Prathap Suthan: Breaking Boundaries with Boring Poetry


* Creativity is the art of brilliance in certain parameters … creating a fantastic ad in them

* Every morning, at 6.15, Suthan would recite a verse he had written

* Cleverly takes over life, the verses are reflective, but with a touch of humor


Throughout his professional life, Prathap (Pat) Suthan worked according to the ‘schedule’ that was imposed on him. For a professional in advertising, the ‘prospects’ are completely unfortunate – curated ads strictly adhere to the character of the brand and remain within the parameters drawn by the client. Creativity for Suthan, managing partner and chief creative officer of advertising company Bang In The Middle, lies in those parameters.

A 30-year veteran in the industry and cult campaigns like Incredible India under his name, Suthan skillfully plays by those rules. “Creativity is the art of brilliance in certain parameters” of creating a fantastic advertisement in them. I succeed in these circumstances “, says Adman from Delhi.

However, six years ago, Suthan began an experiment of another kind with his Beyond Layouts page on Facebook. Every morning, at 6.15, he would recite a verse he had written. Always spooky, they encompass what is on his mind a certain morning, and they are predictably as diverse as a man’s thoughts – touching, smart, wicked, philosophical, political, cheeky, raw, funny. Rows are not formatted and are rarely longer than six lines. Some are like haiku, but without syllable specifications. It is important that they eliminate one element that dictates his professional life – appearance.

On the Beyond Layouts program, he wrestles with empty space, thrown out of his comfort zone. “It’s the freest thing I’ve ever done. I know that even if I don’t meet the deadline of 6.15am, I won’t lose my job. I can write about anything, my palette is wide “, he says.

Short texts: Always witty, Suthan’s verse contains what is on his mind a certain morning – SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Still, Suthan barely ever missed a deadline, except on a few occasions when his WiFi was activated. His mysterious thoughts grow every morning at 6.15, even when he is out of town, snowing at work or feeling sick. He calls it # boring poetry, but that process is clearly the antithesis to Suthan. The hashtag seems to be more of an act of self-preservation. “If it’s uninteresting to someone, I can tell you,” I told you. It’s boring poetry. “

However, for Suthan, his purpose is obvious. “It’s a response to the boredom I’ve nurtured over the years through the kind of advertising I’ve done. It’s a way out … it’s my free space where I can write what I want. On July 4, I completed six years of the Beyond Layouts program. “

Every morning Suthan wakes up, mostly empty-minded, and yet manages to fulfill the mental deadline he has given himself. The verses are his answers to current problems, ranging from time to body fat, the passing of a legend, and a raging pandemic. Respondents may be gloomy, but his response to them is hardly that. He takes life smartly, the verses are reflective, but with a touch of humor.

As much as I want

I heard night fall

I also sincerely hope so

He doesn’t get hurt

Suthan’s commitment to Beyond Layouts has brought him steady followers – just over 5,000. For a professional whose words contain price, Beyond Layouts is his venture of no commercial value. Although the parameters of advertising here do not limit it, the advertiser stays alive in it even in a personal creative exercise. His text sticks to the font, and he aesthetically chooses the accompanying images – in short, a complete package.

As an advertising professional, adaptability is a hallmark of Suthan. In his early days, the language of branding changed in the medium – the press, radio, outdoor advertising and television. Each sought an agile, creative copywriter, switching the medium on demand but not giving in to the blow. Social media, he adds, only added to the mix. He is present at most, but dedicates his time and focus to his FB project. But social media spaces – LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and FB – are a test of a writer’s skills, Suthan notes. “The four platforms are places to explore different aspects of my writing … The fact that I was able to write on them using their specific parameters trains me to write for my brands as well,” he says.

Although a veteran in her profession, Suthan doesn’t want to take anything for granted. He is eager to adapt and be on top of change, always chiselling, devising and sharpening his words so that they can be switched to newer formats and media. Over the years, Beyond Layouts has become a little more for him. “It simply came to our notice then. If I don’t write that, my day hasn’t started. It’s my sunrise. My mental walk. “


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