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‘Online advertising is gaining traction, but TV and radio commercials are here to stay’

Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication alumna Anvensha Thakkar, who works in the advertising industry, shares how the rise in online platforms has impacted marketing campaigns

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Anvensha Thakkar

As an advertising professional, Anvensha Thakkar often finds herself coping with hectic schedules and strict deadlines. But the 26-year-old alumnus of Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication (AIMC) has realised there is more to life than just work commitments. While managing excess pressure at office, the Delhi-based marketing coordinator at Microsoft ensures she reserves some me-time to pursue her passion. In an interview, Thakkar talks to us about work-life balance, her interest in tarot card reading, the future of advertising, and more. Edited excerpts:

Tell us about your experience at AIMC.

It was a wonderful experience. The faculty were extremely helpful. What benefited us the most were the practical assignments—we were divided into different teams to work on marketing campaigns—which prepared us for the industry. So, the challenges that I encountered once I started working professionally were somewhat relatable and I was prepared to face them head-on. These setbacks can be important while you are growing in your career.

You also maintain a blog. Why did you choose marketing as your career option and not something like copywriting?

Initially, I wanted to get into advertising as a copywriter. During my time at Apeejay, I realised I am more expressive when it comes to communication. In fact, prior to Microsoft, I did client servicing as part of a mainline advertising agency. Writing, on the other hand, is too personal and is based on my experiences and observations, which is markedly different from writing for a campaign.

When did you start the blog and how did you come up with the idea?

I started the blog as part of a college assignment. After a couple of posts, I realised how much I loved it. Three or four years after joining the advertising industry, there was a time when professional commitments and indefinite working hours started getting too stressful. Gradually, I experienced a shift in my personality that started leaning towards spirituality. Now, all my blogs are about maintaining a work-life balance, spiritual happiness, and so on.

You also have a YouTube channel where you do tarot card reading. What inspired you?

It all started about two-and-a-half years ago during the time I was struggling with my work-life balance. I lost my sleeping pattern and contemplated a career change. Around that time, I read a book titled ‘The Laws of Spirit World’ that completely changed my life. I started meditating. When the lockdown happened and we were working from home, I found the time to be able to pursue tarot reading. I think I have finally found the balance between my corporate career and something that I really want to pursue.

As a tarot card reader, do you think one should believe in predictions blindly?

There needs to be a balance. If you start believing in something more than you are supposed to, you tend to lose control over your own life. I believe you can take guidance from tarot cards and take the necessary actions to improve your life. Do not depend on the predictions completely. On the other hand, I have nothing against those who do not believe in astrology or tarot reading because it is their perspective.

Is it not difficult to find time for your personal projects amid strict professional deadlines?

Like I mentioned, my job involves endless work hours. While I had second thoughts about my career choice, I soon understood that I was not ready to give up on my passion for advertising and marketing. Each campaign that I work on is unique which pumps you up. I would say the career-related challenges motivated me in a way to draw a line between my personal and professional life.

So, do you plan your schedule in advance?

You have to do it because advertising is an unpredictable industry where you never know when an unscheduled meeting comes up. My office, for instance, begins at 10 am. So, I wake up a few hours prior, to work on things I love. The same thing is repeated in the evening. This is my daily schedule.

How has digital marketing changed the way we understand advertising? Have TV or radio ads lost prominence?

It has changed drastically. In the last two years especially, the primary brief for every campaign is all about digital endeavours. This, in turn, has impacted the insights. There is a greater focus on how to put out ads on online platforms because they have overpowered the traditional TV or radio commercials. At the same time, I think the latter will not become extinct.

We now see personalised ads on your screens depending on our online activity. As a marketer, do you think it works well?

I have a mixed opinion about it. I think personalised ads also have a drawback in the way it limits our access to other products that we may not have searched online previously. After some time, there is a repetition of the ads on the screen, which makes the audience lose interest. It also makes one feel like their online activity is being constantly monitored which makes them uncomfortable.

Where is advertising headed according to you?

Over the years, there has been a lot of creative expansion in the world of advertising. The platforms are diverse, from newspapers to the internet, which only gives one the impetus to explore. Advertising is definitely here to grow and get better.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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