Our Q&A with Telly Jury Council Member, Kavita Lokchander

Director of Creative Strategy, Content Studio at Thrive Global

Kavita is a multi-disciplinary creative leader with nearly a decade of experience developing and executing award-winning content and marketing strategies for publishers, tech startups, and agencies.  As the Director of Creative Strategy of Thrive Global’s Behavior Change Studio, she creates custom branded concepts to guide consumers on a well-being journey. Prior to Thrive, Kavita worked at Upworthy where she helped scale their award-winning brand studio, and the social impact agency Purpose, where she helped create a global fan movement for the 2016 Refugee Olympic Team.

Throughout her career, Kavita has valued the opportunity to work on socially conscious and mission-driven projects that make a positive impact.

What piece of video/television has recently inspired you?

When I was in my “quarantine bunker” during the COVID-19 spike in NYC, I discovered so much incredible content. I love American Vandal and Sex Education – they’re hilarious teen comedies that are so relatable and well-acted. I watched the film La Haine (1995) recently and found it to be really powerful and moving in the context of the current civil unrest. I also came across the Youtuber Natalie Wynn and her video essay channel Contrapoints. She explores internet culture with academic rigor, nuance, wit, and fabulous sometimes bizarre costumes. I’d recommend the Cringe Culture video.

What is most exciting for you at the moment within your industry?

It’s exciting to see the collective movement to challenge institutionalized racism within the media and advertising industries – not just regarding representation in front of the camera, but also behind the camera, in the strategy meetings, and in the C-suite. When you think about some of those notably tone-deaf media/advertising blunders we’ve seen over the last few years, it becomes abundantly clear what can go wrong when you don’t have a diverse team that feels empowered to speak up. As a first-generation American and a person of color, I grew up never really seeing myself reflected in TV and media. So, I’m thankful to be in the media space today with an opportunity to bring my POV to the table.

What is one thing the Telly Awards community should know about you?

I love every part of the creative process from blue-sky brainstorming and strategic research to hands on creative production. And doing this creative work is most rewarding to me when I can support brands with missions that strive to make the world a better place.

 What is a piece of work you are most proud to have worked on?

I’m so lucky to have had the opportunity to work on many exciting projects throughout my career. Recently, I developed Thrive Global’s Science Behind animated-explainer video franchise, that earned our startup brand studio a Webby nomination. The first installment in the series explains how looking up from our digital devices helps our brains focus and think creatively.

In addition, I’m proud to collaborate with creative director and founder Jason Moses on the development of Easier to Ignore, a rich storytelling platform that celebrates the diverse stories of the Black experience in America.

How has your work changed this year as a result of the unpredictable 2020 landscape?

It’s been surprising to learn what can be accomplished remotely. We’ve been dialing into film sets and making content with a fraction of the resources we’ve used in the past, but somehow it works. Storytelling is a resilient practice that has transitioned through so many different formats over the last few thousand years or so, so I have a lot of faith that despite all the disruption we’re facing we’ll figure it out and innovate in the process.