Kunel Gaur : Interview

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?
Erik Vervroegen.

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?
Pink Floyd.






















The ‘Cocaine’ film that Kunel directed.

15 thoughts on “Kunel Gaur : Interview

  1. Sangeeta Srai says:

    Wow//// loved your TVC. DIdn’t know JWT Delhi has such creative people….

  2. Aditi says:

    Awesome Powesome 🙂

  3. suresh says:

    “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. ”

    Perhaps you should spare your clients and go stick your neck out and become a film maker. If you have the balls for it, I mean.

    I am a ‘client’. And I dont want to pay an agency for unhappy people who would rather be doing something else. Please do us a favour and quit.

    “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.”

    Readers are ignoring print? What kind of dimwitted statistics did you dig out? Perhaps from your numerous states of overdose? The ‘print’ business in India is growing annually at some 12%. Faster than the economy. Get your facts right.

    Your claim about print being an ’emotionless’ medium makes me wonder if Bobby has been reading this interview. You have just claimed that work of people like Eric Meola, Henri Cartier Bresson, Raghu Rai, Raghuvir Singh, Massimo Vignelli, etc are emotionless? You claim the written word has no feelings? You claim no book can move anyone? Are you literate?

    Come on, I think either you should quit your job and become a ‘film maker’, as many of you ignorant fools want to, or maybe I should send a mail to your Bosses about this.

    Good luck, and dont bother asking someone to help you write a reply. I dont think you are worth another read.

  4. JeffBeckett says:


    Love your spectrum of work!
    Your style, wit and minimalist yet over the top approach.

    We’d be very interested in having you work with us.
    Please check your inbox for details.

    This was a much needed visual therapy! 🙂


  5. Louise D. says:

    Seriously awesome work!!

    Suresh is right!
    Quit your job and join the light side!
    Together we can bring sexy back!
    By together I mean anyone who’s had the balls to quit their job and do their own thing.

    Peace and love

  6. Kunel Gaur says:

    Thanks Sangeeta, Aditi, Suresh and Jeff, for the words.

    I’m glad some of you liked the work and some were ‘moved’ to a greater extent. Just when I was wondering how come this didn’t piss at least one client off? Impact is always good, and needed. Otherwise how will times change.

    Thanks again, 🙂


  7. Namzie says:

    kya baat hain ji!! Love your work!

  8. Sania says:

    Just give Suresh a blank piece of paper and ask him to publish it. lol

  9. Firangi says:

    Suresh, I can tell from reading your comment that you’re a narcissist so I am writing this in defense to KG and I know you’re secretly checking the replies on this thread from time to time.

    You might already be aware that the best type of creative are the ones who embrace creativity as a whole. These are the people who help push the boundaries for your ads to stand out from your competitors. It’s general knowledge but if you must know Suresh, I am a creative that has worked in 4 different continents. So there. It’s rather sad that you as a ‘client’ don’t see this as a good thing instead whine like a dimwit because this person has an opinion.

    Just so you know, name dropping doesn’t mask the fact that you totally misunderstood the interviewee’s point regarding the print medium being emotionless either.

    Sure, those people you quote has contributed a great deal of emotion to the medium, but people like you – the pompous client type has managed to suck out dry all the emotion left to the print medium in advertising. He was trying to say it in a nice way. As a dose of reality, do flip the morning papers and scrutinize the ads for a hint of emotion. Write back if anything moves you.

    Again, quit name dropping. I don’t know how it works in India, but really? You’d write a note to Bobby Pawar about an employee with an opinion. I would seriously think it over. The joke’s on you my friend.

  10. suresh says:

    @Sania: the blank piece of paper with an appropriately sized logo would perhaps be better than the crap agencies dish out for release. That reminds me, most of the work that I see here, seems un-released. I subscribe to most of India’s widely circulated newspapers and magazines. And I havent EVER seen any of these work published. So unpublished work would be considered scam work.

  11. Sania says:

    @Suresh. exactly agencies dish out crap. That’s the reason why people need to work harder for print advertisements because it needs more ‘realisation’. Guess if clients just wanted logo on that piece of paper, wow it will reduce everyone’s work. More freetime to work on scam ads that will fetch more money and repo. And please dont write down the names of people who win awards on real work and not on ‘patli gali’. We all know everyone does.

  12. ifeelsorryforpoorsuresh says:

    tum clents log na toe khud design kar saktey ho
    aur na hi shaanti se hummey apna kaam karney detey ho

    Suresh – ab bhi waqt hain. Gussaa thook do.
    KG par se apna personal vendetta vaapas le lo…
    ek design university jao
    kaam seekho
    aur khud karkey dikhao. You can do eeeet!
    bewajah choo choo karna tumhey shobha nahi deti

    Seriously dude.
    Hummey crap design karney ke liye aur majboor na karo….

    @Firangi – u the man! or at least u sound like it!

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