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Ad land’s Young Guns: Sreejith Kodoth, Rediffusion Y&R

Featured in this edition of Ad land’s Young Guns is Sreejith Kodoth, Creative Head (Art), Rediffusion Y&R. Kodoth started his career as a photographer with the Kerala Forest Department. But soon advertising beckoned and he made the switch and has never looked back.

With an experience of over 15 years, Kodoth has worked in agencies like JWT India, Lintas, Leo Burnett, Ogilvy and DDB Mudra. He joined Rediffusion Y&R in November 2014.

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

How did you get into the role that you are serving?
I completed my BFA from the College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum, and started my career as a photographer with the Kerala Forest Department. But I was always fascinated by advertising and had my heart set on it. So I followed my heart and began my advertising career at JWT Bangalore. It’s been more than a decade and since then I’ve worked at Lintas, Leo Burnett, Ogilvy and DDB.

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
I’m a problem solver. I have an insatiable appetite when it comes to learning, observing and dreaming. To think big, you need a curious mind. I’m always trying to create work that breaks the category code and redefines the ordinary. But this isn’t a solo effort. It’s a collaborative one. You need to earn your client’s trust and win your team’s heart. Everyone needs to share and believe in your vision. And the only way I know how to get things done is with honesty and hard work.

One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
I’m extremely proud of the recent campaign we created for SBI Cap. It was a multi-agency pitch and the brief was to create a commercial for their online trading portal. We went back and challenged the brief. The portal had six great features and one commercial would do them no justice. So we proposed six commercials instead of one. We ended up winning the pitch and received a standing ovation from the client for the final films. The rest, as they say, is history. The sweetest part of the entire process was the fact that this campaign gave me my directorial debut.

A few other campaigns I’m proud of would be Cadbury Bournville and Volkswagen Jetta.

While working on the creatives, how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
Within every problem lies its solution. The trick is to clearly understand the brief. When you have absolute clarity of the problem the solution presents itself to you in funny ways. I often discover my ideas from my day-to-day experiences.

Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
When I started my career with JWT Bangalore, I worked closely with some of the most inspiring minds like Vivek Kakkad, Rajesh Ramaswamy, Senthil Kumar and P Radhakrishnan Nair, to name a few.

I was also influenced by one of the most prominent Indian advertising legends, Piyush Pandey. His observation and understanding of people is unparalleled.

Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
If you love your profession from the bottom of your heart, yes. As consumer mindsets and lifestyles evolve, it’s important for the industry to keep up. And if you are willing to change with the times, then your career in advertising becomes viable.

What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
Passion and hard work.

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Be passionate. Be honest. Never give up.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Five years is a long time. I like to take each day as it comes.

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