Nasheet Shadani of Ogilvy & Mather, New Delhi has just joined Grey Group Singapore as Associate Creative Director and is handling the creative responsibilities of GSK globally.
Born and brought up in Old Delhi, graduated in Fine Arts from Jamia Millia Islamia, Nasheet has worked on various brands including Vodafone, Perfetti, Philips, Microsoft, HP and GM.
His creative work has been appreciated by consumers as well as award juries. He has won many national and international awards including two Cannes Lions this year – Silver for designing Ogilvy’s logo in Urdu and Bronze for Save Calligraphy project.
In a free-wheeling chat, Sadhani talks about approaching advertising as an art form, his proud moment of designing the Ogilvy logo for Urdu and Persian speaking countries, and more…
Why did you decide to be a part of the advertising industry?
Being a fine arts graduate, I love creating new things. Whether the end result, from an advertising perspective, is considered art or not, I approach it as an art form. The instinct that starts a painting or a song is there in making of an ad because like other art forms, an ad is something created out of other things.
Besides, advertising keeps on evolving just like our society. I get paid for crazy ideas and I get a kick out of it.
What are the three things that the industry has taught you?
1. “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” – David Ogilvy
2. “It takes courage to be creative. Just as soon as you have a new idea, you are a minority of one.” – E. Paul Torrance
3. “Simple can be harder than complex” – Steve Jobs
What do you love about your job and what are the things you dislike?
Advertising is the only industry where my hobbies come first. I don’t work in a bank. Here, I can take my hobbies to work. I can do calligraphy, make illustrations, watch movies, read books or do whatever I enjoy doing in my office time and in doing so, I can come up with much fresher ideas, which is good for all of us.
I have more likes than dislikes. And I have a good habit of forgetting what I dislike.
Which is the one project you are proud to have associated with?
I really felt proud when I designed Ogilvy’s logo for Urdu and Persian speaking countries. I re-designed it in such a way that it combines two totally different scripts – Roman and Persian and could be read from left to right and vice-versa. I really love it, not because it gave me my first metal at Cannes but because it is a logo that attempts to artistically amalgamate two great cultures of the West and East.
If you wouldn’t have been in this industry, what do you think you would be doing?
I would be making paintings, illustrations, doing calligraphy and working on stop motion animations…the list goes on. But the best thing is that I am still doing all these in advertising.
Who is the one leader in the industry whom you look up to?
I think if I idolize someone, my thinking can be stuck. I will have so much respect for his work that it will be difficult, almost impossible, for me to think beyond. After all, advertising is all about creativity and creativity is all about transformation.
Five brands, you would want to work with…
The Economist, Play Station, Swatch, Google and Amnesty International.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Commanding a big army of aliens on Jupiter, selling hot dogs in South Africa or maybe I will be doing some interesting work that people might consider art or advertising. Who can see the future? But I am sure I will love what I do even more.