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5 Minutes with… Kartikeya Tiwari


Kinnect’s national creative director tells Esther Faith Lew why he believes in speaking his truth even when it goes against popular beliefs

5 Minutes with… Kartikeya Tiwari

Kartikeya Tiwari believes strongly in equality and fairness in opportunity. As the national creative director of Kinnect, he is motivated by the opportunity to work on projects that have social impact. “I’d like to leave behind a legacy of work that gives courage to my immediate circle and beyond to live a life of adventure and not regret. This will be the biggest award I can ever win,” says Kartikeya.

Kartikeya’s desire to be involved in meaningful work empowers him every day, and it forms the crux of his work philosophy. “There have been several instances where I’ve had to brutally kill an exciting idea because it was doing more harm than good for the society or the planet. And that’s just being true to my philosophy,” he asserts. 

Being true to his values and principles keeps Kartikeya focused as he walks the path of a creative. Even If it means speaking his version of the truth contrary to popular mindsets. “Saying what needs to be said even if it opposes the popular view has brought immense value to all the brands I’ve worked with. It allowed me to express myself unapologetically and start to build this career.”

Unconventionality adds to his unique appeal, and as he aptly says, his mantra in life is to “Be a voice, not an echo”, a quote by Albert Einstein that has been his guiding light since his early adult years.


LBB> What attracted you to Kinnect and how does its values and work methodology align with yours?

 Kartikeya> The core values of the company and the founders matched with mine and that became the biggest reason to join Kinnect. We believe in meritocracy, collaboration and honesty in work. The other big reason to be attracted to Kinnect is the hunger this place has to be the best. Our underdog attitude will never die no matter how successful we get and that is why I feel at home here. 

LBB> What’s your take on the creative scene in Mumbai? What do you like and what do you wish can change/evolve?

 Kartikeya> I truly believe that Mumbai offers one of the best creative scenes in the world. Creativity thrives in a place with many cultures, people, and of course, commerce. In my opinion, Mumbai is second to none when it comes to being a melting pot of social colours. And that reflects in the creative scene here. 

 I like the warmth in the creative scene in my city. You’ll find the most successful and established people meet you with the curiosity of a fresher. This is so because everyone here understands the need to keep up with the changing times. Everyone’s a learner here. 

What I would change is the infrastructural problems which pose a problem to physically experience every showcase one would want to. The distances in our city are big and the population is bigger. I think the biggest struggle every creative individual faces here has to do with time, commute and public infrastructure. These factors can drain one’s creative energy. 

LBB> Creativity. Strategy. Technology. How do you see them propelling advertising to even greater heights and impact for clients? 

Kartikeya> Advertising, by nature, has to keep up with the latest methods of communication. I see very interesting times ahead. The advent of AI seems to be posing the biggest existential questions right now. I don’t know about a bigger impact on clients but we’re definitely looking at the dawn of a new era in advertising. Gaming, VR, AI and new-age entertainment will change the way we think of ads. Someone said ‘Acts, not ads, are the future’ and I can agree with that. 


LBB> What are some of the significant campaigns you have worked on? Do share more on how they have raised the bar in its approach and treatment.

Kartikeya> Two campaigns come to mind. The first one is ‘Chatpat’, a street kid who became a content creator to help other kids stay off the streets and get a better future. The whole act of ‘creating’ an influencer whom people would love, while working on a shoestring budget has taught me things for a lifetime. We also won 8 Cannes Lions last year for this work so it’s very special for me. 

The other one is called ‘Add an ad’ for HDFC bank. We’ve seen a lot of brands ambush one another in clever ways. But we came up with piggybacking on other brands as a trick, during the festive months of Diwali. This was one on Instagram in the first year and on Youtube in the following year because of its success. This campaign gave the hacker in me immense joy. 


LBB> How do you define a successful campaign? What makes it successful in your opinion?

Kartikeya> A campaign that achieves its business and brand objectives without hurting the world around us is a successful one. If a campaign can achieve metrics while adding some good to the world too, I’d consider it a great campaign. 

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Kinnect, Thu, 19 Jan 2023 09:12:32 GMT