Ad land’s Young Guns: Binaifer Dulani, Dentsu Webchutney

Featured in this edition of Ad land’s Young Guns is Binaifer Dulani, Senior Copywriter, Creative - Copy, Dentsu Webchutney. This former alumni of Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA) is possessed by “Hyper Imaginative Thought Disorder”.

Dulani has a pervasive pattern of imaginative thinking and preoccupation with words, occurring in early childhood and present in a variety of contexts, which has stood her in good stead as a copywriter.

She is passionate about food and travel and also enjoys reading non-fiction.

What does it takes to climb up the ladder in advertising? Here’s Binaifer Dulani in her own words...

How did you get into the role you are serving?
I was a fresher from MICA on the lookout for a break. I had always been in awe of Webchutney’s work and was keen on working for a digital agency. It was a coincidence that the Bangalore branch was expanding at the same time and I got an opportunity to interview with PG. One conversation later I was convinced that Bangalore was the place to be.

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
I do believe that I am intrinsically motivated to take up new responsibilities and roles. I also think that I have high self-efficacy levels, which is much like having an inner cheer leading squad that tells you that you will take on a particular task head on and do it well.

One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
I’d definitely like to talk about ‘Everyone on Flipkart’. Flipkart had already done all the tactical communication of pushing app benefits and conquered a majority user base. The task was now to get the last batch of laggards on board. So how do you this?

Talking about Flipkart’s features wouldn’t do the trick. We finally decided conformity was the strongest tool to get them on the app. At the end of it, conformity is such a strong social influence that affects our decision making. We decided to keep a series of films at the heart of the campaign that would profile relatable and personable characters we wouldn’t expect to see active on an app like Flipkart.

Since Flipkart’s TG cuts across generations and demographics we took the call to profile an effervescent Bengali ‘mausi’, a lazy South Indian watchman, a gang of college graduates from Lucknow and a typical Mumbai ‘pandu’ or cop named Wagle. Developing each of these characters was a huge learning curve in itself because it involved interacting with people from each of these regions, understanding the cultures, and shaping the character sketches accordingly.

While each of these films were a hit across platforms with Constable Wagle even being run as television commercial, its distribution is worth a mention.

While a series of assets, including Twitter profiles of our protagonists were created to engage with audiences along with a series of other audience engagements, a host of content seeders on Facebook were identified and reached out to.

These films were distributed based on the audience profile on relevant pages. Surprisingly though, this was the first time the Admins of these pages were being contacted by a brand and the initiative saw massive returns in terms of gaining share of voice on social.

While working on the creatives, how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
The aim is to always communicate the idea in the simplest way possible. A lot of ideas come from observations and conversations with people. A host of insights are hidden in our everyday chats with those around us. It’s important to be able to learn and enrich yourself with every conversation. Another important factor is to communicate a simple thought in a way that it hasn’t been before.

Icons in advertising that you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
Sylvester daCunha for the property he has created with the Amul baby girl. That, I believe, is how India understood the power of RTMs. Neil French for his deftly crafted copy and snappy headlines. And Rajan Nair for insights that seem so obvious, but have been crafted and packaged so beautifully that they continue to be relevant and ‘modern’ in spite of being decades old.

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?

  • I make it a point to gain qualitative feedback from my Creative Director so as to accelerate my thought process.
  • Keep a tab on on-going campaigns and the technologies leveraged.
  • I read. Be it interesting articles on Mashable or Psychology Today, drawing inspiration from different areas plays a huge role in stimulating imagination.
  • Keep in touch with friends, because at the end of it they will always root for you while still being your most sincere critics.
  • Take initiative to go beyond the list of ‘deliverables’ handed over to see where I can apply my learnings to make a larger dent.

Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
Absolutely! I strongly believe this is the most exciting phase in advertising’s history. Today, I can target users based on their most proximate activities with contextual messaging. I can talk to users in a highly relatable manner by gauging their personality on social media. This intelligence will only be used in more valuable ways to serve greater societal purpose. Also, hardcore business solutions and product innovations are all falling within the purview of advertising today. This is giving birth to hybrid professionals, which makes it all the more stirring.

What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
The ability to go on. When you work as an advertiser, existential questions about the value you are really creating hit you every now and then. Finding a clear objective of how you’d like to contribute to the industry’s growth in your own small way plays a huge role in being motivated every single day to do some good work.

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Realising that you are not indispensable. It’s important to always be on your toes and be open to learning and feedback to thrive and grow.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I hope to lead a team as well as my boss and inspire in them a need to create positive change through the work they are doing.

Is there any agency/ organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
I don’t have an agency in mind, but I do want to explore product innovations in the future. This is an area I definitely want to tick off my wishlist.


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