The advertising business is starved of creative talent. The younger generation, fresh out of B-Schools, wants to actualise fast. One should come to advertising to accept it as an intellectual challenge and not for money. I would say, ‘Come to advertising if you have the talent’.
Gullu shapes the creative vision of From Here On. His work is informed by sharp insights, surprising ideas and executions that impact the culture.
Before From Here On, he headed Dentsu’s operations in India as Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Creative Officer. He has also led creative efforts at Rediffusion DY&R, Mudra, Trikaya Grey and JWT.
Gullu is acclaimed for his game-changing work on brands. ‘Sar Utha Ke Jiyo’ for HDFC Standard Life, the Aamir Khan campaign for Toyota Innova, and the ‘Kancha’ ad for Maruti are just some picks from a vast portfolio that also features brands like AT&T, Canon, Colgate, Rasna, Aircel, Acer and many more.
When he is not working (rare!), Gullu creates sculptures, listens to music and nurtures his verdant garden.
Gullu Sen, Managing Partner, From Here On talks to exchange4media about advertising today, the uniqueness of real estate advertising, his memorable ad campaigns, his journey and more.
Q. Your career covers stints at Rediffusion DY&R, Dentsu, Interact+Vision, Trikaya Grey (now Grey Worldwide), JWT and now From Here On. How has the journey been?
All I can say is that it’s been very exciting, different and completely polarized. I began in HTA (now JWT) which was a different world. That was a huge institution, where I spent time learning the ropes. I was lucky to be there. At Trikaya it was a diametrically opposite organization, that was creatively-driven. Then on I found my specialization and set up Interact+Vision in Delhi and Mumbai. I started to work with small entrepreneurs, as that was the focus there. That’s when I saw the market closely, how the smaller retailers work, which was very different from the corporate world of advertising. It was a drastically different world. Then I got the chance to revive Rediffusion DY&R, which was aggressive in business, and I was involved in new business development. Some of the brands I worked on were - Airtel campaign before it was called Airtel (it was called Bharati Cellular then), Colgate, Suzuki, Citibank amongst others.