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Strike ‘Out of the Box’ to win!

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MUMBAI: While playing a game of tic tac toe, ever thought you could win a game by just drawing out of the box? If not, then maybe you weren’t creative enough.

With a single stroke of pen, Out of the Box, a Delhi-based creative agency has proved its point. Tired of the recycled ideas and unoriginal advertising, Saatchi & Saatchi ex-creative Saatchi & Saatchi (then, now L&K Saatchi & Saatchi) Viral Pandya decided to start his own venture.

The agency formed in 2006, has been planning to revamp its logo for a long time now. It claims that after long, it finally had time to put its creative heads together.  “With so much of work on your table, you rarely get time to think about yourself. Ironical as it may sound, it's the truth. However, the thought of designing a fresh, new brand identity for Out of the Box was always there at the back of our mind,” says the agency’s co-founder and chief creative officer Pandya.

With the new logo, the agency wanted to say everything about the agency without speaking a word - its philosophy, its approach, its challenges, its lunatic side, everything. So what one sees as the logo is what defines it as a creative company.

 However, it wasn’t an easy task. With hundreds of drafts on their heads, the agency arrived on something extremely simple – a tic tac toe game with a strike through outside the boxes to say that one will always win with out of the box ideas.

When asked what the agency is trying to convey to its clients and market, Pandya explains, “Playfulness. Spirit. Radical Approach. All in all, it talks about what we truly are. For clients, it gives an indication of what can be expected of us. As for the market, it tells them how mad we are about what we do. For aspirants, it reminds them of what we expect them to be and deliver.”

The year has been full of work, full of awards and full of happiness. Graceful to God, Pandya believes that the agency has been able to pull off work that augurs well for the clients. So, far the work has won a fair share of awards this year. Whether it’s One Show Design, New York Festivals, Kyoorius, Luerzer’s Archive or Goafest, the agency has hit a jackpot. “Indeed, it feels good to be consistent. And it also keeps us on our toes to deliver every time.”

And with two or three exciting accounts in the pipeline, the agency believes that every day there’s a new brief, a new challenge, a new idea and new excitement. But the work that really excites the people at the agency is the curriculum books for Presidium Schools.

It was the biggest challenge, as well. The agency was supposed to adhere to the guidelines set by NCERT’s National Curriculum Framework (NCF), something that it was completely alien to.

“Keeping that in mind, our job was to make these books interesting, inspiring, stackable and identifiable. Above all, the biggest mandate was to create the finest curriculum books in the country. It took us one and a half years to design the entire set of books, and there are more than 100 books still in the pipeline,” says Pandya while adding that it would be fair to say that this year was dedicated to education books.

There’s another piece of work the agency is really excited about. It is a new campaign for Presidium Schools called Leadership via Academics. The first print ad of the campaign was released on Independence Day, and one can see a lot more of them in the coming weeks.

One work, which made Pandya jump off his seat was ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ for Metro Trains, Melbourne. “So simple, so adorable, so moving, and bang on to the brief, a proof that the more innocent an idea is the more it touches the society,” he says.

The agency which believes in never giving up, strives for the best and then tries to better it. So, what sets them apart from the others? In one word, passion. “We don’t take any short cuts. We pull all stops when it comes to generating ideas as well as in execution. And most important, we enjoy what we do,” states Pandya matter-of-factly.

To create its unique identity, even in the age when digital medium has become an integral part of communication, the agency has successfully executed social media and digital campaigns, but it doesn’t set out to do digital campaigns. It wants to crack media-neutral ideas, and factor in digital, if needed.

In the competitive market where mergers and acquisitions have become a common phenomenon, Pandya thinks it’s both easy and difficult for an independent agency to operate. “There are no network clients and therefore no free lunch,” he laughs and adds, “On the plus side, we enjoy creative freedom and can have clients who appreciate good work.”

As for the future plans, Pandya jokes and says that as of now, the plan is to print T-shirts for the team with the new logo. “At Out of the Box, we hardly worry about the future. Our primary focus is to keep on creating work that works for the clients and us. What we really worry about is what we are going to drink after a long day at work.”

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