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-comers in the ad & marketing world – one person at a time.
This time we talk to Urooj Javed, Manager – Creative Strategy & Brand Communications at Unilever Food Solutions in Karachi.
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’s not so crazy about, some of her favorite campaign work, and more.
Name: Urooj Javed
Company: Unilever Food Solutions
Position: Manager – Creative Strategy & Brand Communications
Current Location: Karachi
Education: Bachelor’s in Media Sciences, Class of 2019
How did you get your first break in the industry?
Like many others in my generation, I wasn’t sure which university program was right for me. I joined the undergraduate media sciences program at the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) in 2015.
Little did I know, I fell in love with the courses and discovered more about myself, leading me to major in advertising strategy. After my first part-time job at RedBull Pakistan and my internship at Centric with Babar Khan Javed, I knew which agency I wanted to go for: Ogilvy Pakistan. Call it bad luck, but they didn’t have any vacancies during that time. Call it good luck; after a month, I saw a vacancy and applied immediately.
What is your personal mantra?
Diamonds don’t form solely under pressure. Similarly, your early 20s shouldn’t be defined by relentless work, and the one-size-fits-all approach of the past may not be suitable for everyone. I firmly reject the notion that one must toil endlessly in one’s youth to prove one’s worth.
It’s crucial to prioritize mental well-being over societal expectations. Everyone is unique, and there isn’t a universal formula for success or fulfillment. Let’s celebrate individuality and encourage a healthier balance between personal growth and preserving one’s mental health.
From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
My mother is the most creative person I know. Since my childhood, I have seen her getting things done perfectly. Be it packing gifts in the most unique style, hosting events, or suggesting the most impressive titles for the scripts I wrote. She is a true shining star.
What do you love about the job?
One of the most rewarding aspects of my role at Unilever is the exceptional work-life balance it affords. As someone who values a harmonious life, I appreciate the culture that Unilever cultivates, where there’s no expectation to extend working hours.
“Life’s essence lies in embracing risks, yet witnessing how some brands shy away from venturing into uncharted territories is disheartening.”
This flexibility allows me to excel in my professional responsibilities while maintaining a fulfilling personal life. I find great satisfaction in being part of an organization that prioritizes professional excellence and individual well-being.
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
Life’s essence lies in embracing risks, yet witnessing how some brands shy away from venturing into uncharted territories is disheartening. In advertising, the principle should be straightforward: if a campaign falls short, it becomes a learning experience; if it succeeds, it’s cause for celebration.
This uncomplicated rule is what should drive innovation and creativity in the realm of advertising. The beauty of the process lies in its dynamic nature—where lessons learned from setbacks pave the way for future celebrations!
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
Despite the multiple projects I have worked on, some projects will always be close to my heart, including.
The Coca-Cola Ramadan campaign
Foodpanda PSL campaign
UBL Freelancer Account campaign
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
A therapist or a teacher.