Ad land’s Young Guns: Ketan Kadam, FCB Interface
Ketan Kadam, a Creative Supervisor at FCB Interface, works on brands like Oreo, Blue Star, Mahindra, Sundrop and Huggies. In just 2 years, Kadam has made a mark for himself and for FCB by bagging a bunch of awards at national and international levels. His aim in life is to create one big campaign that will be known globally – long after he is gone.
How did you get into the role you are serving?
My mother, like every other Indian mother, wanted me to become a doctor or an engineer. That wasn’t the only issue I faced. I didn’t have enough savings to study and pursue a career in advertising. So, I spent a couple of years painting parking lots and yellow lines on the roads to pay for the art materials required for my college projects. After getting an art degree, I got a job on the set designing team of the movie, ‘Agneepath’. From there on I moved to a small advertising agency called Innervoice Communications, where I got a strong foundation under the leadership of Chetan Jagtap. I then built my portfolio and managed to enter FCB Interface.
What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
I don’t know whether it’s a blessing or a curse. But I just don’t know when to stop. I keep fine tuning my ideas and executions at a point where most creatives give up. I don’t look for perfection, I aim to churn out ideas that have the potential to stand out from the herd.
How did FCB Interface come about?
FCB Interface has been in the news for its memorable ads since many years. I was well aware of the campaigns done by the agency even before I joined, like the Ranbir Kapoor ads for Oreo, Blue Star’s Quirky ads during the summer and my all-time favourite – Mahindra’s Live Young Live Free commercial. So, I took a couple of years and when I felt a bit confident about my portfolio, I visited FCB Interface with a nervous/ excited attitude. Thankfully, I was offered a job right away. It’s been around 2 years now and I’m extremely happy with the opportunities I have received here to showcase my talent.
Icons in this field you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
I am not loyal to any specific icon. There are so many talented leaders emerging in the industry. When I browse online, I find someone new almost every week to get an inspiration from. Then I picture them as my competitors and try to create work that can trump theirs.
What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?
- Watch latest trends online (this includes checking out latest memes)
- Make it a priority to have work-life balance
- Try my best to not have a girlfriend so that I stay focused at work
- Talk to my parents. (That’s where all the insights come from)
Do you think a career in this field is a viable one in the long term?
I never perceived advertising as a career. This field is my passion. So yes, for me it is definitely a viable one in the long term.
What does it take to succeed in a career?
Hopefully, I’ll have an answer in a couple of years.
What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
This advice is specifically for art directors. Work hard on honing your design skills, but work even harder on your communication skills. What I have noticed in the industry is that a majority of art directors depend on copywriters to sell their ideas. You should be confident enough to talk about your work and sell it efficiently.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Sitting in a comfy chair, surrounded by four walls with a typical cabin door. Fingers crossed! Working with the same passion that I had when I began my advertising career. And a bunch of International and National awards to gaze at in admiration.
Is there any organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
I am not sure whether it is written in my stars or not. But my dream is to work with Droga5. (Sir David Droga, I hope you are reading this).