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Spirit W | Creation and innovation are driving my passion: Razorfish's Mariappan

Ever heard of an ad community for women?! If not then Preethi Mariappan is the name you should look for. Besides being the Executive Creative Director at Razorfish Germany, Mariappan is also the founder of Adwomen Middle East, an advertising community for women. In her role at Razorfish she is in charge of strengthening the creative department of 50 people across two offices located in Frankfurt and Berlin.

She has received global recognition at One Show, Sabre, Dubai Lynx and Effies to name a few. She brings to the role, an industry wide reputation and award-winning expertise across multiple sectors and is deputed to help all Razorfish clients to navigate the unknown, drive change and enable business transformation.

Prior to her stint with Razorfish, Mariappan was with Digital ECD TBWA, heading up the Digital Arts Network by bringing together storytelling, people and products. Her tenure at TBWA commenced in 2010 when she joined as Head of Digital, working on clients including GE, Nissan, Standard Chartered Bank and GSK.

Adgully caught up with Preethi Mariappan, ECD, Razorfish Germany during Goafest 2014, to get an understanding of the digital advertising scenario nationally and internationally and more.

During her session at Goafest 2014, Mariappan said that all life experiences are amplified socially and that brands need to create a social experience that is memorable while reaching the user’s own social network without interruption.

Giving us a sense of where the digital industry stands today, she said, “Brands are increasingly focusing on live branded experiences to engage with their consumers using innovative technology. Concentrating on creative experiential marketing in branding is a great channel to focus on so that consumers are experiencing a memorable brand experience, which will affect their relationship with the brand in a positive way.”

Elaborating her role at Razorfish, she said, “Working with a focus on driving creative solutions that go beyond campaigns and deliver real business value, Razorfish has created one of the most exciting spaces to work in digital today. Since the time I have joined I have had an aim to take the company’s vision ahead and give a better understanding of digital/social and mobile to our clients.”

Since she has handled a few international markets including Asia, giving us an overview of the international market viz-a-viz Indian market with respect to acceptance of digital nuances, she stated that India as market stands quite tall and there is a lot similarity between the kind of creative minds and talent base the country has. “What makes Indian market different is the set of clients both the markets have. The clients that we deal with internationally believe in creating social conversations more than just engagement. They drive on what value a brand would get after these conversations”, Mariappan said.

Creativity plays an important role worldwide. Stating that today business itself has to be creative and then the brands will join hands; she said, “Your creative skills have to partner with grounded skills of business and then only one will be able to stand out different among the competition”.

She believes that it is essentially about creative ideas that drive new social behaviours for audiences and how creative and experiential digital marketing can transform businesses. Mentioning some successful case studies she said, “Brands such as Maggi for its #cookinghack, Audi One Million Reasons, Mercedes Benz Take the Wheel and Unilever All Things Hair; the entire experience about using social media has changed thoroughly.”

She believes that the biggest challenge that the digital industry is facing is the speed at which the industry is moving forward. “Even today, lots of work and thinking is channel-specific. Digital is still not a pioneer and traditional media still holds much more importance. The brands in the travel category really need digital transformation at so many levels and with India's diversity; this would be quite scary and exciting to work on”, she opined.

Mariappan’s passion for creativity and enabling ideas for the digital atmosphere is what made her choose the profession that she is today. She loves creating new and innovative ideas for brands and their audiences. Her most notable pieces of work are the Red Tomato Pizza Fridge Magnet, which picked up four Cannes Lions in 2012. Some of the Indian campaigns that she likes is The Farmers' Suicide Campaign is compelling. She would love to work for ITDC or any Indian airline brand she said concluding.

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