Thirty-year-old Jana Colaco never puts her imagination on a leash and that’s how most of her energy to be creative comes from. Always been categorised as the ‘quirky’ writer with ‘quirky’ ideas at the workplace, she hopes to own the tagline forever with her future works.
Colaco gets inspired by the darnedest things people say to her and is a big fan of Stephen King novels.
“I am a big Stephen King fan. Reading his books took my mind places — took my writing places. I love people who make the English language a craft,” said Colaco, Senior Copywriter, Group Head, Blink Digital.
Born and brought up in Mumbai, Colaco did her schooling from Learner’s Academy, Bandra and BBM in journalism from Shrimati Mithibai Motiram Kundnani College.
But you never end up where you begin, do you? She did a two-month internship at HT Cafe, then LBI. “I got my first real job at iDiva. Listicles became my life, but it wasn’t for me. I think my boss at the moment sensed I wasn’t really in it. I joined a start-up called The Global Local — for bespoke experiences in Bombay,” she said.
To work as a copywriter for an advertising agency or join a digital agency was not a part of her plan at all.
“A senior of mine from school, now boss at work, kept asking me to join his company, but I didn’t really know and wasn’t sure if I could see myself in advertising. But then there was the lure of Vh1 being a client — so I caved in and decided to freelance for three months for Blink Solution. I ended up staying on for six years and counting,” Colaco said.
The first two years at Blink was about adjusting for her as it’s tough for a newcomer who is unknown to the digital marketing landscape to understand it.
“I wasn’t the chatty Cathy because I wasn’t letting myself embrace the job. I think three years in, and that’s when it really hit me — I think I can be good at this. There were still a lot of doubts because writing always comes under the scanner. I had moments writing for big clients when there were glaring typos but I had understanding bosses. You go into a tizzy but you also learn to take things in your stride and keep the work tight and precise,” she said.
Colaco considers her biggest achievement in taking feedback with a spoonful of honey.
The most fun working campaign for her was KFC Watt a Box — a meal box that doubles as a charger.
“It was amazing to see a campaign take off literally well, the way it did and got featured on Jimmy Kimmel! Put us on the map, it did,” Colaco adds.
The campaign was one of her first-time understanding of the skeleton of a campaign — from the importance of insight to the importance of saying the right things and not overselling. The experience also brought her completely into script writing.
According to her, copywriting allows a person to be creative, with mixing a client’s feedback and self-ideas showing them what more can be said.
But adding one big word doesn’t make a copy good, says Colaco, “It’s saying things effortlessly and getting the point across that does the job,” she said.
She gets into self-doubt when no big creative idea strikes in her mind. “It is tough to be always creatively called upon — and I know I’m not the only one to say it or think it,” she points out.
The most challenging project in her career was the one she did for Star Power for Star Sports. “My knowledge of the sport was tested to the limit and I had a couple of hiccups working out of their office,” she said.
She likes doing yoga, reading and watching movies in her free time.