Brands will change the way they work, which indeed would also demand a change in the agency-client relationship… I believed this would work in our favour, as more than simply being their agency, we come with the clear and present intent of being ‘partners’ to our clients and treating their brand like our own,” says DEEPAK SINGH, who recently founded Vitamin D, an end to end brand solutions agency. Sometimes timing is all, especially if it concerns man or event. But when it coincides with a global pandemic, no less, it makes it doubly intriguing and interesting. Deepak Singh is no novice. Among the most seasoned campaigners in advertising in the country, Singh recently launched his own label named ‘Vitamin D’. The Mumbai-headquartered Vitamin D offers end-to-end brand solutions — from Marketing and Strategy, Creative Communication and Design, Digital Communication and Design, Public Relations and Event Design, to Film Production and Motion Graphics.

Deepak Singh has knocked back over 20 meaty years with Leo Burnett, Grey Worldwide, McCann Erickson, DDB Mudra, TBWA, and Dentsu. Later, he would gain significant understanding of OOH, on-ground activation, and digital while leading the creative function at agencies like The Social Street and YAAP Digital. It has been the digital season, given the current circumstances, so Singh says, “they (advertising professionals) are all trying to get a hang of  digital advertising and that’s why everything they do looks like a translation of the same work into the digital world”. This isn’t exactly digital, Singh says. Over the years, Singh also picked up over 1200 national and international metals at the big shows of the industry — Cannes, One Show, LIA, New York Festival, ABBYs, Adfest, Spikes Asia, and Young Guns amongst a host of others. Besides, he has also been a jury at some of these prestigious festivals. Singh was in conversation with our EDITOR-IN-CHIEF K. G. SREENIVAS.

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CREATIVE BRANDS: Interesting nomenclature! So why and how Vitamin D? Of course, we could do with more Vitamin D under the circumstances.

DEEPAK SINGH: Well, basically the fact that the only way one can get Vitamin D naturally, is by stepping out. Which indeed is true for ideas as well. Also, Vitamin D happens to be the reason behind positivity and happiness in people’s lives and we believe creativity and good ideas, too, have a similar effect on people and their minds. The whole connection fit very well and that’s how Vitamin D came into the picture. If you see our logo, that too is a minimal design based on a similar concept, wherein the ‘V’ and the ‘D’ come together to form a drop. A drop of sunshine I’d say! 

CB: What was the point of departure when you chose to set up Vitamin D and what is the unique creative proposition that drives Vitamin D in the current creative scenario where businesses are going through a pretty hard time?

DS: We’d been planning to launch for almost six months. And what essentially gave me the confidence to go ahead with it, in spite of a  fairly challenging scenario was the understanding that now on, brands will change the way they work, which indeed would also demand a change in the agency-client relationship. I believed this would work in our favour, as more than simply being their agency, we come with the clear and present intent of being ‘partners’ to our clients. And, treating their brand like our own. With a hassle-free, smarter creative approach, we are here to become the foremost single entity that can take care of all the needs of clients, for all mediums, from start to finish of any campaign. It’s on the foundation of these values that I have launched Vitamin D.

CB: In your creative practice, you have sought to redefine digital. In fact, you go on to say that digital is understood inexactly and that what passes off for digital is merely cross-media faux adaptation. Tell us about revisiting digital.

DS: Digital is much more than just putting up posts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter or, for that matter, creating films and posting them on YouTube and promoting them. Being a software engineer by qualification, I have a good sense of digital and its use. And I feel we are doing very basic digital advertising work for our clients. There is much more that we can explore.

BAJAJ EXHAUST FAN — ZIP LOCK: Exhaust fans have been widely advertised. So Deepak Singh and his team took a different route and came up with a completely new approach. The campaign won global appreciation and also hugely awarded at Indian as well as global award festivals.

Right now, there is clearly a shift taking place in the minds of all advertising professionals. They are all trying to get a hang of  digital advertising and that’s why everything they do looks like a translation of the same work into the digital world.

To hit the right chord, we need to learn the technical things and how they can be merged with advertising ideas. And this can only happen when you have technical knowledge or technical experts helping you to power your ideas. Technical people will have to lead the way and we have to support them with great creative ideas. It will clearly work if and only we are in sync with each other. That’s where I think we are all struggling. But I am positive that things will change sooner or later. They will have to.

Children go missing from the Indian streets every single day. Owing to its proximity to Bangladesh, 21% of the missing children in India are from West Bengal. The desperate efforts of the families are usually limited to futile mediums, hardly leading to any success in finding the children. Bring Them Back used the outdoor medium like never before, becoming a ray of hope for the grieving families.

CB: Finally, adversity is the mother of invention. At Vitamin D, can we look to a new idiom and grammar of creative communication?

We’re here to create ideas and solutions that the world hasn’t seen before. And I’d say we have the experience as well as the drive to do so. The idea is to foster earnest, long-term relationships with our clients, by putting our heart and soul into even the smallest of tasks. The good thing being, that we have a young, enthusiastic, multi-talented team on board that is hungry to explore new things, which I think is very important to help us keep evolving. We believe in applying simple yet meaningful ways to problem solving, while putting to use solid design and communication tools. The whole intent being to create path-breaking work in the process.