Inquisitive Interviews : Adithya Suvarna – Advertising

Inquisitive Interviews, the feature was born out of the requests by some of the students who read this blog, requesting information regarding careers. And with a view to help them make a better choice, I have started to feature various careers from different people, starting with people I know and hoping to slowly reach many different people. The Inquisitive Interviews feature would not only help the students reading the interview but also the interviewee providing them with some Online PR of sorts, the benefits of which I mentioned in another post earlier.

[ Q ] Tell us something about yourself ?

My name is Adhitya Suvarna.  I have been working for over 10 years in the mass communications field, namely TV, Online News, Corporate Documentary Film making and Advertising.

[ Q ] What do you Do for a living and Where ?

I live in Dubai and work in a mid-level advertising agency.

[ Q ] Is your job what you expected it to be ?

Yes and no. Yes in terms of the industry I wanted to be in (media) and no in terms of seniority and responsibility that I currently have. Yes in terms of a wonderful office environment with lots of freedom and comfortable working relationships built over the last 5 years. No in terms of almost reaching a point of stagnation and the dreaded blank wall.

[ Q ] Is your salary what you expected it to be ?

The honest answer is no. But that would be a blinkered vision. I did not get a good start in terms of salary since passing out of my masters programme. I never fought for ensuring i get paid for what I am worth. Now, I earn a decent income but it could have been really comfortable if in the initial years of my career, I had stood my ground and been a little more informed.

[ Q ] What is your average day like ?

Office begins with checking emails that my client would have sent the previous evening as I leave office earlier than they do. Then briefing the creative department for new jobs or designs that the client wanted. I also follow up with artworkers in the studio for jobs undergoing minor revisions and sending the same to the client.  Meanwhile, client’s call up to check on jobs status, discuss new jobs or request media plans or rates and other sundry items. I also sit with my junior to discuss jobs that I have handed over to him to do.

[ Q ] What’s the most interesting part of your job ?

Thinking of new and innovative ways to communicate the same message in a new way to the audience. Also, no day is the same as the other as the adverts, the communications differ each day.

[ Q ] What’s the most challenging part of your job ?

Trying to understand what the client  actually means in their vague emails or telephone conversations. Also to try and coordinate with suppliers to meet with the really tough deadlines for delivery of jobs for the clients.

[ Q ] What’s the part of the job that you don’t like ?

When after days and months of us doing a lot of work to create something, it is dismissed in one email by the client as not required.

[ Q ] Do you get bored at your workplace at all ?

Yes and it is normal for when you are bored, the really rush days look very interesting and exiting.

[ Q ] Do you report to someone ? How much of an impact the person you report to has on your job ?

I report to my Senior Account Director and the Managing Director. Both have direct and tremendous impact on my job since the amount of freedom and trust they place on me helps me do my job better and more professionally.

[ Q ] Do you use all the skills that you learnt in school / college ? or where did you pick up the skills ?

I use some of the skills I picked up in my masters programme. The rest of the skills have been on the job. I did not pick up anything in my college or school that is has helped or is helping in my career in any point of time.

[ Q ] What’s your Alumni ? Where have you studied ?

Schooling                     : Bangalore, Panjim, Cuttack, Patna and Kolkatta

Pre University               : R S Krishnan, Trichy

Bachelor’s Degree        : Canara College

Master’s Degree           :  Manipal Institute of Communication

[ Q ] Would you advice younger people to join in your industry ?

Absolutely. There is no better reward than promoting a brand and making sure people know about it and in the right way. It is also a great field for learning a lot about every other industry without actually having to be in that field.

[ Q ] What advice would you give to someone trying to get into the industry ?

My advice to the young crowd is to join when you are young and not wait for a masters degree. Get the hang of the advertising world and after a couple of years, you will be ready to know whether you want to stick around or continue and if the latter, then you will also know exactly which masters programme to do. This industry requires a lot of passion for what you do, whether creative or servicing clients. The rewards come only after a couple of years, so don’t expect to be greatly rewarded on joining. Also, when joining an ad world, try and join a very reputed one, preferably the top 20 agencies that have tied up in your home country. Make sure when you join, you are working for a known brand. That helps lay the foundation, so even after a few years you get an unknown brand, you will be in a position to take charge and give the best to make that brand know.

