A 80s kid, Sreshta Anantharam has grown up listening to jingles on radio and watching her favourite celebrities cameoing on television through ad spots. Her love and child-like enthusiasm for advertising still remains but today, she is not just a passive audience but a contributing factor to this industry that she loves.
Anantharam’s journey in the advertising industry started in earnest when she graduated from Christ University in Masters in Communication, with a specialisation in advertising.
“During my Masters, I interned with Radio One. The experience there was fantastic and it made sure that as soon as I was done with my Masters, I applied to Radio One.”
But fate had another card up its sleeve for Anantharam. Before she could hear back from Radio One, Ogilvy & Mather happened. Anantharam jumped on to the opportunity and there was no looking back for her.
“If you want to start your journey in advertising, I can’t think of any place better than Ogilvy & Mather. I worked with brilliant brands and brilliant people and the other thing about Ogilvy was global exposure. I worked on brand Lenovo across different regions and it helped me understand cultural diversity. I also went on to do the branding exercise for CarWale. I was responsible for leading and establishing traditional, online and point of sale communication across India for the brand which was great experience.”
Over the course of five years that Anantharam spent at Ogilvy, she climbed her way up to become a Group Account Manager, managing teams across various brands. Anantharam also bagged a few accolades during her time at the agency. She bagged the ‘Breakthrough creative award’, ‘Special recognition award’, ‘Strategic planning insights lead campaign award’ and ‘End to End Project Ownership award’ for her work on brand Lenovo.
“After five years at Ogilvy, I guess it was time for a change because when you love something, it is easy to get comfortable with it but change is something beautiful and you must jump for it at the right time. One of the things that is new out there and something that is going places is social advertising. And what a better way to start off this journey than from Webchutney.”
The change was scary for Anantharam but it was also something that she knew she had to do.
“The leap from mainline to a digital was a crazy learning experience and has surely made me an Account Management personnel armed for the challenges of the future. At Webchutney, there have been numerous opportunities that have tested my sense of creativity, my leadership qualities as well as my advertising experience.”
Anantharam has also done some award-winning digital work at Webchutney. She worked on BBD 2016 (Big Billon Day), where they had to turn mundane online advertisements into memorable experiences. This was achieved by creating the first gamified treasure hunt designed for Facebook 360 video. This won Anantharam and her team a Bronze Abby, 2017 under the category, Interactive Video, a Gold - Digital Crest Awards (2017) under the Advergaming category and a silver too.
According to Anantharam, the most fun project that she has worked on so far is the Facebook 360 video and the most challenging project that she has worked on so far is a project where she had to work with Ravindra Jadeja.
“The all-rounder project was something that was very challenging. We had a very tight timeline and we were working with Ravindra Jadeja and it was a little challenging but it was also a fantastic experience.”
Anantharam believes that her biggest strength is the fact that she believes in pushing boundaries.
“When someone says that something is not possible, my immediate response would be to make it possible.”
A perfectionist, Anantharam thinks that her need for everything to be absolutely perfect is possibly her biggest weakness.
When not working, Anantharam enjoys reading, watching television and travelling.
So, what would she have been doing if not advertising?
“I am very passionate about interior designing and it is something that is on my mind and will happen in the future for sure. The other thing is radio. I am not sure when I will get a chance to get back to radio but I will.”