Kankatala celebrates its 75-year-old brand legacy with ‘Queens of Andhra’, a campaign rooted in history.

From concept to billboards, this is how we planned and executed a successful brand-building campaign.

At the threshold of their 75th year, Kankatala Silks wanted to launch an advertising campaign that celebrated their rich legacy and heritage. They aimed to steer the brand’s positioning as a premier saree brand of the region, one that is associated with royalty. Keeping the focus on their primary clientele, the team at Mode began to look into Telugu history and culture to find significant stories that their audience would identify with.

We researched and spoke to connoisseurs of history and accounts emerged of women icons who had inspired Telugu speaking people through the centuries. Fierce acts of bravery, a quest for access to education, aiding the development of healthcare—their influence was as enormous as their standing in society. These spirited women were celebrated as “Queens of Andhra” and their character was brought to life in a series of environmental portraits in settings inspired by their personalities, the time period they lived in and the region they came from.

“Keeping in mind the brand, its product and aesthetics, a saree was first selected for each portrait and distinguished colour palettes were built around each queen.
Bal Krishn, Art & Fashion Director

The process that transformed narratives to a campaign was led by the collaborative team of our creative director, Mourya, and art director Bala whose detailed sketches translated these collected stories into visuals. The team drew up character descriptions for each of the queens, detailing every aspect from facial expressions to body language. The next important step was to cast women that best fit the personality of each character.

Planning in advance and planning well has always been our aim and helps us save time on set making the shooting process easier. The “Queens of Andhra” campaign was shot over three days.”
Vishakha Jindal, Founder & Creative Head

During pre-production attention was paid to get each individual set right, from unique lighting for every portrait, to props appropriate to the era’s architecture — an old-world barn setting for rebellious horse lover Nayakarallu, spiritual Chandramani Devi’s palace turned temple and Adilakshmi’s beloved books.

“The campaign, designed to spark curiosity about these women from history, gave people the joy of discovering tales of their land. We wanted that to be a driving factor for more women today to draw inspiration from our chosen queens.”
Mourya Dandu, Founder & Creative Head

The painterly photographs fulfilled our vision for this campaign and commemorated the memorable lives of these women. An archetype of Akkadevi’s temple, built when women were not allowed in one, stands tall next to her. Rudrama Devi’s sharp administrative mind is highlighted through maps marked with strategic plans. Adi Lakshmi, an advocate of education for all in a period when even electricity wasn’t available, is seated in her library. And a gilded arch and roses allude to Bagmati’s almost fantastical love story.

The Queens of Andhra campaign was a milestone in our brand’s history and even today, many customers remember it well. We wanted an innovative and creative campaign which would be a tribute to Telugu women for our 75th anniversary. We found Mode Studio to help us execute this and they went beyond what’s required to research and plan the project. We had no clue how to go about it and Mode Studio made the entire process very easy. We are proud of the campaign.
Anirudh Kankatala, CEO, Kankatala

View the full Queens of Andhra campaign here.