The second Rising Star Awards were organised by BestMediaInfo.com recently, at The Oberoi, Gurugram, to celebrate the applause-worthy works of young media strategists in the country across several categories.
At the awards gala, Faraz Sayed, Director- Media Planning, Carat India, won the High Chair trophy for Best Strategy- Consumer Durables (White Goods, appliances, mobiles) for the launch campaign of Intel’s 12th gen gaming laptop.
Speaking to BestMediaInfo.com, Sayed candidly stated that growing up in a single CRT TV household, watching ads on the limited three-four channels available was also a form of entertainment for him during childhood and apparently his first encounter with the ad-world at large.
“Advertisements in those days were longer and more engaging, they had stories to tell, which was also the most fascinating thing. My family members used to ruthlessly judge advertisements as to whether they convey the message properly. Also, in those days, brands that advertised were perceived to be more trustworthy than others,” he said.
However, he found himself to be drawn to brand communications and media strategy particularly, when he was pursuing his MBA.
“Fresh out of college, while every other student was dreaming of being a brand manager and changing the positioning of the products, I was more interested in media strategy which is a combination of both art and science. It addresses the what, why, who, how, where, and when of marketing,” he added.
Moving on, Sayed also shared the belief that no college or school can teach everything to its students, but he also paid his gratitude to his academic institutions that certainly helped and taught him to articulate and communicate his thoughts and ideas along with asking the right questions.
“Being a marketing major, apart from the basics of marketing, I was able to evaluate the skills needed to be job-ready. The moment of epiphany was when one of my professors said, you have paid huge fees to be here but if you are not going to open up and challenge yourself in this incubator, you will never be able to know your full potential, apart from the monetary loss,” he stated.
When questioned as to what profession would he have pursued if it wasn’t for advertising, Sayed replied that he would have loved to be an architect as he has a penchant for Art and Science.
“In a way, I am happy to have landed in advertising, which helped me to pursue being a media strategist and architect,” he added.
Recalling his first big break in the Indian ad landscape, Sayed stated that he was handpicked in his college as an intern by a major media agency to work on a pitch. It later proved to be a great learning experience, he said.
In his opinion, the most exciting thing about advertising is that it is ever-evolving and keeps one on their toes and their minds vigilant. “Due to its dynamic nature, learning never stops and that’s what keeps pushing me ahead to acquire more knowledge and excites me to move forward,” he added.
Upon being asked as to what would be the one advice that he would give to his younger self, Sayed said that it would be to be bold in making choices. “Do what your heart desires and what makes you happy, because if you are not happy personally and professionally, it will hamper your output,” he added.
Commenting as to what is his generic approach for any campaign brief, Sayed stated that the foundation to any brief is consumer research and then rolls in the output. “Building upon consumer insights is the key. The approach spanned across multiple touchpoints. Bringing in the cohesiveness and synergy amongst all the media gears was a wonderful puzzle to solve,” he stated.
Talking about the campaign which he has loved strategising the most, Sayed said that the 360-degree campaign on the launch of Intel 12th Gen powered laptops and PCs was precisely everything one could ask for - ranging from a strong digital presence, targeting, influencers, esports, review websites, branded content, mobile advertising, etc.
Furthermore, he also went on to state that coincidentally it was this same campaign entry that enabled him to win the High Chair trophy at the Rising Star Awards.
Sharing his views on the various motivations that keep things moving for him at the workplace, Sayed mentioned that the basic rule of being true to one’s job is pouring one’s heart and dedication into it and as time goes by, one needs to grow into a symbol of inspiration for others.
In Sayed’s opinion, the biggest motivation for him to excel is learning. “As you get to learn something new with every task, project, or campaign, which you can deploy in the future thereby growing both as an individual and as a media strategist,” he said.
Moreover, he also went on to emphasise that it is one’s team and peers that become one’s biggest strengths at the respective workplace and as long as they have one’s back, nothing can dissuade the individual from achieving the best.
Since having a work-life balance is also essential to have a good, long and healthy run at any stage of the career, Sayed also went on to describe what he likes to do in his free time and said that he prefers spending quality time with his family, watching movies, having a meal out, or even play PC games.
But maintaining a work-life balance has been one of the biggest challenges for Sayed to identify and overcome in his opinion.
“When I was younger, I completely disregarded ‘life’ and ‘family’, only to realise that not everything lasts forever. Having the right balance is extremely crucial for one’s well-being and indeed for better performance. Simply put, we are all working to be able to have better food, sleep, and health. If any of the above is getting hampered, there is a serious need for recalibration,” he added.
Sayed also shared the opinion that as long as one keeps prioritising work or life over the other, one would never be able to strike the right balance between the two.
He on a concluding note suggested that because planning is a partner to each individual, one should make it a habit to plan not just one’s day but also the week and jot down personal tasks along with work tasks and treat them equally.