Featured today is Raahil Chopra, Managing Editor at Campaign India, a leading voice in the country's advertising community. Raahil addresses the evolutions of Indian creativity and the challenge the industry is facing today.
What’s your role at Campaign India - and what are the latest developments there?
As managing editor at Campaign, along with the editorial mandate, I'm also in charge of rolling out new events and IPs. The latest is the Campaign India Film Crest Awards. These reward excellence in film craft.
How important is the relationship between journalism and the creative community, and how can it be further strengthened?
From my experience, it's a symbiotic one. We need the news and for most times they require the coverage. With the number of on-ground events the advertising industry has in India, we end up engaging with the fraternity quite often. I think regular catch-ups help make the bond stronger.
What inspired you to become a journalist and how did you get into the profession?
I got into this profession by chance. I was studying advertising and marketing when the guest lecturer was looking for an intern to help with the launch of a football magazine in India. The football magazine didn't work out but I landed an internship with Campaign India and have been with the title since!
As a member of the Epica Awards jury, how do you approach evaluating and selecting the best creative work from around the world?
Evaluating the work allows me to see some of the best global advertising. We're seeing a lot of serious brand work, and while I understand that's important, I look for humor in advertising as that's something I believe can catch the attention of the viewer.
What are the most memorable campaigns or creative projects you've covered and what made them stand out for you?
The last one we did - we interviewed the Norwegian dance crew Quick Style. Was a fun, quick chat with the crew!
In terms of campaigns, I'm not naming any particular brand to avoid being accused of being biased, but we've broken quite a few over the last couple of years.
What’s the biggest challenge facing the creative industry today – and how might it be addressed?
It has to be all the talk around AI. To be honest, like most people around, right now I'm quite clueless on what the future holds with this influx of AI. There's uncertainty around jobs right now too. Given my brief experience of using AI, it's helped the team and me doing our day-to-day jobs faster, but I don't see it (hopefully) impacting any of our roles.
What role do you see journalism playing in promoting and advocating for diversity and inclusion within the creative industry?
We've been following the cause of diversity and specifically how women are portrayed in advertising in India for years now. We run a weekly column in which we review the ads we covered during the week from a gender lens. We've got the head of an NGO that is pushing the cause for diversity to review the ads. And from what I hear, even though they're baby steps, it's impacting how women are portrayed in advertising.
Who are your role models or mentors in journalism and the creative world? And what’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?
Given the length of the tenure I've had at Campaign, I've been lucky enough to work with some great bosses and colleagues. I'd particularly name Anant Rangaswami, Arati Rao, Gokul Krishnamoorthy and Ramu Ramanathan.
On the best piece of career advice - one advertising professional once told me a Hindi phrase 'sab ki suno, khud ki karo'. This loosely translates to 'listen to everyone but do what you want to'.
How has Indian creativity evolved on the global stage in recent years?
Leaps and bounds! The proof is India's performance at the Cannes Lions last year, where Dentsu Webchutney (now Dentsu Creative) bagged the global creative agency of the year!
One advertising professional once told me a Hindi phrase 'sab ki suno, khud ki karo'. This loosely translates to 'listen to everyone but do what you want to'.