Ad land’s Young Guns: Akshita Bhalla, ARM Worldwide
A brand communications professional in ARM Worldwide for about 3 years, Akshita Bhalla is now Senior Manager with their Creative & Content team. She enjoys listening to music, is a self-proclaimed streamaholic, and finds stirring up random conversations with people quite thrilling and informative.
What does it takes to climb up the ladder in advertising? Here’s Akshita Bhalla in her own words...
How did you get into the role you are serving?
After over 3 years in social media marketing and serving as the Senior Manager of the team for 1 year in ARM particularly, it was time for the next step. When the opportunity presented itself, I switched to the creative and copy team as a Senior Manager.
What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
Creative writing, copy writing, conceptualisation, ability to perform under pressure and low TATs.
One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
A real-time marketing campaign (#50For4) for Bajaj Finserv on May 28 and 29, 2016. It was live tweeting, always on campaign around an EMI network offer, designed to leverage the IPL Finale on May 29, with clever wordplay and engaging contests.
The approvals came in on the night of May 27 for the concept (after being pitched for the same in February). After a near miraculous, continuous 50-hour haul by me and a full-day effort of the creative team, it was one of the most organically successful campaigns. Bajaj Finserv was named one of the Buzziest Brands during IPL season by Brand Equity.
While working on the creatives how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
When I work on creatives, I clear my mind of all thought and research on the consumer, dig for insights on the end consumer that will help me drive a connection through words or visuals. I prepare a draft, walk away from it for some time, then revisit it for a finer perspective.
Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
Akshar Pathak is my personal favourite advertiser, followed by Prasoon Joshi. From Akshar, I am trying to incorporate brevity and relatability. From Prasoon, detailing in writing and identifying common passion points by painting a picture with words.
What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?
- Prepare and update an extensive Job sheet tracker
- Spend the first 20 minutes of my day planning the day ahead
- Take planned breaks
- Make a note of every important conversation
- Maintain a document of words/ phrases/ observations I learn everyday
Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
If you’re meant for it and can deal with stressful yet exciting days, yes. The forms and platforms may change, but advertising will only die with capitalism.
What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
Calculated risks, eccentricity, professionalism, discipline and an inherent interest in people and lifestyle.
What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
- Always respect time – yours or someone else’s
- Keep your deadlines under all costs and circumstance
- The more content you expose yourself to, the better is your understanding of the world around you, the better is your creative work
- Never be afraid to take a calculated risk
- Never get attached to your ideas, learn to take feedback
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Heading a creative and copy department as a Director or VP.
Is there any agency/ organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
I would love to work with Durex India because I love their bold, fearless approach or Whiskas, because being a cat owner, I feel I could be an excellent fit for the brand.