As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia presents “One Under 30” – a special feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world, one person at a time.
This week we talk to Sundus Shahid Bari, Associate Director – Strategy & Planning at Blitz Advertising in Karachi, Pakistan.
Over the course of our conversation, she talks about how she got her first break in the industry, what she loves about the work, what she doesn’t really like about it, and more.
Name: Sundus Shahid Bari
Agency: Blitz Advertising
Position: Associate Director – Strategy & Planning
Current Location: Karachi
Education: SZABIST, MBA – Marketing, 2018
How did you get your first break in the industry?
It was in 2013, when I set out to explore my options in the job market. The search led me to a company that brought a Spanish party store chain & an American burger chain. Starting from getting training from headquarters in the EU about their signature art, decor, makeup & visual merchandising of the retail outlets to launching the brand here in Pakistan, was a whole of an experience for me.
The whole concept of a party store here in Pakistan that offers a variety of party products including seasonal costumes like Halloween, cartoon characters etc was very new for the audience which made it pretty challenging for the company to work on the brand positioning & acceptance.
What is your personal mantra?
Diversification is beautiful.
My life has mostly led me to diversified & amazing experiences especially when it comes to work. Early in the days, it was quite challenging for an individual to get the notion accepted that its only good to be able to explore new areas & it always enhances the learning but now, I see people have started to accept the idea that holding diverse experiences & learning mostly leads to something more fruitful.
From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
Traveling & interacting with new people has always helped me. Be it in my personal life or work.
I have always observed how optimistic & magical the impact traveling has on me. It just enables you to be yourself, give yourself some ‘me time’ to enjoy however you want to, opens yourself to new, inspirational, unique ideas that at times you don’t get sitting on that same desk of yours staring at the screen with uncountable opened tabs for research.
Everyone, every place around us carries a story. It’s just how we perceive it & take inspiration from it.
What do you love about the job?
The liberty of going as wild as possible with the ideas, constantly evolving & learning new stuff, being surrounded by like-minded & amazing creative individuals. It’s like everything & everyone around you is a source of unyielding inspiration.
Another very important part is to get connected with some amazing people in & out of the industry. Most of the times when I meet people, I always leave with either some inspiring story, ideas how I can add value in someone’s life or something to remember that would help me for life.
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
One of the crazy & annoying things that can happen to professionals especially in the creative & marketing side is the agitation when we get the creative block ESPECIALLY when you are on a close deadline. The other not-too-good thing is when there are no limits to time, especially during seasonal campaigns & launches. That’s when you must bid farewell to your social life, your family routine, etc. at least for the time being.
Also, not to forget the insane amounts of follow-ups one must do in-person, or otherwise in order to get the job done on time.
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
During my tenure with Synage Global, I led a campaign for a consumer goods brand called Cool & Cool. The campaign took place during the Pakistan Super League – a professional Twenty20 cricket league initiated by Spark affiliated Blitz Advertising – and the outcome represented the true collaborative marriage of the advertiser and the agency.
A couple of young kids were invited to participate in the campaign while the players were getting ready to toss the coin and start the game. The concept was to have the audience interact with the team, create content, and reinforce the importance of sanitation & hygiene.
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If you had to choose another career what would it be?
A career that involves traveling, exploring, and documenting every unique experience I find.
I am often told that I am a great empath & I get along well & quick with the people having the right energy. That’s what I experience when I step out of my city & enter a new one. Travelling does wonders for me. Like I read on social media, ‘If traveling was free, you’d never see me again’. The kind of energy it brings to me is something unexplainable & beautiful.