As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia presents “One Under 30” – a regular feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world, one person at a time.
This week we talk to Yusra Younis, a 25-year-old Media Planner with Starcom in 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 like about it, and more.
Name: Yusra Younis
Position: Media Planner
Hometown: Khairpur, Pakistan
Current Location: Karachi
How did you get your first break in the industry?
After my master’s when I came back to Pakistan, I was sure that I wanted to pursue the field of advertising. As I was applying to advertising and media buying agencies, I got an interview opportunity in one of the biggest media buying agency in Pakistan. I was fortunate enough to be selected and once I got in the system, I got motivated/ excited to learn more about this world.
I made good strides in a short span of time and was able to learn and apply my thoughts to the work that I did. During this course of learning I realized that there was far more depth, innovation and learning to this business than just what I was doing in my daily job which was media buying for traditional media channels.
My curiosity led me to be very specific about what I wanted from this industry which was to learn strategic planning and digital. The persuasion of this ambition led me to apply for a position that would give me an opportunity to work as a media planner for one of the most exciting and digitally led brands in the industry, it’s been more than a year and I’m hungrier than ever to still learn and deliver more.
What is your personal mantra?
Carpe diem/ carpe momentum, but with empathy.
From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
My inspiration in every step of my life has been my late mother. She was the first financially independent woman in my family and those values have cascaded into my approach towards life where I want to be a brand myself and be known and respected for my capabilities and knowledge.
What do you love about the job?
Amongst many reasons, I believe that having an opportunity to work with dynamic people is extremely motivating and challenges me to think exponentially. Also, the fact that a creative idea when executed the right way in the right context in a shape of a meaningful campaign on a national scale can have an impact on billions of lives, and that is a level of satisfaction that is unparallel.
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
The challenge is pretty much the same across the media and advertising industry, where strict and unreasonable timelines eat into the quality of work we can churn out. It is understandable if these un-reasonable requests are more occasional versus frequent, however whenever an agency is given space both in terms of time and creativity by the clients the work is often quite breathtaking and meaningful.
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
I still feel that my best is yet to come and I’m on my journey to produce something that would make me feel that I have achieved something substantial, however in my short career there have been a couple of projects that I feel extremely proud of; a personal favorite is a campaign we did for Cadbury Dairy Milk “Teachers ko Salam” which gave tribute to the unsung heroes during the pandemic.
While the world recognized the efforts of the frontline workers, Cadbury Dairy Milk launched a new communication that highlighted the challenges which teachers faced and how they remained motivated and did not give up on the new normal of providing education virtually. It was a media 360 campaign, where the platform, cadburygenerosity.com, acted as a central hub for all our media activities during the campaign.
“A creative idea when executed the right way in the right context in a shape of a meaningful campaign on a national scale can have an impact on billions of lives, and that is a level of satisfaction that is unparallel.”
The platform had a two-pronged functionality of leaving a heartfelt message on the Wall of Fame and a personalized Cadbury Dairy Milk Gift Box to order. All the assets across Instagram, Facebook, and Google directed the audience to the website so that with a single click, all those who want to thank their teachers can add a personalized message and deliver a personalized “Thank You” Bar to the Teacher.
What makes it special is the fact during the pandemic everyone came together to effectively collaborate and develop a campaign that won us local as well as global accolades, it also set an example of how during testing times the teams; both agency and client worked closely together to deliver some stellar work.
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
If I had not been doing this job, I would be an entrepreneur of sorts. As I love to travel and explore culture and people, I would probably have made a business that would allow me to travel without any hindrance.