Alok Gadkar











NYF’s powerhouse Grand Jury represents the most diverse brain trust of prominent advertising creatives from 50 countries around the globe. This esteemed peer-nominated panel provides a 360-degree creative view of the advertising world today. The Grand Jury’s award-winning international creatives evaluate NYF’s entries from over 100 countries worldwide and determine which creative campaign will move on to the medal round.

Grand Jury member Alok Gadkar, GM and Executive Creative Director for The Classic Partnership Advertising, brings more than 2 decades of experience to the jury panel. A graduate of the prestigious JJ School of Applied Art with a BFA Degree specializing in Photography, Alok has served in agencies such as Enterprise Nexus, Lowe, Leo Burnett and The Classic Partnership (Y&R)

Currently Dubai-based and playing the dual role of ECD and GM at The Classic Partnership Advertising, Alok is a strong believer that the future of communication is integration, and horizontal is the new vertical.

Decorated at Cannes Lions, D&AD, One Show, The Global Awards, Dubai Lynx, Mena Cristal, Abby Awards and featured on Lurzer’s Archive, he’s looking for a good deal on trophy cabinets.

On Judging:

New York Festivals: Why judge…and how do you find the time?

Alok Gadkar: Judging gives me access to the best work from around the world. And with that sitting right in front of you, how could you not make time? 

New York Festivals: What cultural/social changes do you think will influence this year’s work?

Alok Gadkar: It’s hard to define them as the world is a very interesting and equally unpredictable place. While there will be the usual reoccurring themes and causes, but every year we see new ways of expressing them.

New York Festivals: If you were to participate on the Grand Jury ten or fifteen years from now, what changes would you expect to see regarding the work?

Alok Gadkar: The same as what I see today. Creativity is infinite, ageless, immortal. What changes is how it’s communicated. 10 or 15 years from now, I expect to see great work that is fresh, just like how it is today! 

New York Festivals: What are your personal criteria for choosing award-winning work? 

Alok Gadkar: All work submitted to the award shows have the potential to become award-winning work. Some however, will stand out above the rest. These are the ones that I would rate to be simple, insightful, relevant and original. To sum it up, if it ticks the why-I-did-not-think-of-it box then it’s worth to be my choice.

New York Festivals: When judging, what trends do you hope will fade away, and what “old school” trends do you hope will make a resurgence?

Alok Gadkar: I don’t think it’s right to dismiss the trends of today or for that matter trends of any age. What I would like to see is the resurgence of simplicity. That’s the hardest thing to do!

On Advertising: 

New York Festivals: In 3 words or less, what do you think about 6 second commercials? 

Alok Gadkar: Done that!

New York Festivals: What was the first ad you saw that made you say “wow!” and got you on the track to a career in advertising?

Alok Gadkar: I think ads from my childhood were the ones that got me in “wow”. They weren’t great in retrospect, but they did convince me back then that they were the best. Hogged my parents for hours to buy me what I saw on TV! I was convinced this is what I want to do for a living and thus my advertising journey began. 

New York Festivals: What are your thoughts about clients/brands are creating in-house departments to create their advertising, how will/does this affect the industry regarding creativity in communications?

Alok Gadkar: It’s never easy to think out of the box when one sits in the box. Unless there’s autonomy in the operations, it’ll be difficult to be cut-through. The better and rightful way is to consider the agency as an extension of the business. That way creativity will still thrive as there will always be a fresh perspective.

New York Festivals: Has the relationship between agency and client changed at all and if so how?

Alok Gadkar: Totally, I think the whole classification of agency/client is now a story of the past. Walls are all broken. It’s a team effort. Marketing gurus have realized that one will only benefit the other. Success stories have been written when people come together. It’s like a marriage. Sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet and most of the time it works! 

New York Festivals: What philosophy drives your career? 

Alok Gadkar: Creativity knows no boundaries. It’s your mind that limits it. Free your mind and your full potential will be unleashed!

New York Festivals: What’s the single best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Alok Gadkar: Your best piece of work was yesterday!

On Life:

New York Festivals: How do you tap into creativity?  What do you personally do to fan the creative flames?

Alok Gadkar: Fuel the fire with curiosity, questions and a little craziness and it will burn.