What’s brewing at Yes, Yes Why Not?’s Bizarre Bazaar – ‘Bizaar’
Unconventional. Out-of-the-box. Unusual. Nah! These words are too clichéd to define this ‘quaint communication design madhouse.’ Introducing Yes Yes, Why Not? (YYWN), the off-the-beaten-track creative communication and design agency based out of Mumbai. They have been sailing through the advertisement industry for around 9 years now. And their clientele alone can speak volumes about how well they have been doing for themselves.
But as a team that is continuously challenging its own self, YYWN has decided to dip it’s toes into new waters this new year. And after having toyed with the idea for 4 years, they have finally decided to unveil their new range of quirky products homegrown at YYWN itself. And for the same reason, they will be hosting their very own bizarre bazaar, aptly titled Bizaar, at their cozy little cottage office in Versova.
And to get a sneak peek into what they’ve been brewing and what the Bizaar will be like, we caught up with Tapan Mody, the ‘pappa’ at YYWN and his family.
So let me not say anymore. They are best introduced through their own words. Here are the excerpts from our interview with Tapan.
1. Before we begin, tell us a bit about ‘Yes Yes, Why Not?’
‘Yes yes, why not?’ was born 9 years back when two friends (a copywriter & an art director) got sick of their bosses and decided to be their own (or never be one-of-those). What started-off as a specialist communication design studio, is now a beehive of creative talent that houses illustrators, designers, writers, mad caps, noisy cats and humble folk committed to the ‘lost art of having fun’.
In our young lives, we have created (hopefully noticeable) communication & design for BBC Global News (that’s BBC World News & BBC.com in India, South East Asia & Africa), The Leela Mumbai, Marriott Group of Hotels, Accor Group of Hotels (i.e. Novotel & Ibis), Lumiere Channel (erstwhileNDTV Lumiere), Wella Haircosmetics, Femina Miss India, Filmfare Awards, INOX, amongst few others.
Our fundamentals are simple: don’t be predictable, don’t be scared, stick to your gut, keep your head high and your feet grounded. And arguably & most importantly, ‘Surprise yourself!’
2. And you are the ‘pappa’ of the family! So what is the role of the pappa at Yes, Yes, Why Not?
‘Yes yes, why not?’ was born out of a strong detest for organisational structure. Consequently, there is none to the place. Designations aren’t conferred, they’re chosen. Work – not trivialities like ‘experience’, ‘education’, or ‘lineage’ – decides hierarchy. Passion – not pedigree – decides pay scales. And every member – individually & collectively – owns the brand Yes yes, why not?
Fundamentally, as ‘pappa’ my role is NOT TO BE THE BOSS, but the official pain in the ‘tashreef’. We’re a democratic family, which means everyone is involved in everything. Everyone looks out for one another, and shamelessly critiques work (their own as well as others’). And when it comes to the last point, “pappa” assumes full power avatar!
Why the fancy title? To borrow from a rather rusted cliché, I see my job profile at ‘Yes yes, why not?’ as that of a friend, philosopher & guide – considering, like most coaches, I’m talented at nothing in particular, and everything in general. Moreover, neither am I “qualified”, “certified”, “self-confessed” anything or a “celebrated” anyone. So, a designation of “pappa” works for me much better than “Worldwide Creative Director and/or God Almighty”.
3. Tell us a bit about the team at YYWN. What other family members do you have onboard apart from you, the pappa of the family? Also, everyone seems to get cool names like ‘barcode’ at the office!
We fancy ourselves as a kindergarten for creative minds and an incessant exporter of ideas (design, communication, environment, anything, everything). We house talents of all sorts: copywriters, visualisers, illustrators, product designers, photographers, mewers, and anyone else who is passionate about either thinking or designing, or both.
There are two answers for the cool names:
Official: In order to make ‘branding’ fun, we tend to ‘brand’ people like true brands inspired by characteristics, quirks, appearances et al. “Barcode” for instance, sees the world through her fringe.
