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Q] Tell us why the new Bumble campaign is unique and also share some of the interesting behind the scenes action
Bumble’s new integrated campaign encourages millennials and Gen Z in India to make the first move, and aims to support the Bumble community to navigate the new rules of dating in these challenging times. Lots of funny things happened during the shoot, like the person who was cast in ‘for your eyes only’ film and the person who composed the score happened to know each other from before. What are the odds, with both being debutants and from different cities! The film with dogs (titled ‘A helping paw’) was great fun to shoot. We ensured that we cast a couple that loves dogs despite that the main dog got a bit cranky with two other puppies around and he kept growling under his breath. We had to keep distracting him.

Q] What is the defining aspect of your work and which are the other areas of expertise of The Script Room?
I am hoping that there isn’t any defining aspect. Honestly the only thing is that I still operate very old school. I still think in the pattern of ‘insight first’. I’ve been doing it for so long, and having now been part of more than a 1000 ads, and enough mistakes made, I’ve kind of figured out ‘how to say’ and more importantly ‘how much to say’. And this honestly is also because of the other roommates at The Script Room. We’ve stuck together for years now, because of our sensibilities. An incredible number of nonsensical discussions lead to the final work being spared from it all. I also direct. So that gives me an idea of thinking scripts in the form of screenplays. We’re in the process of pitching the stories and finding the right collaborators.

Q] A big part of The Script Room’s journey has been during the lockdown. Has that been a boon for independent agencies in a way?
When Ayyapps (Ayyappan Raj, Co-founder) and I came together, we started with ‘working from home’ and took some time in finding a place and setting it up. Finally we found two places, in Mumbai and Bangalore, and we barely finished setting it up and bang… we’re back to ‘working from home’. But we got fried pretty soon and started going back to the office. Maybe because we’re a small set up and could afford to do it. That could be a boon in a way. Now with work from home being an accepted part of life, being in any city is fine. Nobody wants you physically present. Our clients are all over Mumbai, Bangalore and even Delhi. Sometimes during pitches, only much later, do they or we ask, ‘By the way, which city are you in now?’ We also did manage to pull off some stories titled ‘QSQT - Quarantine stories of Quarantine times’ and some screenplay work we’d taken up kept us occupied and sane. We managed to shoot some ads too in the middle of it all. Yes we were as affected too, but we’re not such a big crowd so we didn’t need too much distancing.

Q] What are the clients on your roster, and what kind of clients would you like to work with in future?
The kind of work we produce attracts a certain kind of clients. Also, we aren’t a full-service ad agency. We’re primarily a script shop. So, if a client is interested in communicating very specifically in the audio-visual medium, we make sense. And since we have nothing else to offer, we’d better be good at what we’re doing. And we would want to play on that strength. The kind of clients we want and also the ones coming our way, are truly people who love and appreciate the effort and craft that goes behind it. They speak very passionately about every tiny aspect, and we love that. And they trust us with that craft, which is reassuring and motivating.

Q] You quit the MullenLowe Lintas Group along with two other stalwarts who also set up their agencies. What separates your agency from the other two?
That is sheer coincidence. We’re in three different spaces with completely different offerings. Each has its unique identity. Of course what unites us is probably the Lintas way of thinking. It is a school that we all graduated out of and it’s engrained within us. We’re very much in touch and talk at length about everything, exchange notes and even lookout for each other’s work. They are all doing some spectacular work. They’ve all been kind enough to respond to our work and encourage us constantly. All this make us conclude that the time now is great for all independent agencies to find their own niche, whether it is us or anyone else.

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Tags : interview Neeta Nair Bumble The Script Room Rajesh Ramaswamy