Starry night for creatives

22 May,2014


By Shobhana Nair


Okay, so the chief host was missing. So deep is his commitment to projects he takes on, that R Balki, Chief Creative Officer and Chairman, Lowe Lintas and Partners stayed away from the starry Portfolio Night that his agency was hosting this year.


Portfolio Night is a global event where, as the event’s website notes, aspiring young advertising copywriters, art directors and designers meet with several renowned advertising creative directors in a fast-paced evening of advice, networking and recruitment. “While the evening has been jokingly called “speed-dating for creatives”, it’s really much more than that. In the eleven years since its inception, Portfolio Night has grown to a global event, reaching creative hubs in every continent in an evening where the best of the present meets the best of the years to come.”


In its 12th year, Portfolio Night brings together thousands of young minds on a single night at various top cities across the world. This year, Portfolio Night 12 was held in Mumbai’s Four Seasons Hotel, and Lowe Lintas was the host. Last year, Portfolio Night 11 was hosted in Mumbai and Delhi. While the Mumbai edition was hosted JWT, Leo Burnett got the act together in the capital. This year’s edition saw 13000 participants in what’s often also dubbed as one the world’s biggest “Job Mela”. The work is reviewed on the basis of geniality, creativity and execution.


Apart from the obvious nervous energy in the crowd, the host had put together a fun video on the star judges and their predictable reactions after hearing a creative idea which evoked a great amount of laughter from the audience. Bobby Pawar, Chief Creative Officer, Publicis reacted to the video on him by saying, “I loved it. It’s hilarious and they had a great material to play with.”


Talking about the quality of work expected at the Portfolio Night, advertising veteran and Executive Chairman and Creative Director South Asia, Ogilvy & Mather Piyush Pandey said, “It’s not about wrong. It’s about picking up little nuggets and encouraging them.” Amer Jaleel, National Creative Director, Lowe Lintas and Partners, who’s also the host, was seen in despair and wished he had this kind of platform when he had started out. “These 15 minutes are a big deal and it’s not about advertising but about an experience.”


K S Chakravarty (Chax), National Creative Director, FCB Ulka, known as Chax was however not very lucky as the participants who he met were clueless about advertising in the first place. He explains, “You meet all kinds of people. It’s always luck of draw. Out of this entire lot, the chances are that only 5 participants will be really good and not necessary that I meet the brighter lot.”


Arun Iyer, National Creative Director, Lowe Lintas and Partners shares that the team did miss R.Balki who was at that moment shooting for his movie but kept a close track on what’s happening. He further added, “It’s a fun evening. Of course, a responsibility but not a burden. Portfolio Night is a great platform for everyone and its getting evolved over the years.”


“I feel like a celebrity,” exclaimed Deepanjali Singh, after being announced as All Star Nominee. Deepanjali was among those 75 participants who got a lifetime’s opportunity to present their portfolio in front of the biggies of the business.


Bengaluru-based Mayank Bhayana was adjudged Portfolio Night – All Star from India. “I am still soaking in the news. It’s a terrific feeling indeed,” he said, adding: “And let’s not call it an award. It’s rather recognition that I can do a lot better than that.” The winner of Portfolio Night gets a chance to fly down to New York to take part in a week-long creative challenge on a specific brief.




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