We’ve also had very secularly (and non maliciously) titled team members in “Gattu”, “Pigeon”, “SpaceCadet”, “Simon”, “Psycho Mandakini”, “Convenience Kaaki”, “Ra-owl” etc. Even our cats aren’t spared of amusing titles like Behram Buggles Kabatwala & Farida Fanas Kabatwala (current occupants), Tina Turner (was found braying in a plastic pipe), Zignes & Zigisa D’souza (Gujarati Catholic Cats), Dev Anand (chronically saw the world at 68 degrees). Well, you get the drift.
4. As for YYWN, it’s been about advertising and design for as long as 9 years now. Why the decision to dive into quirky products now?
After being sick of bosses, the next progression was for us to get sick of “pushing logos”.
The idea of a “pop up shop” is not particularly ground breaking. For many it’s almost predictable. So we’ve set out to create a product line that is not. And for that, we have brainstormed, fought, bickered, blooded for over 4 years. Finally, we’re ready!
5. When you say the products will be homegrown at YYWN, what do you mean? I assume designing of the products will be done by your team and the manufacturing will be handled by someone else.
At this stage we are ready to introduce eight products. And this is what we believe to be only the cherry on the top of the tip of the iceberg.
A couple of the products categories, namely T-shirts & Wrapping papers, that are already available in the market are designed in-house and produced through well-researched vendors.
The other six products are not manufactured in friendly neighbourhood China, or other traditionally exploited local dens. They are indeed “home grown”, produced, manufactured, researched, destroyed, damaged, in-house with able support from a team of well-honed professionals in related fields.
6. What was the first product and how did it come about?
There is no precise date or time. We’d begun contemplating this for a while. The idea has gone through several rounds of refinement, redefining and modification. Much like the products and product ideas.
We’ve spent the last 18 months brainstorming and researching each product within the range.
7. The first product showcase will be at the weekend bazaar, aptly titled Bizaar. What is it going to be like?
Yes yes, why not?, thanks to certain celestial favours, houses itself in a cosy nook in Versova aptly titled ‘Aram Nagar’. It is a little cottage fully equipped with cats, crows (poop included for the lucky few!) and creative energy.
One of our brainstorms revealed an interesting observation: “what we offer cannot be categorised.”
“It…is, umm… emmm… uuuhhhh… bizarre!” If what we’re offering is best described as such, then why should our launch be any different? Thus was born the concept of “Bizaar”.
As the name awkwardly suggests, Bizaar is a bizarre bazaar (or bazaar of bizarre – verbal ambigram?!) It is a pop-up shop that does in fact just POP UP. In less cryptic words, it is a sporadic weekend flea market – it happens whenever we have a new set of products & designs. On the said weekend, the Monday-thru-Friday-office shall become a quaint colourful showcase of ideas home grown at Yes yes, why not?
8. What kind of a product range can we look forward to at the Bizaar?
As trite as it sounds, some of our products are never seen before. The range includes:
(3) Paste it
(4) Y Tees
(5) Bottle Lamp
(7) Happie Wrappie
9. What kind of a response are you expecting at the Bizaar?
Well a unanimously vociferous and rockstar-crazed “I love it!” rah, a mexican wave, a few indecent proposals should suffice.
But in reality, all we’d like is for people to take home an idea called Yes yes, why not? An image of a happy place with talented people creating things that allows you to interact with art. We call it “usable art”.
Of course, we’d also like to sell out, and shall happily entertain decent proposals for our wares.
10. After the Bizaar, where all will people be able to pick up your products?
We’re currently working on our ‘go to market’ policy. Yes, the usual suspects, online shops, select popup stores, design fests, and flea markets are a given. That works for the products that are standardised and produced in reasonable bulk. However, there are some of the products (and variants) that shall be available only through orders and shall be customised to the clients requirements, whims & fancies.
So mark your calendars people. You sure as hell don’t want to miss this one. The details for the Bizaar are as follows. And also please RSVP for the event here.
a. Venue of the Bizaar:
Yes yes, why not?
Bungalow #120, Aram Nagar – II, J.P. Road, Versova, Mumbai 400061
b. Date and Time:
9th & 10th February 2013
11am to 8pm
Have any more questions or would like to know more? Drop in a word in the comments below.
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