Ketan Kadam (visualizer) and Adith Fernandes (junior copywriter) from FCB Interface are the only ones who made it to the shortlists for the Young Abby and fetched gold for a campaign done for Drop Dead Foundation. For the young and vibrant faces of FCB Interface, Goafest 2017 is something they will cherish forever. When the awards were announced, unbelievably, they didn’t get up to go to the stage to collect them, while everyone was cheering for them. Getting an award from Senthil Kumar of JWT was like a dream come true for them.
Fernandes passed out from St Xavier’s and FCB Interface is the first workplace for him. His interest in advertising has been since his childhood as his mother has been a hair stylist in more than 5,000 ad films. But for Kadam, entering advertising was a hell of a ride. He has always been interested in advertising, but his mother wanted him to become a doctor or an engineer. Going against everybody’s will, Kadam found his first job in the set designing team of the movie Agnipath. From there he moved to a small advertising agency Innervoice Communications. After building his portfolio for around six months and doing a lot of BTL activities, Kadam managed to enter FCB Interface and is now working for the agency for more than a year now. Both of them together as a team work on brands like Mahindra, Bluestar and Oreo biscuits. Fernandes does the copies and Kadam does the art bit.
Not having enough savings and backing from parents to even study and pursue a career in advertising, Kadam had to spend a few years in painting parking lots and yellow lines on the roads to save money for studies and survival.
The campaign for which they won an award is something that can actually save wastage of water. A person needs to peel off the ad from the magazine and stick it around any leakages at home. Talking about the campaign that fetched them the Young Abby, Kadam said, “The campaign began with a fight. A lot of ideas were clashing. At the end, we decided that we should come up with an idea that actually solves the problem. Rather than just talking about to save water, we wanted to save water which was already getting wasted.”
Fernandes said, “Most of the ads these days have a really good insight and illustrations, but when it comes to being effective, they fail at that point in pursuing people in actually going and doing something. We saw many ads for our reference and saw really good ads. Like this, we became further determined to create an ad that actually saves water. That’s how we came up with the water tape idea. Anyone can peel off the ad and use it in their house, wherever there is a water leakage.”
Turning slightly philosophical, Kadam believes in standing out of the crowd. He said, “You don’t have to be perfect every time, you just have to be different.”
Fernandes first experiments all his ideas on his family. “Whenever we get a brief and prepare our first work, the first thing I do is not to go and show it to my creative director, but to my family. They are ruthless and speak the truth. They will be honest because eventually, they are the ones who will be your target audience who have no idea of what you are doing right now.”
Both the young minds love their advertising jobs to the core. Each day brings along a new challenge and brief to crack. Although work gets stressful at times, Kadam takes it positively, “We like working under deadlines so that the brain functions in one direction.”
When Fernandes was small, his mother always used to take him along to shoots. Sharing his thought behind becoming a part of advertising himself, he said, “I used to observe the creative directors at the set. For me, it was an entire mad scene. I was in love with the whole atmosphere. I never came out and expressed my desire that I want to be in advertising, but deep down I always had this feeling.”
The Young Abby has pumped in confidence and positivity in them and people have started noticing them at work. For Kadam, Chetan Jagtap of Innervoice Communication is an inspiration as he has learnt the basics of advertising only from him. Fernandes’ inspiration is his mother, who is like a guiding force in advertising for him. Also, both Kadam and Fernandes are big fans of Santosh Padhi and Agnello Dias of Taproot.
Instilled with renewed energy, confidence and passion, Fernandes dreams of creating a TVC where his mother would be the hair stylist. As for Kadam, he wants to be known in the industry at a national level.