Industry veterans on the evolving approach of young talent in the A&M world…

Portfolio Night

Portfolio Night co-hosted by DDB Mudra Group, BBDO India and TBWA\India saw talent from across boards. Social Samosa sat with a few of them and talked about the event’s comeback and the changing approach of young talent towards A&M.

After nearly 2 years for anticipation, ‘The One Club For Creativity’ Portfolio Night saw it’s in-person comeback which was co-hosted by three Omnicom agencies – DDB Mudra Group, BBDO India and TBWA\India.

Portfolio Night is a gateway for talent across the advertising industry where aspiring copywriters, art directors, and designers get to interact with industry bigwigs and showcase their talent.

Josy Paul, Chairman, BBDO India shared that Rahul Mathew of DDB reached out to Parixit Bhattacharya (TBWA) and him to partner with each other for Portfolio Night. “It felt like a good idea. All of us had just come together on the same campus. We were breathing the same air and sharing the same air-conditioning. It made sense to re-condition ourselves for the future. It felt like the right thing to do.”

At the event, Social Samosa got a chance to catch up with some of the industry leaders and here’s what they had to say:

When asked about how the Portfolio Night experience has changed after the pandemic and since the last time they had gathered, Pallavi Chakravarti, Creative Head – West, DDB Mudra Group said, “For that reason alone, I think this was a marvellous evening. Just the feeling of being in the industry again was awesome. We had all managed in the lockdown. We were iffy at first, but human beings adapt. The work went on and it went admirably well. But there is the human connection that was missed.”

She also added that being in the room with peers from the fraternity and new talent and youngsters was a great experience. She further added, “To have an opportunity like this where so many people from different agencies are gathered under the same roof and you’re seeing so much fresh blood. It’s fantastic.”

When asked the same question, Rahul Mathew, CCO – DDB Mudra Group mentioned, “We surely felt a buzz after a long time and we are thankful for that. It made us remember what kind of a fun industry we are in.”

To that Parixit Bhattacharya, CCO – TBWA\India added, “I don’t remember the last time we met. So this was really special in that sense, to meet all the creative heads and to be energized by all the people who had come with their books. It was quite amazing & energizing.”

“There was a collective sense of re-birth! It was euphoric to be in the midst of a commonwealth of creative people once again. You could feel the shared passion, expectation and excitement in the fast-paced face-to-face interactions. Amidst all this creative energy, we forgot about the past. It was about inspiration, enlightenment and creation,” shared Paul.

The Changing Approach

Talking about the changes the industry has seen in the past years and accordingly what different qualities did they look for in the new talent, Pallavi stated that she came in with no expectations or benchmarks. Adding to that she said, “I just came in to see what people were thinking today. In some cases I was pleasantly surprised and in some cases I thought it needs a lot more work. While in some cases I also thought they were misplaced”. She saw some fantastic work in terms of illustration and typography while thought there was glaring lack of writers.

While on the other hand Parixit had a different experience, he said “Out of the 9 people (talent) I met, 3 of them before showing me their book, asked if I’d like to see stuff they do for themselves; work-wise or personal. From all the years that I have been a reviewer at Portfolio Night, I hadn’t been asked that question before.” He also saw people engaging with the companies and agencies to learn how to really create a brand and apply it to their own brands. Which was something very new to him.

Speaking on the same topic, Rahul added “For all of us only one thing has changed – context. It was seen in the work as well. There were people expressing more about what they felt. They were solving things that they felt were a world problem. The world has gone a certain way and something has changed. And I think everyone of us felt that today in the work.”

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Emerging Talent

Speaking about the advertisement trends she witnessed, Pallavi mentioned “I didn’t really see any one cred emerging. I saw a lot of people put their voice into their work which is lovely for a young person to do. A lot of them were creating based on their own experiences. I think they were too raw to really translate into advertising trends, they just did the best that they could.”

While Parixit added, “They were very new and very life-affirming. Its a sign of the times we are living in and the talent represented that; through their work and energy.”

Lastly to conclude the brief chat, Parixit added, “We should do more of these. There should be more congregates for exchange of ideas and a platform for new talent to discover agencies, creative leaders.”

“The discussion and the business often works away from what we really do. And today we were talking only about what we really are, so we should do this more often,” concluded Rahul.


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