[ Q ] Anything else you want to tell the readers ?

Always remember to try and chart where you want to be in 10 years time. It is difficult, but a vague idea really helps. In the first few years of your career, don’t stick to a job that does not make you happy doing it or if it is underpaying you. Once you have a few years as a work experience, then try and stick on in jobs for at least a couple of years before leaving as the older you get the more stable your CV should look. Employers won;t look at CV’s that look like you have been hopping more than a rabbit.

[ Q ] Any online resources you recommend for people taking up this profession ?

You can get in touch with Adithya at the link below :

On LinkedIn    :

On Twitter        :

As always I would like to thank Adithya for some very good advice and some interesting insight into the career of Advertising. So next time you have an innovative idea to implement you might want to run it through someone like Adithya just to make sure its not been over used. For the time being this is Adithya and Me signing off, and as always Be Inquisitive.

Inquisitive Interviews : Megha Abraham – Writer

Another Edition of the Inquisitive Interviews is due today and this time we have a really creative person in the field of Advertising, PR and creative writing. The response on the previous 3 Interviews has been overwhelming and I thank all the readers who are making this an interesting segment to read through.

Inquisitive Interviews, the feature was born out of the requests by some of the students who read this blog, requesting information regarding careers. And with a view to help them make a better choice, I have started to feature various careers from different people, starting with people I know and hoping to slowly reach many different people. The Inquisitive Interviews feature would not only help the students reading the interview but also the interviewee providing them with some Online PR of sorts, the benefits of which I mentioned in another post earlier.

[ Q ] Tell us something about yourself ?

My name is Megha Abraham and I have been working for over 10 years in corporate communications, advertising, PR and now writing.

[ Q ] What do you Do for a living and Where ?

Currently I live and work in Dubai and am a senior writer with a magazine.

[ Q ] Is your salary what you expected it to be ?

Writing jobs don’t really tend to pay much, unless you get to the senior management level. Alternatively, if you’ve specialised in reporting or writing from University, and you score a job with a reputed publishing company / title, then there is a difference. But when starting out, it’s always good to keep a realistic expectation of what to expect when it comes to money versus experience. For me, the salary is a nosedive from what I was earning before, but my priorities and present lifestyle allows me to accomodate a lower paying job. So, I wasn’t surprised. Is it what I expected? Hell no! But I roll with it.

[ Q ] What is your average day like ?

It starts out with an hour’s drive to work, since the office is pretty far from where I live. Once in, I check my line-up for the month and start work on either the stories I have assigned or chalked out for myself. In addition we get a lot of PR material, which we use for our compilation pages. Getting that sorted during the first half of the delivery timeline is what I focus on most. Once done, I then focus all my energy on the features or articles. In between the week, some events or conferences might need attending, so we plan those in and attend them.

[ Q ] What’s the most interesting part of your job ?

Definitely the varied subjects, information and types of people one meets. Otherwise writing can be quite mundane, unless you really love it so much, that you’re willing to schlep a bit and do meaningless work until the right gig comes up.

[ Q ] What’s the most challenging part of your job ?

Sometimes the compromises you have make. Especially when you’re working in an organisation, where sales and ad revenue mean keeping a magazine alive. If you’re working for certain titles who really don’t care, that’s a whole different ballgame. It’s important to know what you want, where you are when it comes to life and circumstances and what you want your career to do for or for itself. Some days time management and on others lack of response. Especially in this part of the world, response rates can be quite infuriating.

[ Q ] What’s the part of the job that you don’t like ?

Routine. I’m not a routine person. Although sometimes one does crave it when you’re not up to it on somedays and just need the comfort of the familiar. I also don’t like beting jolted out my cruise control and like to plan ahead. Sometimes, being a writer for a publication can spring a few surprises on you because at the end of the day you’re working with people, and we aren’t a homogenous group when it comes to habits, work ethic or time management. So that part of it annoys me sometimes. Another thing I don’t like is meaningless work, which sometimes you have to do, it’s part of the process. But you asked what I don’t like, so yeah, I don’t like it, but I get it out the way, when I have to.

