She has been widely acknowledged as being one of the most creative writers that India has ever had. Having worked for 17 years in the advertising industry with JWT, Anuja Chauhan is responsible for some of the most famous catchphrases attached with certain brands like Pepsi’s “Yeh dil maange more” or Lays’ “be a little dillogical” or Kitkat’s “Ktikat break banta hai” etc. And after she became an author, she remained equally well-known for her novels as well. She has written about four novels and her hot-seller has been Those Pricey Thakur Girls.
We caught up with Anuja to know her views on young generation, advertising and writing at the spectacular Young Makers Conclave in New Delhi. Here are some titbits from the conversation:
My favourite ones are Yeh dil maange more and Oye bubbly for Pepsi and Tedha hai par mera hai for Kurkure and Kitkat break banta hai from the recent ones. Oye bubbly became eve teaser’s line and I felt horrible about it. Once someone used it on me too (laughs).
On the young generation
Young people need to have their independent sources of Indian history. History books are re-written in school constantly. It’s always the young people who are least enamoured by their own existence. It’s the younger ones who are dreamy about getting in that age and the old people who are feeling the nostalgia.
Write about what will keep you excited rather than what will sell because that won’t work and you are anyway going to spend a year writing it. As writers you need to know your worth in front of the publisher. Because what happens is we as writers become very humble in front of the publisher. Be very firm on how the book is going to sell.
Fun fact: In reality, Those Pricey Thankur Girls, which was released in 2013, and The House That BJ Built, which was released in 2015, were actually supposed to be a single book and Chauhan wrote about 800 pages for that. But she realised it would just be a “drag” and not at all good from the marketing viewpoint so she cut down on the content and split it into two books.