If the past few months are anything to go by, Kochi might soon become an Indian creative hotspot. While the five big metros have long been considered the creative centers of Indian advertising, Maitri Advertising Works in Kochi is bucking the trend.
With the launch of the prestigious Kochi Metro, Maitri partnered with the Government of Kerala to release a video announcing the employment of trans people on the project. The video has gone viral internationally, with millions of views and over 4 million dollars in earned media coverage, from BuzzFeed and Mashable to Al Jazeera and the BBC, to name just a few – putting it on par with the biggest viral successes coming out of the big Mumbai firms. And this isn’t the first time we’ve made work that’s been talked about either.
Reference Link : https://www.facebook.com/keralainformation/videos/1835019106817702
Earlier in May, Maitri worked with Mathrubhumi, Kerala’s most credible newspaper, to black out its front page on World Press Freedom Day. The move was a show of support for journalists all over the world who don’t enjoy the same freedoms that Indians do. It garnered headlines all over the country and sparked a fresh debate on Press freedom.
Maitri’s water conservation campaign during the drought and the ‘Tree For Tomorrow’ campaign also took Kerala by storm, becoming two of the most effective and talked-about campaigns in the state. And all this is just in the first half of 2017.
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Reference Link : https://www.facebook.com/mathrubhumidotcom/videos/10155273246477718/
Reference Link : https://www.facebook.com/ATreeForTomorrow
Since the first Biennale put Kochi on the creative map in 2012, artists have steadily been trickling into the city. And as lifestyles are changing and more creative professionals getting tired of the high rents and stressful lifestyles that big-city agencies are offering them, Kochi is becoming a tempting place to balance work and life.
While Kerala has been supplying creatives to the rest of the country for the last few decades (A quick glance at the senior management of the country’s top agencies and production houses will bear out the truth of this statement) a reverse brain drain is finally in progress.
A prime example of this is Maitri’s new Associate Ideation Director, Francis Thomas – fresh out of Ryan Mendonca’s award-winning team at Ogilvy Mumbai, he was the pen behind many of the team’s most talked about campaigns, including Channel V’s Seatbelt Crew, Tata Sky’s Christmas Surprise, Amitabh Bachchan’s Letter to his Granddaughter and a few of Bournvita’s campaigns. He was featured in Brand Equity’s hottest young creatives list and has been part of Ogilvy’s delegation to the Cannes Festival, apart from his victories at Spikes Asia and the Kyoorius awards.
Under the guidance of veteran creative director Venugopal, Maitri is looking to start a revolution in Indian advertising, inviting creatives from across the country to come do ground-breaking new work in the beautiful backwaters of Kochi.
Speaking on his plans Raju Menon – Director (Operations) – Maitri Advertising Works Kochi said, “Kerala’s advertising industry is considered to be five years behind the scenario in National market. However, with the advancement in technology and innovation we were able to break this myth and today we are on par with the National market in any form of campaigns. Earlier, Creative Professionals from Kerala had migrated to other larger markets for better prospect. But, today with the advancement in technology, we can offer them the similar opportunity with a better quality of life in Kochi, wherein, he can go home for lunch and come back to work. The clients also started understanding and co-operating with agencies to work in this style. Young talent like Francis is the best example for such home coming trend and we think there are going to be exciting times ahead”.
Speaking his heart out Francis Thomas said, “It’s a question of a great idea at the right time – right now, Kochi is ripe to become a Creative hub. It’s got clients who are surprisingly hungry for good work, fast internet, great production crews and digital guys who know what they’re doing. Most importantly, it’s got a great work culture – people here understand that you can balance work and life. There’s not so much focus on the rat race, and I think it’s a great climate for being creative. And of course, it’s so much more affordable than Bombay or Bangalore or Delhi and there’s so much less commute or traffic.
There’s also the chance that since everything’s so much cheaper here, national clients might start looking to move business here, since there’s so much creative talent here.”