We’re happy to introduce you to Dhvani Shah, a freelance creative from India.
What is the piece of work you’re most proud of and why?
Over the years, I’ve worked on several campaigns but the piece of work that I’m still proudest of is my first-ever campaign which I executed when I was a student at Miami Ad School. In India, homosexuality was, and to a large extent still is considered to be ‘unnatural’. And gender diversity, as a concept is almost non-existent. So we came up with a campaign called ‘Break The Closet’, where we constructed an actual closet on one of the busiest streets of Mumbai and invited people to literally break it so as to get them to open up about their sexual orientation or gender identity. Our biggest achievement was when people from the LGBTQIA+ community wrote to us about more and more people coming out and feeling accepted.
While I was at Ogilvy, I got to work on a project for Cadbury called ‘Cadbury Unity Bar’. India is a very diverse country and discrimination on the basis of race and religion is extremely predominant. So, on India’s 73rd Independence Day, we wanted to celebrate a country that stands united in its diversity and our team came up with the idea of ‘Cadbury Unity Bar’, the first chocolate with dark, blended, milk and white chocolate all under one wrap. To launch the Unity Bar, we released full page ads in newspapers across the country. We also created a launch video which got a lot of appreciation online. Although, I did not come up with the idea, I was a part of the team that worked on the execution for several months and it is an idea that I enjoyed working on.
Do you ever feel invisible at work and if so, how do you make yourself more visible?
I recently started working as a creative in a family business set up. The dynamics of a male dominated family business are quite complex where sometimes I feel like I have to fight a small battle every day. One of the things I’ve learned during this time to make myself visible is to not be afraid of speaking up.
Who do you admire in the industry and why?
I’ve been lucky to have worked with some of the most creative people while I was in Ogilvy, Mumbai. Every day I would get to interact with different people and every day I would learn something new. Most of all, I got to meet Sakshi Chaudhary and got to interact with a lot of women in Indian advertising and design from whom I’m still learning a great deal.
What do you love about your job?
Because I’m working directly for a brand right now, I get to see a whole new side of business which we rarely come across in an agency. Learning about every aspect of a business from production to distribution to costing and seeing how it all ties together continues to be one of my biggest takeaways.