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Prithviraj Banerjee, Brand Partner, BBH, Mumbai

The young lad counts his ability to read between the facts and research (consumers, markets, industries, financials etc.) and apply common logic to the same and put it down strategically on paper as a special skill

August 23, 2010:

Prithviraj Banerjee found planning on the Reliance Mobile ‘Apun Ka Sapna’ Cricket campaign, the most challenging of all the projects he has been part of so far. The challenge was to promote 20-20 world cup in the time when India had just lost the world cup.

Banerjee was always inclined towards sales and marketing. At least his educational qualification with specialization in marketing from Jai Hind College, and masters in the same from Leeds University, UK says so. Even his first job with STAR India Pvt. Ltd. was in compliance with his educational qualification. There he worked as an ads sales executive for the STAR one team for one year.

However, Banerjee’s second job at Leo Burnett, Mumbai, took him to an entirely different domain. He had joined Leo in May 2006 as a junior planning associate. But within two years, he got promoted as brand strategy director. Banerjee says that advertising has always been an obsession to him since Lijjat Papad days. “The Lijjat Papad bunny and Onida’s devil always fascinated my toddler mind. It was a calling that had to be answered,” says Banerjee as his recalls his love for advertising.

At Burnett, he was primarily responsible for planning on key businesses. He also participated in new business development and account management. Banerjee believes that instead of heading planning in an agency, it is better to lead an agency by getting involved in all aspects of its business.

He recently joined BBH Mumbai as Brand Partner for Unilever account. The young lad counts his ability to read between the facts and research (consumers, markets, industries, financials etc.) and apply common logic to the same and put it down strategically on paper as a special skill. He quickly adds, “Common sense and quick thinking is the best skill I bring to the table.” Other key areas of Banerjee include adherence to timelines, interpersonal skills and taking ownership of work he is responsible for. He also appreciates quality creative work. In fact this trait of his has made him bit impatient. But he doesn’t seem to complain. He also agrees that at times he becomes over confident as well.

Meanwhile, Banerjee found planning on the Reliance Mobile ‘Apun Ka Sapna’ Cricket campaign, the most challenging of all the projects he has been part of so far. The challenge was to promote 20-20 world cup. And all this had to done soon after India had just lost the World Cup. The communication required uplifting the mood of millions who had lost hope in India after losing the World Cup. Even Banerjee agrees and adds, “The creative articulation was brilliant; however the groundwork before the same was grueling.”

Another challenging moment for Banerjee was changing his orientation from sales to advertising. Fortunately, the learning curve was quick and his confusion ceased entirely after the first week!

And as far as young professionals are concerned, Banerjee feels that they need to instill a sense of ownership into their system. This is because even a creative team can’t deliver their best, unless they feel a sense of belonging to the brand. Needless to say but lack of ownership leads to poor quality advertising. “The reason I love working where I do is purely because of the passion depicted by the entire staff…ranging from top management to management trainees,” adds Banerjee.

He even accepts the fact that changing economic scenario has the changed the way clients are approached. A strong and in-depth understanding of the business is very critical in these competitive times. Banerjee also believes that advertising is a very promising sector, where fresh skill is always welcomed and creativity applauded at every level.

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