BestMediaInfo.com recently organised the second Rising Star Awards at The Oberoi, Gurugram, to celebrate the applause-worthy works of young media strategists, under 35 years of age, across several categories including print, digital, radio, etc.
At the second edition of Rising Star Awards, Dhaya Menon, Director- Media Planning, Interactive Avenues, won the High Chair trophy in the e-Commerce category for enabling Amazon to break e-commerce barriers in India’s small towns.
As per Menon, the most exciting thing about advertising is that it continues to give response to a larger environment and is both affected by and affects the prevailing zeitgeist.
“It remains one of the purest representations of where the society is at a certain point,” she said.
While throwing light as to how her scholastic journey helped her acknowledge and pursue a career in advertising, Menon said that since advertising sounds like a fun field to most people, similarly, it always seemed like a cool job to her as well.
“It was in college that I actually had the opportunity to attend seminars conducted by leaders in the advertising world. It was through these sessions that I learned how advertising and media was, at its heart, an application of the study of human behaviour,” she said.
Menon also went on to emphasise that she has always been fascinated with people and the things that affect the masses and thus discovering media and everything it entails introduced her to a whole new dimension.
Going down memory lane, Menon also pointed out that during her time at school and college, Menon was always very active when it came to participation in extracurricular activities.
She also added that since she often took the task of being an emcee at her college events along with taking up various cultural and placement committee roles, which really helped her learn how to work in a group, understand what people like, and respond to their interests.
“These experiences helped me learn about event planning and how different elements come together to create a successful event,” said Menon.
Apart from this, the marketing lessons that Menon learnt during her MBA days have proven invaluable in understanding the theory behind media strategy and evaluating the performance of this strategy for specific campaigns, in her view.
Upon being asked as to what would be the one profession that she would choose for herself if it weren’t for advertising, Menon stated that she would have pursued something in academia or journalism.
Furthermore, Menon also added that if there was one piece of advice that she could give to her younger self, it would be to definitely say yes and not to let fear of the unknown stop her.
Upon being questioned about some of the campaigns that Menon has enjoyed strategising for, she replied, “Each campaign is different and brings its unique challenges. Kurlon, the very first brand I worked with, will thus always hold a special place in my heart. I was fortunate to work with supportive mentors who both guided and empowered me through the process.”
Menon also went on to add that handling the Kurlon account was like a boot camp in media planning and that it has been a guiding force ever since.
Moreover, she also asserted, “With Amazon, I’ve been able to dive deep into the media landscape with an evolved brand that sets high standards of rigour and excellence.”
In the views of Menon, it was her inquisitiveness and eagerness to take advantage of any opportunity that she was presented that helped her truly discover this world and meet people who were actually willing to take a chance on her.
Upon being asked what are some of the things Menon likes engaging in during her free time, she stated that she likes to read, paint, and listen to podcasts and music.
“While I love my work and like focussing on it, I’m also fiercely protective of my ‘me time’ and make it a point to take some time off between projects,” she said.
Furthermore, she also went on to highlight that in order to do justice to whatever is in front of her, Menon personally finds that doing one thing at a time, that is working while in ‘work’ mode and logging off from work when in ‘life’ mode is what helps her maintain a good work-life balance.
On a concluding note, Menon also went on to assert that she would want to lead the core strategy that uses human insights to create messaging that really talks to people, one fine day.