[ Q ] Do you get bored at your workplace at all ?

Sometimes, it’s natural. I work in an office which isn’t very big, it doesn’t have a huge team and we sit in office that is almost cut off from the rest of the city for an average of 8 hours. So, the office is all you get. If you need to go out somewhere that’s half an hour at least and unless you have an event to go to, or an interview to get done, you don’t step out, because if you do, you won’t be coming back, so again, time management is key here.

Sometimes research on silly/mundane/inconsequential topics (yes, you will get your fair share when writing for a mass reading target group) is extremely boring, and I do go cross-eyed when faced with the inevitable task of looking up colour swatches for a decor story or finding the latest updates from the celebrity world. Boring.

[ Q ] Do you report to someone ? How much of an impact the person you report to has on your job ?

Yes, I report to the Editor of the magazine in terms of hierchy. The impact is pretty straightforward, she/he runs the magazine and we ensure that there is relevant and enough content to go in. The editor oversees the entire outlook and the way the magazine is run and sometimes does oversee the content direction. So the impact is pretty meaingful.

[ Q ] Do you use all the skills that you learnt in school / college ? or where did you pick up the skills ?

Yes, I do, I specialised in communications, which also involved a course in writing. However, some of the most successful writers come from varied backgrounds as well, which means you need to really like writing or have some sort of specialisation that you can write about. I picked up my skills with practice and pure interest in as well. I’ve always loved books, writing and anything to do with the written word so that helps.

It depends on what kind of writer you want to be really, there are several types: technical, features, copy, novelist, blogger, freelance, project, and many more. So your background no matter what it is can be turned into a writing gig, if you have the interest and the wherewithal to get into it part or full time.

[ Q ] What’s your Alumni ? Where have you studied ?

Schooling                     : Bangalore, India

Pre University               : Bangalore, India

Bachelor’s Degree        : Bangalore, India

Master’s Degree           :  Manipal, India

[ Q ] Would you advice younger people to join in your industry ?

Sure, if they love it, and know it in their gut then, yes. I would also advise this, that if you’re getting into it for the money, then don’t bother. The money comes much later. Much, much later. You definitely need to like it, like a little bit (or a lot of, depending on where you start your writing career) of imbalance when it comes to timing, money, schedules and fulfillment. It comes and goes like waves, once you master that rhythm you’ll be fine.

[ Q ] What advice would you give to someone trying to get into the industry ?

If you’re already working or interning somewhere, try and freelance or send in work to magazines, newspapers, websites who commission work. See what the response is like from the editors or writers and keep practicing as much as you can. The more you write, the better you get at it. Also read up a lot, it helps with vocabulary, knowledge, other points of view and writing styles. Keep yourself updated as much as possible, it helps.

[ Q ] Anything else you want to tell the readers ?

If you’re young, try everything you can before you choose a career or a way of making a living. A lot of people will have opinions on what is good and what isn’t. I personally think it’s important to make your mind up for yourself.

If you’re mid-career and still not sure what you want to do and writing comes up as an option, try it while you’re still working and see if you like it. Weekends, free time, or a break from work can help you get started, and if you do and it’s what you’ve been looking for, then sure, quit and take it up. If it isn’t writing, then what ever else seems to be playing in your mind, try it first and see what it makes you feel like – happy, curious, maybe skeptical; it doesn’t matter – the thing is to try. Forget what the folks / peers / industry / general viewpoints said. It’s hard, yes. But if you do try, it works wonders.

[ Q ] Any online resources you recommend for people taking up this profession ?

I don’t have any online resources that I could recommend. However, I used to actively contribute to who are always on the lookout for writers for varied feilds (if you’re a subject expert, freelance enthusiast, or want to find out where to start).

Otherwise, the really effective way is to do your own research, that’s when you find what you’re looking for.

You can get in touch with Megha at the link below :

On Linked In    :

A big thanks to Megha for this insight into what a writer at a magazine would actually be working on. I am sure we will read more of what she writes in the future. Hope this interview is as useful to all the students reading this.

