- CULVER CITY, Calif.
Production house Slash Dynamic, under the aegis of managing director Tanya Cohen, has paired its comedic director Kiran (aka Kiran Koshy) with car specialist Christian Uka to form The Chads. The directorial duo shares a passion for automotive advertising and is being positioned to uniquely meet the changing production needs of brands in that sector. Already The Chads have wrapped a pair of spots via Slash Dynamic--Nissan’s “The Meter” and Infiniti’s “Kevin.” This marks the first time Uka has been repped as a director.
When Uka (who’s African American) and Kiran (who was born in India) first met, the subject of diversity, or the lack thereof, in the advertising and production world came up. There’s a dearth of directors of color within the saturated world of commercial directors. They mused that they should perhaps give their collective a very white name, maybe the whitest name possible and use it to cheekily announce their extensive combined skill set. The Chads moniker rose to the top (The Cardigan Brothers came in second).
Kiran and Uka provide a blend of complementary, diverse skill sets as a team. An alum of SHOOT’s 2017 New Directors Showcase, Kiran comes from an agency background as a creative director, focused on humor, storytelling, performance and art direction, building a body of work as a solo director. Meanwhile Uka comes from a more technical/product/design orientation, having been on the brand side while gaining recognition for his talent as a photographer. His recent tenure at TBWA\Chiat\Day as a product specialist sparked a passion for automotive photography, after working on hundreds of commercials, print shoots and custom vehicle projects.
“We are in an extremely competitive business. We want to present the most precise solutions to achieving the client and brand’s creative vision. The Chads’ unique background allowed us to do that. Obviously early on we discussed the huge lack of diversity in the business, which is why the moniker made so much sense,” said Slash Dynamic’s Cohen. “It was an amusing way to call out the lack of diversity in filmmaking. Kiran and I recently had deep and meaningful conversations about implicit bias and unconscious discrimination in marketing, and how it sometimes directly affected the decision-making process in advertising. We had been analyzing some of the projects we had bid, based on feedback from the clients and our interpretation of some interactions. Did they not want to give an Americana beer ad to someone they thought was culturally different? Lots of questions started coming up, and the answers were disheartening.”
This conversation takes on deeper meaning given current events as a massive global movement has taken hold with people demanding equality and embracing inclusiveness while at the same time dealing with the virus pandemic. As a female-owned business, Slash Dynamic is hopeful that its partnership with The Chads will help positively impact the ad arena not only in terms of creating standout work but helping to bring more diverse voices to the community.