What I Learned From An Internship At India’s Biggest Ad Firm

Posted by Internshala in Careers
October 27, 2017

“Chaar delivery roz ka, kaam mera rozka, 
Na koi mujhe roke, na kisine roka”

No, I’m not drunk or out of my mind. This was my jingle for an innovative advertisement for launching the “Dronacharya Drone”. Unlike the selection procedure of other companies where one has to go and give an interview, Ogilvy & Mather Ltd. had a unique approach to hiring interns. There was an amazing competition, called “The Punchline”, organised by our college where student teams had to make an advertisement. The winner of the competition would get an opportunity to intern at Ogilvy.

The competition also had a cross-questioning round where the judge, a top executive from Ogilvy & Mather India’s Mumbai office, asked the participants questions about the product advertised and the campaign. After various rounds, the judge announced the results, “The winner of the ad-making competition is Team Dronacharya.” I was thrilled as I had earned a two-month summer internship at the world’s top ad agency, the place where the legendary adman, Piyush Pandey, had made blockbuster brands like Cadbury, Asian Paints, Fevicol, etc. famous.

I did not realize the invaluable experience that I was about to have at Ogilvy. Before my first day, I had several doubts like: “Are the employees going to be friendly?”, “Am I going to give my best in my first internship?”, “What kind of culture do they have?”, etc. All my doubts were put to rest when I entered into a Google-like office with creative people brainstorming in informal wear, calling each other by their first names despite the age gap. Being the youngest intern at Ogilvy, whenever someone asked me how I got into such a big-shot company at such a young age, I would quip that I flew to Ogilvy on my Dronacharya Drone.

This helped me break the ice with my colleagues and left a great first impression. On the first day, I was given a task that Ogilvy termed as “The Face of Jana Bank.” The objective of this task was to think of a brand ambassador for Jana Bank, someone who did not overshadow the company but promoted it and with whom people in India could relate to. It was a nice exercise for the brain; after a lot of pondering, I had the Eureka moment when I said, “Nawazuddin Siddiqui!” and was appreciated for my idea.

I worked as a client-servicing (account management) intern for two months. I got the opportunity to work for a plethora of well-known brands like CEAT tyres, JSW Steel, Rajasthan Royals, Castrol Oil, Jana Bank, etc. My mentor was an amazing person to work with. On the first day, he said, “Client Servicing is all about patience and humility. Without these two, one cannot delight the customers.”

I did primary research for a leading tyre brand and made a questionnaire for the same. The work was demanding, and I had to meet deadlines. My work ranged from making decks for the client pitch to brainstorming ideas for the brand’s campaign. I also had to do market research of the competitors for Castrol Oil, a process which Ogilvy called as the ‘competition review’.

I also handled an account for a major steel company where I contacted the marketing team and set up meetings with the creative department. The work was hectic but getting feedback from clients was quite helpful. My work can be summed up by the quote “Client servicing is the patty of the burger between the two sides – Client and the Creatives – and handling both requires patience and humility.”

Working at Ogilvy, I realised how different the real-life problems were from the theory lessons taught in class! While my internship was an unpaid one, the lessons I learned were invaluable. I learned how to be creative and effective in conveying a message via an ad, the importance of teamwork, and the joy of delighting clients. I also managed to get signatures of Piyush Pandey sir, on his autobiography “Pandeymonium”.

People at Ogilvy were friendly, inspiring, and always willing to share their experiences and wrestle ideas. Thanks to the unique culture, I became friends with employees twice my age. Mingling with other interns from different parts of the world also gave me new perspectives about advertising and a host of other topics. My experience changed my perspective about the advertising industry; it taught me that catchy titles and celebrities are not the only things required for a successful campaign. I learned that a successful campaign is all about storytelling. A great story inspires and motivates others to take a leaf out of the book and become successful. After this amazing internship experience, now I’m eagerly waiting for my next, and my Dronacharya Drone is ready for another takeoff!


About the Author: Jainam Vora from Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics shares insightful details about his internship at a big shot company, Ogilvy & Mather.  This story was first published on Internshala.

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