Award shows are moving towards the Lintas school of thought: Prateek Bhardwaj

Bhardwaj, CCO, Lowe Lintas talks about heading the agency, client demands, challenges and more

Prateek Bhardwaj

It has always been a task to get Prateek Bhardwaj to pose for pictures or do a video interview but when we finally managed to get him in front of the camera, he was a natural, just as he is a natural at cracking big campaigns such as Nescafé’s stammering comedian and RJ Rishi, Ministry of Public Health, Afghanistan (Immunity Charm) and Incredible India, amongst others. And to think, he is only getting started as the CCO of Lowe Lintas!

You are heading an agency which was creatively led by legends like Alyque Padamsee, Balki and more recently Arun Iyer. You are stepping into very big shoes… is there a lot of pressure on you?

Yes, of course, there is pressure. But I also see real privilege, considering that great people have been associated with this agency. I am not taking the pressure of stepping into their shoes but I am fully aware of the role and the responsibilities it comes with, and the legacy of this company. 

You spent five years at McCann Worlgroup; so why did you move to Lowe Lintas, an agency which, unlike McCann, hasn’t been entering awards? And who will have to change, Prateek or Lowe Lintas?

The chemistry seemed to be right. The vision seemed to be right. So, it was quite easy to join Lowe Lintas. As far as awards are concerned, over the years, award shows have also evolved, they are moving out of scams, rewarding work which is more effective, more strategic. Basically, I would say they are moving towards the Lintas school of thought. So perhaps we will also start entering awards if we feel comfortable with it, who knows? After all, the kind of work that is awarded today is much more in line with the kind of work Lintas has always believed in. 

But I am not thinking about awards; in fact, I never did. It just happened that over the last few years, there was a lot of work which could be entered in awards and yes, McCann Worldgroup has a system that is awards-oriented. So, naturally you fit into that. But we don’t create work like Immunity Charm to enter awards. The work should be good, the rest will happen.

What kind of challenges does the new wave of CCOs face when compared to what your seniors faced at one point of time?

The challenge is that we need to deal with different kinds of resources now, like designers, content writers, coders, tech guys, social media experts, etc., and we don’t just have to get them in but also figure out how to deploy them and retain them. That is going to be the fundamental challenge for all of us. The kind of things that clients are demanding today goes beyond the standard TVCs and Print ads; in fact the Print campaigns are hardly happening now. So, we need a lot more in terms of talent that is the big challenge we will face over the next few years. 

Watch the video here

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