Ad land’s Young Guns: Aakash Chatterjee, WATConsult

Aakash Chatterjee is Senior Account Manager at WATConsult. He started his career in 2013 as an Account Lead at WATConsult and over the past four and a half years, he has worked on brands like Zee, HE Deodorants, SBI Mutual Funds, Mahindra Motorcycles, and Nikon Bestseller Group, among others. A perfectionist by nature, he believes that work not done perfectly is work not done at all. 

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

How did you get into the role you are serving?
Firstly, I must say that the journey has been wonderful so far. Sometimes, even I wonder how a science student (in school) changed tracks to get into photo journalism and eventually ended up in digital marketing. The credit goes to some great people who mentored me both personally and professionally to become what I am today. 

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
Two things. Firstly, I’m good at understanding people dynamics, which is prime for any advertiser. By my father having a transferable job, I was exposed to different people, cultures and the varied Indian psyche. Secondly, I’m a perfectionist (people who know me would vouch for me being a person with OCD). For me, work not done perfectly is work not done at all. 

One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
I honestly take pride in all the campaigns that I have been a part of. Who won’t? Each campaign has contributed equally and immensely to whatever I have learnt till date.  

To be specific, I’m really proud to have executed the IPL 2016 campaign for Mumbai Indians. It was like living digital marketing on steroids for 60 days of your life. Everything is ad-hoc and the scale doesn’t allow even the slightest of mistakes. The success of this campaign took a mix of some very basic, but important elements – People, Passion and Persistence! 

While working on the creatives how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
There is always set pattern to this for me:

The Brief: It all starts with decoding the brief. The aim is to understand what we are looking at and set the expectations right from the perspective of the consumers, the client and the agency. 

The Research: A lot of my time goes into research. There is so much to be inspired from, all thanks to the internet. Research sets the base for any creative according to me. 

The Creation: With the first two steps done right, creation becomes a breeze. Needless to say, I have always been supported by a very talented team who effectively put ideas to action. 

The Introspection: I often play the devil’s advocate to make the work fool proof. I am open to criticism and advice. Good thing is that once you have answered all the questions, you start believing in the work like never before. 

Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
Being a millennial, I have grown up watching the masterpieces by Indian ad legends like Piyush Pandey, Prasoon Joshi and Prahlad Kakkar, and I absolutely adore their work till date.  

Globally, I follow the likes of Rodrigo Sobral, David Kolbusz and Dominic Goldman. Coming from a photography background, I am also a fanboy of the work by Fernando Decillis and Erik Johansson. 

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?
As cliched as it may sound, I try making most out of my mundane routine. For specifics, these are few things that help keep my creative juices flowing: 

  • Eat - Food is fuel to the body. Good food is fuel to the soul.
  • Drive - I’m a petrol head. I learnt driving when I was 13 and it’s the best time of the day for me ever since.
  • Read - Not a books person, but I read a lot. From memes to business reports, I find productivity in everything.
  • Pets - I love pets (dogs to be specific). I believe, they are the best thing to have happened to humans ever.
  • Music - What’s life without a background score?

Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
Yes, provided you maintain the appetite for it.  

What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
Not just advertising, to succeed in any field, you need to have the WILL to succeed, and the DRIVE to make it big! 

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Get. Shit. Done. And do it to the best of your ability and things will follow. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Can’t disclose the master plan. All I can say is, it’s going to be worth the wait. 

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


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