Try on a Tag Heuer watch from the comfort of your own home

Omega, Rolex and Tag Heuer 3 watch brands that I am really looking forward to getting some day. Some day, hopefully not too far away in the future.  Tag Heuer most famous for the Formula 1 timers has been a bit of an innovator to get into the worlds of Rolex and Omega and find a niche for itself. And I am this dream of mine might be the same for a lot of people round the world. So Tag Heuer decided to let us all try a watch virtually.

Yes, its Augmented Reality again at play. The AR pp, made by UK company Holition, works by reading a barcode on a paper watch you print out from and fasten to your wrist. Select a watch, hold your wrist in front of a webcam, and as if by magic your chosen model appears on-screen on your wrist. Consumers visiting the TAG Heuer web-site can download Holition’s proprietary software, print out a Tag Heuer wrist-band and experience, through a web-cam, a selection of this seasons TAG Heuer watches in full 3D as if they were actually wearing them in front of their computer.

Continue reading Try on a Tag Heuer watch from the comfort of your own home

IPL 3 : Cricket in between Advertisements

India, the country where cricket is a religion and Sachin Tendulkar is sort of a God. I guess there have been better introductions for it, but through the IPL India is going to be known mostly as a cricket crazy nation. We are all fans of the game, me well I am not a fanatic although am an avid follower when the hectic schedules allow for them. And even for me the new edition of the IPL seems more commercialized than just a cricketing platform. The worst thing however is that my love for the game will not allow me not to watch this shamble.

The popularity of IPL in India is not really deniable, however the cow can be milked only so much. Looking at some of the figures for the money pocketed from the games so far, it seem that the organisers are going all out to monetize the game as much as possible. In IPL season one, each franchisee got Rs 25 crore from IPL as its share of the central pool. Last season that was risen to Rs 67.50 crore each. The BCCI profit also jumped to Rs 477 crore from Rs 350 in the season two compared to season one.

The portion of TV revenues to be distributed among the teams is due to fall to 70 percent this year from 80 percent. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the owner of the IPL, will keep the rest and in 2011, it will be 60 percent. So this means a lot of money for the BCCI already overflowing locker. This apart, franchises get an average earn about 16 crore through gate receipts, in-stadia advertising, merchandise sales, and media tie-ups. There is a lot to gain for any millionaire who set sights on the IPL. No wonder the following amounts were paid for the auctions for the second edition of the IPL

  • 111.9 million by industrialist Mukesh Ambani for Mumbai Indians.
  • 111.6 million by liquor and airline tycoon Vijay Mallya for Bangalore Royal Challengers.
  • 107 million by newspaper group Deccan Chronicle for the Hyderabad-based Deccan Chargers.
  • 91 million by BCCI secretary and businessman N. Srinivasan for Chennai Super Kings.
  • 84 million by business group GMR Holdings to buy Delhi Daredevils.
  • 76 million by Bollywood star Preity Zinta and her friends for Kings XI Punjab.
  • 75 million by Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan for Kolkata Knight Riders.
  • 67 million by Emerging Media group, partly owned by Lachlan Murdoch, for Rajasthan Royals.

Only recently, Manchester City owners have expressed in buying an IPL franchise. I won’t be surprised if the Bollywood actors who own franchises sell them to foreign investors in the years to come. Lalit Modi has already signed deals with YouTube to stream all IPL games for free in every country except the US.You can access it at  There have also been some icons created through the IPL advertising, The zoozoo’s are an example that everyone will relate to.

However, In a bid to get more of a advertising window, the format of the game is constantly changing, from strategic time outs changed from one to 3 shorter ones, and in stadia advertising being shown on the televised version, to more lables on the players’ clothing, the changes are just raking in more money. The players look like advertising boards, everything is sponsored to the hilt and the numbers of breaks in the game frustrating. Already I have heard my friends complain about the over advertised edition of the game, and a lot of them moving onto online text only versions that highlight only on the cricket and not all the other distractions.

IPL expects about 150 million viewers a day for the coming 2010 season. Thus, laying the stones for making IPL the biggest sporting league in the world, or rather the biggest advertising extravaganza. Might even turn out to be an Indian version of the Superbowl in the US.

