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Quick 5 with Flying Saucer’s Pushpendra Misra

22-January-2013
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Quick 5 with Flying Saucer’s Pushpendra Misra

In partnership with Yahoo, Flying Saucer, an advertising and film production company, launched Shooting Star – an initiative that gives upcoming copywriters an opportunity to work on an actual brief given by Yahoo!. A selected entry will be produced by Flying Saucer and submitted for Cannes festival.

In conversation with exchange4media, Misra speaks about the need to recognise upcoming talent and the need for something like Shooting Star.

Please share the thought process behind Shooting Star?
Firstly, Shooting Star is not a ‘digital only’ creative platform. We have launched it with the intention of creating an ‘exclusive platform’ for young writers. The competition has an age limit of up to 28 years. It is the first ever creative platform that bars senior creatives from participating. It is more like under 19 cricket tournament. We want to unearth great talent amongst youngsters. We are asking them to write film scripts with not just one medium in mind. It could be used anywhere depending on the client’s media planning.

What is the rationale behind partnering with Yahoo!?
It is not that Yahoo! came to us, we approached Yahoo!. We wanted to give youth a chance to create films on an actual brief; an opportunity where they can come up with the best of ideas. My association with Yahoo! goes long back, from being a jury member for Yahoo! Big Idea Chair Awards to this initiative. It has been a long and fruitful journey. Yahoo! has always supported in bringing the creativity of the youth to the fore.

What, according to you, is the USP of Shooting Star?
Although the format is a replica of how scripts are traditionally written in agencies (a focussed brief with limitations on resources), there still is immense freedom to express. The participants skip the traditional agency format of getting their scripts approved by their seniors. They can express their belief in their own talent. They can write as bold and wicked ideas as they like. And they can submit three scripts. The written pieces do not have to be a series or a campaign (how traditionally ideas are presented to a client). They can write radically different ideas – 180 degrees from each other – we don't mind. We have to select one idea and we want the writers to exhaust all their tangential thoughts. This is what we wish to promote – a fearless creative environment.

How do you plan to market Shooting Star? Can you share your marketing mix?
The marketing is mainly digital and print. We are also relying on word-of-mouth quite a bit. We have got good response so far.

Do you believe that advertising across digital is suffering in terms of creativity?
Yes, there is need to do more on the platform. Digital is becoming ‘within the box’ kind of a thing. What we need now are great ideas; ideas that can give quality to the medium.

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