

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
I believe I work like a creative but think like a planner. I realised that I’m able to fish out insights, making the creative process much more authentic and relatable with the audience. 

One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
I’d say the ‘Be More Human’ campaign for Reebok with Kangana Ranaut. It is one of the biggest campaigns I’ve worked on yet and I sure am proud of it, not to mention the fantastic team I worked with. 

Reebok had a problem and it was a mighty big one. The brand was predominantly perceived as a male sportswear label. Our challenge, therefore, was to change the perception of the market, that Reebok is not just a brand for the testosterone fuelled big boys. 

Till date, I feel privileged that I was part of such a hard working, dedicated and magnificent squad that turned a vision into a movement. 

While working on the creatives how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
Coffee. Coffee. Coffee! But on a serious note, I view every piece of creative as if I’m the customer. I know it’s a very basic thing to say, but believe me, when it comes to executing an idea; this fact probably falls to the bottom of the pile. There are so many layers we are working with these days that it’s very easy to lose that one simple element...the thought. Will the audience like this? Will they connect with the brand? Will they talk about it? 

Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
Bill Bernbach without doubt, simply for his outlook on advertising. 

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?
You mean apart from surfing dank memes? I’d say, read up about the latest campaigns and ideas. 

A quick browse through ET. 

Brush through some blogs. 

Take stock of what needs to done for the day and actually doing it. 

Netflix and chill. 

Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
It’s a young industry that’s constantly evolving. But that doesn’t mean it’s just a career fling. 

What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
Patience, resilience and zeal. 

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Start loving coffee even you don’t! Thank me later. 

Apart from that, I’d say start with asking yourself why you want to join advertising. 

It’s glamorous, I get to meet celebrities, I get to smoke funny things and act cool, I’m creative and think outside the box. 

If it’s any of the above, then I’m sorry to break this to you, but advertising is not your gig. You need to introspect. This industry may look casual and easy-going, but it’s a whole different ball game behind the curtain. It’s about discipline and determination. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Churning out some memorable work. 

Is there any agency/ organisation that you would like to work with in the future?


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