The Evolution of Computing viewed through Apple Ads

All of us know how computers have evolved within our lifetimes. In fact, the other day in the office we had a discussion about what was the configuration of the first computer that each one had. And by today’s standards we did not even have toys. The evolution of computers within the Home has also improved, and the internet adding to additional push.

In today’s post we will look at how computers have evolved through the eyes of Apple Ads for the famous Mac. You will notice that off late the computing platform that they are advertising more is the hand held platforms. This is an indication towards the next evolutionary step in computing, bringing the internet and computing resources closer to us all the time.

Most of Apple’s current advertising seems to be on TV these days. You can watch most of the recent ads on the Apple website.






This valentines day try the 3D valentine's card

If you have been taking your time to write some of the posts of this blog, you might have noticed that I do like Augmented Reality a lot and the reality that this coming to life is an aspect that I am incredibly excited about. In this post I wanna look at some new commercial applications that are coming out.

First of all, a 3D greeting cards which have been adopted as a first by Hallmark. Yes the worldwide leader in greeting cards has taken on a step to combat the dip in sales because of eCards. Like the age old saying goes if you can’t beat them join them. Meaning that the cards now mash up the real world with the Virtual world, to create a one of a kind Augmented Reality Greeting card. The person receiving the card can visit and follow the directions to be able to view a 3D animated feature by holding the greeting card up to the web camera. The technology breathes a digital life into the card. The animation tracks with the movement of the card, so no matter which way the card is moved, the animation will rotate along in full 3D. In many cards, various scenes appear as the card is turned in different angles in front of the webcam for a range of digital experiences.

It does makes a lot of sense to add content to a static piece of cardboard; this would imply that although you don’t need to give an ugly marker to a person, you still give a nice greeting. They can see the card through the webcam for additional content, however if they don’t have one, then definitely they have a greeting card.However, it would have been cooler if the application was accessible on the phone so that you can see the message when you receive it and don’t have to wait to get in front of a webcam. Anyway check out a demo of the greeting below :

Give it a try, maybe this valentines day you could give a special 3D card to your geeky girl / boy friend. The link for the Hallmark card is here.

Invisible text … made visible for Mobiles – QR Codes

In one of my earlier posts, I had showcased a very interesting Business card, the augmented reality business card. Right next to the 3D picture of the person was another 2 Dimensional code which was also displayed and a few guys asked me about it. That was of course the QR code, and I was surprised to find that not many people knew about the humble QR code. So this post is dedicated to the QR code. Although invented in 1994, the QR code which was then heralded as the ‘next big thing’ and the ‘replacement to the age-old Barcode’, this technology did not really take off worldwide as it had the potential for.


The main difference from the bar code is that since it’s actually a 2 D  matrix, it can contain far more information (up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters), and the scanning device is any 3G camera phone with proper QR software installed. A smaller version, Micro QRCode, holds up to 35 characters.

The QR Code is a way to use the camera of a mobile device to capture a bit of data, be it text or a URL. The user snaps a photo of the square bar code and an application on the device makes the translation. It is bit of a fringe technology and the primary reason being not all Mobile Phones ship with an application built-in, and even when it does, they do not really advertise it.

QR codes are now mainstream in Japan, and have been for a few years.  Originally developed by Denso-Wave, QR codes gained a foothold in print media in Japan at the end of the last century, and international recognition with the publication of an ISO standard in 2001.  Since then, QR codes have become ubiquitous in Japanese print media, outdoor advertising, and even on the occasional T-shirt. Sushi bars use them to track plates of sushi consumed by their customers. They appear in Japanese bus shelters posters, linking travelers to a site that provides up-to-date information on bus arrival and departure times. In fact there is a Blog from Japan where all the posts are in QR Codes. Check this sample of a post.

