Ad land’s Young Guns: Ranit Mukherjee, FCB Ulka
Spontaneous, quirky and with an innate ability to think bizarre – that’s Ranit Mukherjee, Creative Supervisor, FCB Ulka. Mukherjee has worked his way up the copywriting ladder with stints at BEI Confluence, Hakuhodo Percept and currently at FCB Ulka. His career aspirations fluctuated wildly from becoming an astronaut to an automobile engineer, before veering towards advertising and copywriting.
What does it takes to climb up the ladder in advertising? Here’s Ranit Mukherjee in his own words...
How did you get into the role you are serving?
If I say that I always wanted to be a copywriter, I would be lying. I wanted to become an astronaut, and reality slapped me really hard. Then I wanted to become an automobile engineer, but then teenage love happened and academics went for a six. Then one day, one of my friends told me he wanted to become a copywriter. I stole his inspiration. I realised that I was good at making unique excuses, and I decided to put that to good use.
What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
Spontaneity, if that can be considered a skill though. Somehow, I have this habit of coming up with something during the briefing session itself. And they work.
Collaboration would be another skill I would like to mention. I love collaborating with others. Seniors, juniors, account management, planning, almost everyone in an agency has their own unique way of bettering an idea.
The ability to think bizarre. I strive to make something like puppymonkeybaby. Though, they hardly see the light of the day, but they are always appreciated.
One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
It has to be ‘The game has just begun’ campaign that we did for Hero Motocorp. It was intended to make people watch football and it came out during the first Indian Super League season. It’s the biggest campaign of my career so far.
Like any other quintessential Bengali guy, I love football. And my art partner (also my best friend), Satadru Dey, is also a football fanatic. The brief spurred us. We had to feature Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Hero Scooters and football in one TVC. After a few passes, we kind of scored a goal.
The TVC was shot in Mumbai and it took us almost 2 days to pull it off. The client was really happy as we managed to do justice to the stars, the scooters and above all, football. And the fact that we played a small role in promoting football in our cricket crazy nation, made us really proud.
While working on the creatives how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
I do a lot of homework. What’s the category scenario? What are the other competitors communicating? And why? Then I try to think of a known face that fits into the brand’s TG.
If I made it sound like hard work, it’s not!
Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
Swati Bhattacharya – she has totally transformed FCB Ulka. Her in-depth knowledge of brands opens a lot of doors in our minds. She can move people just by telling stories.
Sanjay Sharma – the man is a maverick of sorts. He would encourage my bizarre thoughts and then help me shape them with sanity. His wisdom is unparalleled.
Michel Gondry – now this is a bit of a jump. He is the man I want to be. Even if I become 10 per cent of what he is, I am done.
What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?
- Surf memes
- I read a lot about technology
- Watch a few shows and movies
- Go through a lot of irreverent content (helps me think)
- Sit with juniors, seniors and people from different departments to get their view on ideas
Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
Definitely. But only if one manages not to be a burden.
What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
- One must be patient.
- One must be proactive.
- One must be open to criticism.
What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
- Learn to stay awake.
- Learn to accept rejections.
- And yes, learn to be stupid. The Diesel kind of stupid.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Definitely not a young gun, but a name behind really cool campaigns. And also, the wannabe filmmaker in me might come up with something good.
Is there any agency/ organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
I haven’t really thought about it.