Youth Quotient: "Keeping up with the speed of innovation is stimulating"

I love how something's the norm one day & then obsolete the next day. Keeping up with this breakneck speed of relevance is really stimulating & humbling, says Karthik Krishnan, Copy Supervisor at IBS

e4m by Abhinna Shreshtha
Updated: Jan 1, 2014 10:54 AM
Youth Quotient: "Keeping up with the speed of innovation is stimulating"

One would usually find Karthik Krishnan, Copy Supervisor at Interface Business Solutions (IBS), dressed up as Darth Vader at comic conventions. Being a professional Darth Vader cosplayer has a deep appeal for the ex-Ogilvy India ad professional. “When I’m not juggling illegible brainstorm notes, new briefs and content calendars, I actively discourage the monetisation of amateur photography, courtesy my Facebook page – Ridiculously Mediocre Photography,” says Krishnan.

What attracted you to digital advertising?
To be honest, at first, I didn’t know there was such a thing as digital advertising. To me, advertising was all the same. I was a hyperactive kid and so the need to keep me busy with creative outlets was something my folks realised early on. After a detour in Biotechnology (in which I have a Masters degree), advertising was like a homecoming of sorts. Digital was a natural fit, given my online proclivities.

What do you love about digital advertising and what are the things you dislike?
I love how something’s the norm one day and then obsolete the next day. Keeping up with this breakneck speed of innovation and relevance is really stimulating and humbling. And the one thing I hate is how “Digital advertising is the future” is always said in the present continuous.

Which is the one project you are proud to have been associated with?
The Vodafone ZooZoos 10 million Facebook fans celebration. It was a labour of love – getting the required funding for a special project, where I got to call the shots from brief till the go-live date.

How much of ‘Mad Men’ is still true for advertising guys?
Servicing interns can become writers too! I can attest to that.

What’s your most memorable moment in advertising?
Winning my first award in my first year in advertising on one of my first solo projects – a Silver at the Yahoo! Big Idea Awards, 2011.

If not advertising, what do you think you would be doing?
A sports writer for the Los Angeles Lakers or a professional Darth Vader cosplayer.

Who is that one leader in the industry whom you look up to?
I honestly have no role model who I can look up to, yet. Online havens such as 9gag, 22bslash6, The Oatmeal, etc., where millions contribute their stories via pictures, memes, tweets, etc., are my true sources of inspiration. In digital advertising, the best teacher is the target audience.

Five brands, you would want to work with and why.
Nike (a chance to work with Kobe Bryant), NBA (creative control over the best spectator sport in the world), Budweiser (Come on! It’s a brand that allowed a ‘Whaazaaaaa!’ moment), National Geographic (to satiate my inner photography-smitten child), and McFarlane Toys (action figures, ‘nuff said!).

Where do you see yourself five years from now?
At a courtside seat in Madison Square Garden next to Jack Nicholson, enjoying the NBA All Star game, while also discussing his role in my next made-for-digital video content.

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