Kunel hails from New Delhi, India. He works in advertising. And like every art director, he shares the burden of being a great photographer, illustrator and artist. He is a non-drinker, non smoker and hence very non-advertising, which is why at times he thinks he should just stick to becoming a film maker. That’s because he’s ok with coke overdose (He also owns a tshirt brand called Cocaine – for which he just directed his first film titled “This is cocaine”). While some may think he has lost it, he believes he hasn’t even found it yet.
Why are you into Advertising?
I have no idea. Maybe because it has a mix of everything in it, and I like that. Advertising uses you in every way it can, which is a good thing if you do have a lot to offer.
Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
I attended a 3 year course in Advertising and Graphic design from WLCI. Ten years back it did seem like a better idea than going for an engineering school when you didn’t want to become an engineer.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
I’ve always had role models but they keep changing cos the things that inspire me to do them keep changing, and since I’m still growing I’d say it’s a good thing. Though, nerds who drop out of school to become billionaires are a constant favorite.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Life. Art. Coffee. Sex. Shopping. Movies. Music. Theatre. Gaming. Travel. Autorickshaws. Internet. Chandni Chowk. Seniors. Juniors. Coffee table books. Spirituality books. Porn clips. Exhibitions. Television shows. Chai. Biscuit. Dreams. Newspapers. All in the same breath and not necessarily in that order.
Tell us something about the JWT, work environment. With such a large team, how does that affect individuality and creativity.
It affects a lot, in a good way. A large team means more ideas being discussed around you, which only makes for that much more exposure. There’s a lot happening here everyday, a lot of things change yet a lot of them remain the same every other morning. Some of our brands are constantly trying to shift things around, even if it means taking risks to give way to edgier ideas. And these are global brands who have always followed their western offices for communication strategies in this market, and failed. They realized that the world has now changed to the extent that the west is no longer the only key-bearer to the future of advertising, in fact they’re confused about the next step and are looking here for a direction. It’s good to see that while some clients may take a little longer to step up their act, most have understood that there isn’t any other way. And to be the one showing that way is quite something. This is what we try everyday, fail at times and then try again the next day.
What do you think of the state of Print advertising right now. At least here in India, the released work is most often too sad? Are agencies ignoring released print?
Not at all, but the readers are ignoring it for sure. Agencies actually spend a lot more time on print than TV and surround put together. The thing is, I haven’t seen a more passionate marketing manager than the one who’s responsible for converting a perfectly clean brief into a bullshit press campaign. They are few, but they are there. I would be happy if the released work was in fact sad, in the literal meaning of it. At least it would make someone cry and we could play on that to sell our product. Print is itself an emotionless medium and therefore needs more push than usual to stand out.
Do you think brands who’s advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
Depends on the brand. Depends on the market and depends on the advertising idea. Some brands with a really great advertising idea that won everything in India and abroad, fail to sell anything in the market. Sometimes an ok idea sells the entire stock cos maybe the brand didn’t a winning idea. It’s too subjective.
What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
Do what you love. You’ll live longer.
Mac or PC?
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Emily Browning. Goddess and hollywood actress.
What’s on your iPod?
The ‘Cocaine’ film that Kunel directed.