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Creative instinct and passion: Ad-men's desire at Portfolio Night 12

If you are the creative types and aspire to be a part of the ad-land, you cannot be missing the most awaited advertising events! The portfolio review-cum-recruitment event, Indian edition of Portfolio Night 12, finally took place on the 21st of May 2014 with a lot of enthusiasm in Mumbai’s Four Seasons Hotel. The event was a dream-come-true for some and a bit disappointing for some of the young participants in the competition.

The highly anticipated evening saw an impressive turnout of 75 young creative aspirants who presented their work to top 25 creative directors of the country, with most of them, obviously excited to meet the big ad-men. Coming from varied backgrounds, all of them were keyed up to make their careers in the field of advertising.   

Hosted by Lowe Lintas and Partners, Portfolio Night was conducted simultaneously in 20+ cities across the world sought to unite the advertising and design communities in every continent for a common purpose: to identify young and upcoming talent and mentor them on the opportunities that lay ahead.

Flagged off in 2002, Portfolio Night is a platform for young creative aspirants to have their work sampled by at least three top Creative Directors from the industry in a single evening. While it helps youngsters gain constructive feedback and guidance on their skill sets, the top Creative Directors get to spot potential talent.

The 75 aspirants were divided into three batches and each aspirant got the opportunity to get their portfolio reviewed by three Creative Directors. Each Creative Director met three candidates individually for 15 minutes and reviewed their work, ideas and offered them valuable feedback.

The creative heads who reviewed the work at this edition of the event included Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative Director South Asia - Ogilvy & Mather, Abhijit Avasthi & Rajiv Rao - National Creative Directors, Ogilvy & Mather, Bobby Pawar, Chief Creative Officer, Publicis, Josy Paul, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, BBDO, K S Chakravarty (Chax), National Creative Director, FCB Ulka, Deepak Singh, National Head - Art, TBWA India, Parixit Bhattacharya,  Chief Creative Officer, TBWA India, Kapil Tammal, Executive Creative Director, Scarecrow Communication, Malvika Mehra, National Creative Director, Grey Worldwide, Pradyumna Chauhan, National Creative Director, McCann Worldgroup, Raghu Bhat,  Founder / Director, Scarecrow Communication, Ramki D Ramkrishna, Owner, Cartwheel Creative Consultancy, Tista Sen, National Creative Director, JWT, Vikram Gaikwad, Founder, Underdog, Ashish Chakravarty, National Creative Director, Contract India.

Adgully caught up with some of these creative heads to deconstruct the event.

Piyush Pandey who judged the third stage and the ‘All stars’, was quite happy to witness such great talent and encouraging work from the participants. Expressing his views, he said, “It was wonderful to meet young people who want to do new things and achieve high values in their career. All of them had a great creative instinct and passion towards advertising industry. Their work showcased the kind of spark they have and all of them are so aspiring and inspiring.”

Ashish Qureshi, a participant and Portfolio Night - ‘All Star’ nominee, who is currently working with an FM station in Indore as a copy writer was very excited and happy to have met Piyush Pandey, who mentored his work and guided him for better and bright future. Mayank Bhayana from Bangalore bagged the Portfolio Night –‘All Star’ title from India and will be flown to New York to take part in a week-long creative challenge on a specific brief.

Arun Iyer, who gave a chance to one person to come and see them; said, “The event was a great opportunity for Lowe Lintas to give back to the community and the industry of advertising. This year the participants have come quite well-prepared and with great ideas which clearly shows where the industry is heading.”

Though Josy Paul, K S Chakravarty a.k.a Chax were not-so-kicked with the contestants that they had met, Paul was quite happy to see the kind of passion and creative sense they hold and was looking forward to be in touch with some of them after the event. He said, “In terms of hiring any one I am not-so-sure but would be happy to mentor all of them and may be that will help them refining and making their work bigger and better,”. Whereas Chax felt that they were quite amateur for something like this. He was expecting something really inspiring and surprising and maddening. He says, “It is good to see how young people wanting to build their careers in advertising but they need to be more passionate and should have that creative sense to come up with a great idea.”    

Ashish Chakravarty was quite happy with the kind of work he had witnessed at the event and was looking forward to work with young people with such high creative aspirations. He said, “I met a few really good contestants with some great ideas and have asked 2 of them to come and meet us. The quality of work has undoubtedly gone high this year which shows the advertising industry has a really long way to in the coming future.” 

Ameer Jaleel, who were witnessing Portfolio Night for the first time had no expectations at all but was really happy and surprised with kind of creative brains the young people have. While the NCDs and ECDs were hoping high and were looking forward to work with some really passionate contestants, the contestants were too geared up to enter into one of the coolest industry and make their presence felt with their enthusiasm and remarkable ideas.

Apart from all this, what caught the eye-balls at the event was the introductory spoof of some of the well-known NCDs, showcasing five youngsters who tried to ape the names that say it all like Rajiv Rao, Nitesh Tiwari, Abhijit Avasthi, R Balki and Bobby Pawar. The portrayal of all these honchos was real and protagonists were able to carry it the way these ad-men are. The insight given was ‘every man is a tell’. The men behind the ‘Kick-ass’ idea of creating something like this were Piyush Gupta who created the campaign, Sandeep Patil who produced it and Vivek Das Chaudhary who shot it.  Piyush Gupta, Creative Director at Lowe Lintas who is neophyte to the industry was able to crack the brief in just 5 days. He says, “It was quite challenging and interesting to work on something like this in the limited time but with the support of all my team members and my peers I was able to deliver what was expected. Looking at the brief it was quite relevant to come up with something of this sort for all the portfolio night contestants who would be willing to know the NCDs.”    

As part of its association with Portfolio Night,, will offer one candidate a chance to work as an intern for 3 months on a brief set up by the client. The candidate will be chosen from the final set of nominees shortlisted from the various individual stages.

This year’s Portfolio Night was supported by global sponsor: Shutterstock, Twitter and SquareSpace. In India, the event was supported by Godrej HIT, Idea Cellular, Tanishq, Micromax, Lifebuoy, and Myntra who came on board as Brand Sponsors for Portfolio Night.


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