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Ad land’s Young Guns: Pallavi Sharma, Havas Worldwide

Featured in this edition of Ad land’s Young Guns is Pallavi Sharma, Group Head - Copy, Havas Worldwide. A writer, film maker and digital crusader, Sharma joined Havas Worldwide in November 2015. Prior to that, she was Manager - Creative Copy at MagnonTBWA for a little over a year, where she was handling digital strategy, digital marketing, content creation and management, and social media.

She had earlier worked at MudPie India, Toolbox Film Production, BlackPencil, Oxygen Communications, and Times Now. Sharma was also the Stage Manager of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games, Delhi 2010, as part of Team Wizcraft.

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

How did you get into advertising?
I have always loved ads. This career choice came naturally to me.

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
I write.

One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
My first TVC – the Jindal Panther TMT Rebars launch film. The idea was to create a premium brand appeal for a category as ‘low involvement’ and invisible as a TMT rebar. We used the brand logo as a mascot and got to shoot with a real live black panther!

While working on the creatives how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
More than anything else, the concern is to understand the brief fully. Then you research; think, think, think; blabber at brainstorm sessions and find a creative solution.

What goes on in your mind?
The simpler the idea, the better it is.

Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
Bill Bernbach. I try to keep my copy as honest.

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?
I take the stairs.
I keep a diary.
I read on the way to and back from work.
I love feedback.
I ask questions.

Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
Yes, if you love it.

What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
Articulation – both in words and visuals.

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Be prepared to be told most of your ideas are already done.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I’m too busy to worry about that.

Is there any agency/ organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
The one I will run from my room.

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