My Name is Umma Saini
(Exact for men and approx for women )
Educational Qualifications (Please abide by facts…no one cares about it anyway)
Professional Experience: 3 Years
Companies / Agencies you have worked for:
1. Fairdeal Entertainment
2. Saints and Warriors Communications Pvt. Ltd.
Projects you have been part of:
Amul Innerwear (Amul Macho, Amul Body warmer)
Frankfinn Institute of Air Hostess Training
Cremica Biscuits and
Red Chief shoes.
Current Company / Designation: Copywriter, Saints and Warriors.
Most challenging project you have been part of, why?
Working on Amul as the standards are set so high after the first (controversial) Macho film.
How did you start your career? What was your first step after completing BMM?
Immediately after BMM I started working with Fairdeal Entertainment – A production house dealing with in-flight entertainment and film distribution. But that was for a start. I wanted to explore till I find what I want to do.
Were you clear about which field you wanted to get into right from the beginning? What helped you take your leaps?
I knew I wanted to try advertising. In that, I wasn’t sure whether to go for the business or creative side as I felt I had some skills for both. So I started with servicing and used it as a focal point to observe both sides of the advertising world. That’s when I realized its copywriting for me.
Any particular incident that helped you discover your career option?
Not any particular incident. Just a realization that this is something I want to do.
BACK TO COLLEGE
Does being a BMMite give you an edge over others?
The edge you get is you are not alien to advertising. Marketing terms don’t bounce off your head. It is a good warm up.
Do the subjects in BMM; help you know the reality of the job? Is there any place for theory in the creative world?
The less theory and rules you apply, the better. Besides, BMM subjects cover all aspects of the media. Copywriting is just one odd subject in some year. That too is majorly theory. Read it and pass your exams. You are never going to use that AIDA shit in reality.
BMM or BMM from a particular college? Does it make a difference?
The college does make a difference. Teachers, exposure, activities etc. do count in the learning. I wouldn’t say only SIES as there other good colleges as well. But get into a good one and not some unheard of college or something.
Internships during colleges- are they relevant in the long run?
I never did any internship during college. It was a conscious decision as I dint want to do any sort of work as long as I’m in college. You have to work your whole life man. Spare these three years of bliss for yourself – You won’t regret it. I thoroughly enjoyed college life and then joined work the day after i wrote the last exam paper. So that answers your question.
Would like to make any kind of change in the current BMM syllabus?
What I like about the BMM syllabus is that it covers various options for those interested in a profession in the media. So you can find out what subject interests you the most – photography, cinema, media planning, etc. and then pursue it. Faculty should arrange more guest lectures of people from the field to get a reality check. The syllabus must contain practical executions of the theories.
What are the different aspects of copy writing you explored while working?
There aren’t any aspects as such. It’s more of an acquired craft. There is ideation. There’s a lot of what you pick from life, observation and a feel for things around you.
‘Copywriting is underrated’ – Comment
Myth. Once you are in the real world, you will see how copywriters are kept on a pedestal. It is their thinking that drives crores of the clients money, gives them an image etc. The pedestal bit is quite illusionary though. It’s best to stay grounded.
According to you, what are the various higher study options, a copywriter can explore?
I was looking for it myself but sadly there’s no further study that can make you a better copywriter. No one can teach you to be creative. But you must have a sound grip on written and spoken English. That’s very important.
Five Essentials for a copywriter? (Could be books, keeping track of current trends, knowing the basics, etc…)
Being in touch with street reality (Your ads are not meant for your cousin in America but Ramnaresh from Vasai)
Patience (you start with peanut salaries and it takes some time to learn the craft)
A feel for things (the best writing comes from the heart)
An open mind
Reading and Travelling.
Any interesting incident about a client/project that you would want to share with us?
In the Amul Macho success party, it was funny to see all the guys secretly keeping score on who gets to dance the most with the model.
Apart from your own work, whose work do you look upon in the industry? (Could be agencies or particular projects)
Ogilvy maintains a good standard of creative.
From a copy writer to a Senior Copywriter at Saints and Warriors? How has the journey been?
There are no designations in SAW. So I’m no senior copywriter. Even the business card of the owner reads – Copywriter, Chairman. The journey has been great. I met great people and got opportunities to explore myself and do some good work. Everything I know, I’ve learnt it here.
Suggestions for future copywriters?
Your achievements as a copywriter?
Well, I’ve been lucky to have quite a few films in my kitty.
How can our readers contact you? Facebook or Twitter Id
I’m ‘cementsmell’ on twitter.