Ad land’s Young Guns: Clyde Galbao, Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi

Clyde Galbao, Copy Supervisor, Law & Kenneth Saatchi & Saatchi, started his career in advertising with the agency’s Mumbai office five years ago. So far, he has worked across brands such as Jockey, Emirates, Hero MotoCorp,, Thomas Cook, Godrej Interio and more. 

Galbao is looking forward to Cannes Lions this year with a lot of expectations as a campaign that he has worked on – ‘Turn your world around’ done for Thomas Cook – is an entry for the prestigious advertising award. 

Along with advertising, Galbao does Improv comedy regularly at venues across Mumbai. 

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

How did you get into the role you are serving?
Funnily enough, I’ve wanted to be a copywriter ever since I read about the profession in a book in school. But it wasn’t until after I had graduated from St. Xavier's Mumbai and joined IIMC, Delhi that I really began to understand what that meant, and how hard it is to actually write good copy. An internship in Law & Kenneth Delhi landed me a job in Mumbai, and here I am. 

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
I think I am a visual person who enjoys problem solving (not the mathematical kind), so that’s always an advantage. I am also really into different forms of creative expression like dance, music and Improv theatre. I’ve found that these things give me a lot creative material to work with. 

One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
The latest campaign we did for Thomas Cook, ‘Turn what you know around’, which was aimed at dispelling the myth that people have about North East India and its people. The original idea was for a travel company to get people to go to places that they don’t want to visit – because of their prejudices about the place or its people. The film and the music, in particular, turned out to be really stunning, and we cast real people from the region to be in it and provide the voiceovers. 

Watch the films:

While working on the creatives how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
I like brainstorming with people just to clear my head, and then writing alone. I always visualise myself having written an awesome line or cracked an awesome idea before I start thinking, which gives me confidence, and in turn helps me come up with something better (disclaimer: this can sometimes sidetrack horribly). Soft, nondescript music in the background always helps, as does a looming deadline. 

Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
David Droga. I discovered his work quite late, but I was hooked from the word go. Same for Pablo Del Campos. Both of whom, interestingly, were Worldwide Creative Directors at Saatchi & Saatchi at some point. What I like in their work is the ever-present sense of humour; it’s simple, witty work that doesn’t take itself too seriously.  

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?
Work is the only productive thing I do daily, in a purely capitalist sense. I do try to spend an hour or two alone, just gathering my thoughts, reading or writing, every day. Otherwise I spend a lot of time watching stuff online, doing Improv, playing the guitar or having long random discussions with friends. 

Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
Pretty much, although advertising itself is morphing at a fast pace, so it’s hard to keep up. You have to be many things at once to grow here. 

What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
I wouldn’t know, as I don’t think I have succeeded yet. But I think the combination is honesty, hard work and luck. 

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Learn to love rejection without losing your confidence. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
As I keep writing in my appraisal forms every year, ‘In a position of responsibility with some good creative work in my portfolio’. But I hope I am doing more than just advertising at that point. 

Is there any agency/ organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
Droga5, W+K.


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