If not advtg, I would try theater. If that doesn't work out, I may have to sell idlis: Shashi Nambiar

Nambiar, a writer with Leo Burnett Worldwide talks about his learnings from advtg, the 'Fab 4' of the industry he looks up to and his parents wanting him to be a 'good boy'

e4m by Priyanka Mehra
Updated: Dec 4, 2013 7:59 AM
If not advtg, I would try theater. If that doesn't work out, I may have to sell idlis: Shashi Nambiar

Shashi Nambiar a.k.a Shashi bhaiyya (a name fondly given to him by his peers) is a writer with Leo Burnett Worldwide. His last stint was with JWT. In this week’s Youth Quotient, Nambiar talks about how he entered adland, his admiration for the ‘Fab 4’ of the industry and much more...

He says that when he is not thinking of ideas, he dreams about making a mark in the film industry. But before that “there's a lot to be done in adland”, he adds.

What are the three things that the industry has taught you?
A creative job requires considerable amount of patience and discipline. Keep trying and you will be rewarded. And yeah, listen to your parents when they ask you to be a good boy.

What do you love about your job and what are the things you dislike?
The thing that I love about my job is that the timings are flexible and I can work from home. And the thing that I hate about my job is that the timings are flexible and I should work from home.

Why did you decide to be a part of the advertising industry?
My parents always wanted me to be a ‘good boy’. Top the class, be obedient, be an engineer, not watch TV all the time, be punctual, eat on time, sleep on time, get married at the right age (to an equally obedient mallu girl) etc. etc. Yeh sab apne ko jamaa nahin bhai! And I guess that’s how advertising ended up being a part of me.

Which is the one project you are proud to have associated with?
I don’t think it’s fair to pick projects. I’ve always believed in working for brands and I’ve loved my association with all the brands that I’ve worked for. But if I must pick, Thomas Cook’s ‘Readymade Holidays’ and an ongoing project for HDFC Life are few I have thoroughly enjoyed working on.

If you wouldn’t have been in this industry, what do you think you would be doing?
I love films and thanks to a friend, I got an opportunity to act in one. The experience was simply overwhelming. If not advertising, I would definitley try my hand at theater as an actor / writer. Woh bhi nahin jamaa toh, idli ka gaadi daalne ke alawaa kya option bachta hai?

Who is the one leader in the industry whom you look up to?
There are quite a few people actually: R Balki, Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Pandey. But the one person who has inspired me the most is Agnello Dias; maybe, because I got a chance to interact and work with him. The project was small but the experience was big. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to work closely with the rest at some point in my life. Two more names that deserve a special mention are Vistasp Hodiwala and Ram Jayaraman. They are my mentors and without them, I wouldn’t be doing this interview. Whatever little I know about advertising is because of them and I hope I get a chance to work with them again.

Five brands, you would want to work with…
Aahh…I’m glad you asked this question. Well, there are ads that win at Cannes, there are ads that stay with you, and then there are ads you wish you had done. I love the Imperial Blue ‘Men Will Be Men’ ads. Imagine the thrill in writing those. Apart from that, Tanishq, Cadbury, Skittles, Nike, Axe deodrants are some of the brands I’d love to work with.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Now you’re beginning to sound like my dad!


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