• D&AD Awards 2018
    Deadline 14 February
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Art Directing Photography: Kalpesh Patankar

Kalpesh started off his career in Saatchi & Saatchi Mumbai, and went on to work for McCann Erickson Malaysia, and Ogilvy Singapore before cementing his creative status at Y&R Dubai.  Here he discusses the most recent Kalpesh Patankar art direction and advertising campaigns. 

Art Directing Photography: Kalpesh Patankar Y+R Dubai Harvey nichols

The best part of being in advertising is that you always keep learning. Whether it’s researching the world’s wildest foods around the world or putting those thousand pelicans together in one picture, it’s an incredible ride.

Pelicans - Harvey Nichols

Pelicans was for the much-awaited Harvey Nichols annual sale in Dubai when everything suddenly becomes more affordable. We just wanted to bring alive the mayhem that would ensue. Metaphorically, we wanted to show a fish surrounded by a thousand hungry pelicans, so, we just went to the Zoo and spent three days shooting thousands of pelicans, one by one.

A couple of them were a bit camera-shy and refused to be clicked. But mostly, we got along. The next few days were spent putting them all together in one frame. The painstaking craft and simplicity of the idea gave us the results; metals in all the awards we could enter, No. 1 ranking in the Big Won and No. 2 ranking in the Gunn Report. And most importantly, the client saw hordes of ‘pelicans’ in the store. Did the client like the idea initially? It’s not the norm, but in this case they did. They found the idea simple and fell in love with it. We almost went with crocodiles though…

It was definitely a lot of sweat. Shooting them all was just one part. Putting them together in one picture with matching light and perspectives to create a single clean image was something that took a few sleepless nights.

Land Rover – Eating Out

Art Directing Photography: Kalpesh Patankar Y+R Dubai Land Rover

Land Rover is as iconic a brand as it gets. Everyone just knows what Land Rover is all about. And that makes it challenging but easy to work. With this campaign, we wanted to make Land Rover owners rethink their sense of adventure and instil the classic Land Rover spirit.

The Land Rover can take you to some remote places, and we wanted to communicate that. After a lot of research, we decided to feature all the delicious delicacies found in those distant parts of the world. Think Stewed Wildebeest Eyeballs from Nambian Bush or Toasted Goliath Tarantulas from Orinoco River Basin... Both Creative Director Shahir Zag and I debated long about whether the dishes should look stylish or grungy. Eventually, we settled on a middle ground. Shahir and I work together on most of the projects. Neither of us have a fixed style. It evolves depending on the idea and the campaign and it’s a process that we both enjoy.

Art Directing Photography: Kalpesh Patankar Y+R Dubai Land Rover

Next, photographer James Day went through a lot of trouble sourcing the dishes, and finally, he tried a few of them. The smell that came out from the Fruit Bat Soup wasn’t something James was prepared for. That’s one of the reasons why it scored 10/10 in the Adventure Rating. The ranking was based on the intensity of the dishes. For example, the Bat Soup got 10/10 purely because of the unappetizing thought of it, while the Sago Worms scored a mere 7/10 because the dish is relatively bearable.

The campaign garnered a lot of disgust, followed by a lot of love. It won a D&AD Pencil and made it to the cover of Luerzer’s Archives’ ‘200 Best Ad Photographers’. I’m sure it convinced a lot of people to get into their Land Rovers and go try some of the tasty dishes!

The D&AD Awards celebrate exceptional advertising, design and art direction examples. If you think you have a campaign worthy of a D&AD Pencil, why not enter it into the D&AD Awards today. 

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