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Ad land’s Young Guns: Krishna Thakkar, SapientRazorfish

Krishna Thakkar, Copywriter, SapientRazorfish, joined the organisation in February 2016. Prior to that, she had interned with JWT and Jack in the Box Worldwide. Passionate about writing, Thakkar believes it is something that she is destined to do. 

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

How did you get into the role you are serving?
Writing is something that I’m destined to do. I’d pick it from cradle to grave.

I stumbled upon advertising in BMM, when journalism ceased to be a valid career choice. I landed in SapientRazorfish through a campus placement from XIC (Xaviers Institute of Communications, Mumbai), which I had joined after a year in advertising and several summer internships. Maybe it was all providence. 

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
I have always loved stories. There is a hidden story in a client brief too. I believe this is where my strengths lie: in picking intrinsic, raw, human insights. Also, my inspirations are stylistically sometimes rather different from my peers. As a result, my thinking process varies significantly. 

One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
Real messages that make a real difference tend to be my favourites. The Raksha Bandhan campaign for UltraTech Cement, called Real Raksha, is one such campaign. Through the power of subtle messaging, we tried to make a difference in people’s lives and in the society as a whole. We tried to change the way women are perceived through a simple story, yet there was a twist in the tale. 

UltraTech Cement is a strong brand that has the courage to drive powerful messages in society. The applause we received for #RealRaksha was the cherry on the cake. 

While working on the creatives how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
There are two things: One is the consumer, and the second is how brands can connect to customers through simple yet strong storytelling. The impact of the message can certainly bring about a behaviour shift. 

Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
I really adore the work that Prathap Suthan (Bang in the Middle), Alok Nanda and Company, Droga 5 and Ogilvy do. Josy Paul was a faculty at XIC, so BBDO ashram is like a school. I also draw some of my references from the non-advertising work that the legends do – Anuja Chauhan, Prasoon Joshi, Piyush Pandey, the works. 

I tend to look up to many classic ads that were made in the Bill Bernbach and Hey Whipple Squeeze This era. These days, who uses idioms and phrases in copy, let alone long copy ads? So that’s something that I’d like to try to imbibe from the masters. I’d like to bring in the charm of the old world craft and language into today’s brands and make them relevant. 

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

  • Always begin the day by looking at a recent ad. Works wonderfully to avoid the mundane
  • Observe people on the way to work. Great fodder
  • Read a book. Again, always need material to ruminate about
  • Regular morning connects with the client/ account manager sorts so much, and helps avoid meetings that can be calls/ emails
  • Find a quiet corner that helps me focus with some moody music

Do you think a career in digital marketing is a viable one in the long term?
I think whatever a person becomes, she has to stay connected. So, while the chatbots haven’t taken over our jobs, let’s enjoy them. 

What does it take to succeed in a career like this?

  • A strange combination of having a thick skin and being sensitive
  • Hunger to learn
  • A solid support system

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
I think I’m far too young myself to answer this, but here are my two cents. I was given this very sane advice: that business is not always glamorous. While transforming experiences, one has to be alive, alert and look for new experiences. One step ahead of living in the moment is living in the future. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions because there are no stupid questions. Learn as much as you can from everyone. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I really admire Anuja Chauhan. Eventually I’d aim for achieving a balanced life like hers. Meanwhile, I want to see myself working on great brands, with the best people and obviously doing some kickass work that disrupts the norm. 

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

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