Here is a How to video to use your Bar code scanner built into the Nokia N95

Now with mobile penetration increasing world over the QR code is making a slow comeback into the world through Mobile Marketing. But people have not only used it for Mobile marketing but further with creative used of this technology. Some examples that I came across are :

  • Business Cards – a QR code could take people to your company’s website or your profile on LinkedIn.
  • Google Maps and QR Codes Mashup.
  • Memorial at graves ?
  • Mashup Augmented reality with QR Codes, not only the business card that was on my earlier post. Check out this.
  • Booking Appointments – some businesses such as doctors’ offices and hair and beauty salons are using QR Codes to enable their clients to book appointments over their mobile phones. This is great if the office is closed when you pass it or if you’re in a rush and can’t wait around to make your appointment with the receptionist.
  • Adminstration – online interactive Canadian passport application forms have integrated a dynamic QR code that changes as you complete the form. The code stores all the applicant’s information and when scanned by the government processing centre, to accurately upload the applicant’s information and to allow for much faster application processing times. This video shows how the code works and changes over time.
  • Event Ticketing
  • Opt-In Marketing – For permission based marketing solutions, companies can offer a free download in exchange for a prospect’s email address or cell number.
  • Marketing Collateral – learn more about a product or service, whether via a general website or dedicated webpage, or with the power of multi-media via a video presentation.
  • Retail Signage – show current sale events, promotional discounts, download mobile coupons to the mobile device and so much more.
  • Invitations / Event Announcements – gather further information or RSVP on your mobile device.
  • Real Estate – a quick scan of an MLS listing, or from a ‘For Sale’ sign, brings up an instant virtual tour of the property.

Check out some of these Youtube videos here to check them out.

You can check out some of these free online QR Code generators to make your own free ! Yes Free !!

Awesome new Business Card … Unbelievable

Everyone wants to have an identity, this and leaving some information to contact or get in touch with a person have led to tremendous business card designs. And to make one stand out people usually go through a lot of trouble. You can see some extreme examples of the same in these links below.

But that is still in a flat 2D world, introducing the new Augmented Reality Business card solutions to enable posting yourself in 3D, in fact the makers are looking at including your latest status update from social networks, tweets from twitter or any other content from the internet. This definitely goes down as a cool innovation, more will soon come.

Augmented Reality is going to be Big in 2010 and this is one of the first in the list of innovative applications that people are going to come up with for this awesome technology.

Check out my other posts about this cool technology :

Augmented Reality – The possibilities are endless

Future Tense ..

Augmented Reality – The possibilities are endless !

What is the future of search, some people might say it is fetching results faster, more relevant and as close to what you expect to find. But like me there are those who think otherwise. This is a look at the hottest new technology on around called augmented reality. Here is the Wikipedia for those who need a textbook definition of the technology.

For the past couple of years I have been following this awesome technology called augmented reality, what is it ? and how is it going to shape our next world is the question that I keep finding myself trying to find the answer for. It is strange, for something that was a concept this technology is now seriously changed the way we might be doing our work in the next few years. It is going to change the way we search for information !! A few years back when Google earth, Android OS and Google images was in its inception, Google announced that they wanted to make a technology that a person using a camera enabled phone would click a picture and Google would fetch information about the place or event. Well you don’t really need to “fetch” information anymore. Augmented reality, provides all the information you need when you see through the camera of the phone.

This was something that I was very interested to see in reality, since I had seen the first application the wikitude demo. When I visited the GE website, looking for information about their eco friendliness. I came across the world’s first large scale implementation of augmented reality. It blew my head off. I started to see the future that Google spoke about in the background. In fact you could start picturing the uses. A few months later, there are numerous tests being done worldwide for augmented reality based applications. There was this unbelievable futuristic vision pointed out by petit inventions that started people thinking in very open ways. Nokia has an application that runs on their phones that does some searching based on pictures called Nokia point and find. You can also see a demo on youtube here. Apart from the above few demo’s, there are now within a few months a lot of applications that people have worked on and come up with. There are applications ranging from Advertising, entertainment, gaming, medical training  etc that are now in labs as being tested.

The Bionic Vision lens
The Bionic Vision lens

The only hindrance of extreme wide spread use of this technology is the fact that it needs an external device for the technology to work well, including the camera, processing, and display. Now think of this technology being used in conjunction with another technology that is the Bionic vision. Check it out here.  The possibilities by connecting these two technologies are endless. Let me know if you think of any others.

Infotainment = Information based Entertainment

Amazing 3D Movies



Gaming demos

Hands on training and instructions [BMW Car Service]

Education – Encyclopedia

Architecture and Urban Planning

Architectural design and presentation