With a degree in Mass Communication, Vasudha Misra started her career in social communication. However, soon realising that she was more suited to selling soap than starting a movement for popularising vasectomy, she switched over to the more capitalist branch of communication.
In the past 19+ odd years, she has launched the first few dot coms of the country with some iconic work on Naukri.com, Jeevansathi.com and 99acres.com. She then went on to launch and head the most maverick telecom brand - TATA DOCOMO.
In recent years, Vasudha has been responsible for the work done on Tinder -Start Something Epic (2018 & 2020), VIVO, FabHotels, OkCupid, and Havells RO Water purifiers - Paani Se Panga Mat Lo.
Her work on tinder, portrayed women empowerment with a smile and sass, illustrating narratives for independence, choice and consent need not be heavy or serious. The campaign was talked about and covered in India and across the globe.
I wish I could describe myself as easily as I do when I talk about a consumer of a brand, but here goes. I am both expressive and non-communicative. Shy with my camera on. Assertive with my ideas. Decisive through the week and very indecisive on Friday nights while ordering my take-away.
I do love observing people. Give me my coffee and a seat in a busy shop, I am occupied for hours. But in the last two years if I have observed anything it is the cracks on my walls and landed up with a hefty renovation tab.
I love routines, in fact I love the monotony of them; it makes me feel like I am a small part of nature.
Talking about creativity…a few years back, I’d have said, creativity is something innate. But today, in a world of TikTok, Reels, Shorts, I have been humbled to know creativity is self-taught. And that anyone can be creative.
On most days, I judge creative ideas based on what represents the best mash up of creative sensibilities, the brand’s sensibilities, and the culture out there. And on other days, you just see something so fabulous, that you throw everything else out of the window and just go with it.
I am proud of my work for Tinder India, Tata Docomo and Havells Water Purifiers the most. For Tinder it was setting the tone for a dating app that put girls at the centre of their dating choices and celebrating that unabashedly and without judgement. For Tata Docomo, it was about creating a unique, quirky voice for a telecom brand in a sea of giants doing some amazing work. And for Havells Water Purifier, mostly because Sir John Hegarty said, it’s a piece that he wished he had done :)
But I am most excited about what the future holds for me.
And talking about the future, I am excited about how clients are evolving., Their creative tastes have changed. Today, no one wants regular, decent work. Everyone wants good, shiny work. Really interesting work. And as an industry, it is up to us to really deliver on that.
There are no great secrets on how to produce the work. I try to start with as much info on the brief. Sometimes I want to sit alone for the first few hours, other times, I sit with the team straight away. I look at some pieces of work that inspire me. But more than anything, I look for time for thoughts to percolate in my head. You have to trust that the idea will come and that is the reason creatives always fight for more time.
I grew up in a small town called Lucknow amongst four very independent, feisty women. I spent most of the time in front of the telly waiting for ad breaks and writing terrible, terrible stories in preparation for the day when I’d be in advertising writing ads for someone’s ad breaks.
I love to listen and learn from young people, live through their experiences and stories. When I am struggling with an idea, I just like to go for a drive, clear my head or talk to my 9-year-old son, asking him to think with me. Sometimes just stepping a few feet away from the problem gives perspective on how to approach it.
My advice to clients would be take your time with the briefing document. Not just write the problems but the ambition for the brief. What is the creative benchmark? Aligning sensibilities and shared creative ambition is very important from the start.