"The best was Quit India"

Written by Payal Khandelwal | Updated: May 31 2011, 05:46am hrs
I wish I had made these

According to Upputuru, the Quit India movement is by far the best that this country has produced. It was a powerful idea that challenged the leader at that point of time. And it generated participation/engagement of the entire nation. It was also perhaps the longest and ultimately, the most effective campaign ever. And to come think of it, it was done without a TV or print campaign. It was done using graffiti, pamphlets and rallies. In that sense it was really, really ahead of its time, he says.

Among the TV commercials, he likes the Sony Ericsson Black Coffee commercial most. He says, It was India's first Cannes Lion in films. And I remember seeing it ever so often on TV. The direction, the music, the casting everything was perfect. But why I like it most is because it tells such a compelling and unique story in 30 seconds. Mostly, creatives and production houses negotiate with clients asking for extra seconds, saying they need time for finer nuances. But look at this commercial, it proves that you don't need 45 seconds or one minute for a great commercial. You need a fantastic idea!

Thank god, it isnt me

Says Upputuru, A TVC that I don't like is this film that shows a woman coming out of an ocean and next you see the logo of a cement company. I think it insults the intelligence of anybody watching it. And its very arrogant. The client, the agency (if there was one) and the producer took people for granted that they can sell cement by simply showing a half-naked woman. It is the JK Cement ad.

The other lot that I don't like are toilet cleaner commercials! While they serve the purpose of educating India how to clean their commodes, one thing I never understood was why show the before Especially during dinnertime! Thats probably because the creative had no idea that the ad would run during dinnertime! he adds.

My first ad

I was given a copy test by Publicis (then Maadhyam DMB&B) to do an ad for Eicher Good Earth that encouraged people to be more conscious about the environment. So I created a series of ads, one of which had the headline Only dogs excrete on the road and the visual showed smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe of a car on the road, he says. About two weeks later I got a call from Vivek Dev Sharma who informed me that they had used my ad and that they would like to pay me for the ad. So they gave me a cheque (my first in advertising) of Rs 3000 for that ad. Later they hired me as a copy trainee with a monthly stipend of the same amount!


Upputuru kicked off his advertising career with Madhyam DMB&B (now Publicis India) as a copy trainee. He then worked with Trikaya Grey (now Grey Worldwide). After this, he joined TBWA Anthem (now TBWA India) where he spent about five years before joining the Delhi-based creative shop Ushak Kaal. Upputuru joined O&M in 2003 and spent six years at the agency's Delhi office. His last designation at O&M was senior creative director.

He came back to Dentsu recently after a stint at Saatchi & Saatchi. In his previous role at Dentsu, he was the ECD on Honda's account. He quit early last year to join Saatchi & Saatchis Delhi office as its executive creative director to lead the Delhi team. At Saatchi, he was reporting to Ramanuj Shastry, national creative director. He joined Saatchi mainly because he was keen to work on a telecom account and Saatchi had MTS and also because of the agency's global Lovemarks philosophy.

Upputuru's portfolio includes campaigns for Somany Tiles, Inalsa, Larsen & Tubro, Afghan Telecom, the Hutch Delhi Marathon, Sprite (Seedhi Baat No Bakwaas), Kinley (Boond Boond Mein Vishwas), Kentucky Fried Chicken (Institute of Lickonomics), Fanta, Grasim Suitings, WWF and Dabur.