Mumbai: In another instance of a creative director leaving to start his own agency, Sean Colaco, vice-president, creative services, at TBWA/India Pvt. Ltd and the creative force behind campaigns for brands such as Air India, Ariel and Bharat Petroleum is quitting the agency to start a Mumbai-based one, called Creatively Active Communication (CAC).
Colaco’s partner in the venture is Aneet Coutinho, formerly the creative group head at Saatchi and Saatchi Pvt. Ltd. In an attempt to offer integrated services to clients, CAC plans to outsource specialized services, including media buying, from other agencies.
“In such a crowded media environment, communication can’t be passive. It’s got to be vibrant and dynamic, which is why we chose this name for our agency. We will find a new way of doing creative and we have already got various (big) clients on board from financial, retail and packaged goods sectors,” said Colaco.
Ad partners: Sean Colaco (left) and Aneet Coutinho have joined hands to start Mumbai-based Creatively Active Communication.
Coutinho added that the agency’s differentiator would be the unconventional creative solutions it will offer clients.
The duo join a growing number of ad men who have set out to start their own ventures. Pushpinder Singh left Ambience Publicis Pvt. Ltd where he was national creative director to start his own agency Saints and Warriors a few years ago. In the past few years, D. Ramakrishna “Ramki” quit JWT India where he was executive creative director to start Cartwheel Creative Consultancy Pvt. Ltd and last year, Raj Kurup, executive creative director at Grey Worldwide, left the agency to start CreativeLand Asia.
Setting up an independent ad agency is no easy task, though, since many big companies are aligned with the same agency networks globally. And there have been creative stars who have returned to the agency fold. Examples include K.S. Chakravarthy (aka Chax), who started his own film production company and then returned to advertising in 2004 as national creative director at Rediffusion DY&R Pvt. Ltd.
Adrian Mendonza started his own film production company Water and then returned to the ad pavilion as executive creative director of Dentsu Group in 2006; he’s now the national creative director of Dentsu.
Colaco said there is business beyond multinationals. “The risk factor is what any entrepreneurial set-up is all about. If we fail, it will not be for want of trying.”
To be sure, some multinationals and big local advertisers have begun working with cutting-edge creative agencies for fresh and more cost-effective advertising. For instance, CreativelandAsia handles brands such as Parle Agro’s Frooti and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s BigAdda.com.