One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight – Ashish Adpur

Highlighting young talent in the ad world – one person at a time.

As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia brings you “One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight”, a regular feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world.

This week we feature 28-year-old Ashish Adpur, Group Head of Copy at Dentsu Webchutney, Mumbai.

Adpur told us he feels that all things in life first begin with an acceptance of risk and an understanding that there is nothing lost in rolling the dice. “Once you’ve taken the plunge, you’ll either emerge wiser from your losses or more accomplished from your gains.”


The Basics

Name: Ashish Adpur
Age: 28
Agency: Dentsu Webchutney, Mumbai
Position: Group Head Copy
Hometown: Kerala
Current Location: Delhi
Education: Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Comm, 2014, IP University, Delhi

Seven Questions

How did you get your first break in the industry?

My first break was sort of a social experiment I was running on myself. I’ve always believed that the best kind of learning is personal and felt. So while kids around me were applying to ad-schools & film schools to find a foot in the door, I was writing cover letters and cold mailing it to the top Creative Directors in the country.

I was steady in my belief of viewing outside the classroom and on-the-job learning as a more enriching experience. Amer Jaleel, the National Creative Director of Lowe Lintas then, took note of my letter and was gracious enough for a reply. In retrospect, I can say with a lot of relief that the experiment paid off.

What is your personal mantra?

It’s borrowed from an ex creative director of mine but it truly resonated with me then and continues to do so even today. He used to always tell me, “pehle cigarette jalao, fir permission lo”, which translates to “light up a cigarette first, ask for permission later”. The belief is rooted in “doing over doubting”.


“I live for experiences that can give me an insurmountable feeling of envy and awe.”

Once you’ve taken the plunge, you’ll either emerge wiser from your losses or more accomplished from your gains. Don’t ever let fear or doubt hold you back.

From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?

For me, it’s every time I watch an artist completely absorbed in their art. I live for experiences that can give me an insurmountable feeling of envy and awe. Both of which follow right after experiencing an artist’s cathartic moment. It can mute out every noise and distraction and give you clarity; and in clarity is freedom, and in freedom is creativity & originality.

What do you love about the job?

To be able to think and bring something to life. For that creation to be able to normalize a new way of living. To be able to influence the discourses in people’s living rooms. To be able to shift an entire generation’s behavior; its speech, culture, tastes and trends, to how their kids are named. To be able to break age-old stereotypes, influence decisions, shape lives. To be able to live on forever in the form of our ideas.

What about your job are you not so crazy about?

In no particular order, the shrinking marketing budgets, the information overload, the widening use of data and analytics overshadowing good old-fashioned creative instincts. And lastly the inability to switch off from work and the work-life imbalance it spawns.

What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?

It’s a piece we did for Motorola last year. An idea that revived the dying practice of Travelling Talkies, better known as Tambu Talkies in the country.

The idea was “democratization of cinema” in India – the most cinema-obsessed, yet the most cinema-deprived nation in the world. It sent us on a wild goose chase to locate the last few remaining traveling talkies in the country.

We revamped an old traveling cinema truck, hit the road with it, and brought alive the big-screen experience for thousands who hadn’t been to a theatre in ages. It also became the perfect send-off for Motorola’s iconic projector series phone. Leaving behind its technology, where it truly belonged.

If you had to choose another career what would it be?

If not a writer, then I’d prefer to have a multi-faceted career. I’d operate as a tour-guide in the biggest cities of the world, work as an environmental activist on the side and moonlight as a DJ during the after-hours. And as a retirement plan, bring all of my passions together by starting an eco-living resort in some far corner of the world.

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Bobby McGill

Bobby is the founder and publisher of Branding in Asia.

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