Intimacy is the algorithm that defines Swati
Intimacy with brands, consumers, clients, co-workers and partners. Swati loves to connect deeply with everyone’s story. Oftentimes, she advises clients on how to manage their love lives and not just their brands! Co-workers are all familiar with the famous ‘meltdown chair’ in her room. Many have sat there, unburdening their hearts and untangling their minds. It is her sacred space, where everything – from random relationships to burning social and political issues – are ‘juiced’ till the very last drop. And it is this vast encyclopedia of emotions, carefully compiled over the years, that provides her with the fodder she needs, every time she picks up her pen to write.
I have had the good fortune to have worked with Swati for more than two decades. And in that span, I have witnessed her growth from a junior copywriter at the Jhandewalan office of JWT, Delhi (HTA, in those days), to a creative star that has added much shine to the global firmament. The fact that she is now our Chief Creative Officer, is a matter of great pride for all of us at FCB.
Looking back, I would say that it was when she joined Dentsu to head Mama Lab, a division focused on communication to women, that Swati actually came into her own, discovering her voice in the world of advertising. A voice that took on patriarchy and mindless tradition and spoke up for those marginalised by society.
Swati’s achievements in the advertising industry are laudable. She has won numerous awards for her work, including several Cannes Lions, Effies, and Abbys. In 2016, she was included in Forbes’ list of the top 100 most influential women in India. Since 2018, The Economic Times has been naming her as one of the most influential people in Indian advertising. Swati has also been on the jury panel and a guest speaker at a host of reputed international advertising awards
It is a fact that Swati’s work has helped to redefine the advertising industry in India. Her campaigns have been lauded for their emotional depth and the ability to connect with audiences on a personal level. Her writing has been praised by critics and consumers alike, while her talent as a storyteller has captivated audiences around the world.
If I were to pinpoint what exactly it is that makes her such a creative powerhouse, I would have to say that it is her obsession with scratching the surface to uncover the hidden nuances in human stories. Swati genuinely loves to listen to everyone who has a story to tell and she does that with dollops of empathy.
Swati’s work has always been most insightful and real, making brainstorming with her an enriching experience. There is a freshness of thought and perspective that she never fails to lay out on the table. Which though surprising in its interpretation, is always rooted in reality, speaking to the heart of the consumer in a tone that cuts through the clutter, every single time.
Perhaps Swati’s greatest strength is that her work never tries to sell. Winning instead on sheer belief and passion, she connects with the consumer on an emotional plane that never fails to inspire, provoke and persuade.
(The author is Chairman and CEO, FCB Group India. Swati Bhattacharya is Creative Chairperson, FCB India.)