Digital News

Design: Taproot Dentsu India’s Santosh Padhi on Crowd Sourced #Art4Corona Project, and its Reflection of Society in the Time of COVID-19

MUMBAI, INDIA – Santosh Padhi, Chief Creative Officer & Co-Founder at Taproot Dentsu Mumbai, released several posters online as part of #Art4Corona, a crowd sourced project depicting tips on how to deal with COVID-19. As one of Asia’s most awarded advertising creatives, “Paddy” shared with adobo magazine the story behind the campaign and how it grew to reach other brands.

The initiative was started by Bhupal Ramnathkar on Facebook a week back just after the national lockdown, taking the Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey on board, he has posted few on his FB and few other social media networks.

The CM, Ramnathkar, and me – we all are of same art college, Sir J J Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai.


Ramnathkar posted the request on FB asking all alumni to create art/ communication with a message to fight against corona virus, he called some of the seniors to add more muscle power to the initiative. He created a basic layout template with space (yellow box) for the visual/communication/message followed by a logo, baseline and call to action with the state government phone number – the only mandate was to use the template and have one’s message in the yellow box.

Since I was working from home and had very little work in hand, and after I got a call from Ramnathkar to contribute, with limited or rather no resource you being the thinker, art director, illustrator, writer etc my first one being the capsule lock ( lockdown is the only medicine ) one which got over 500 likes hundreds of comments and shares on FB and half of it on Insta

Till now I must have contributed around 8 of them on different needs of the society depending on the behaviour of people and spread of the virus; When the rumours were growing bigger than the impact of the virus I made one on that issue where the visual is formed out of many mega phones blended into the virus from; When the Prime Minister came out to donate, I did the hand visual with a donation slit; Two days back, when in some villages people attacked the doctors and virus detecting team, to address it I did the one with two hearts forming the plus ( first aid sign) requesting people to shower love not hate to the wonderful bunch of doctors who are leading in the front lines without caring about their lives.

When there was a high chance of us getting into a “multiplication mode”, like it grew in many countries, the [poster] with plus and multiplication signs blended together to be careful and take precaution and be more careful on this stage.

There are others that kept reminding about washing hands regularly, like two drops upside down forming an hour glass, or four house graphics forming plus ( only cure ) of the lock that looks like a house asking “stay in” for safety.

After seeing these creatives on FB and Insta, few brands and companies reached out to me asking if they can use the creatives to promote the same message to the larger audience. One of them is from UK (few of the creatives are very generic and has a universal appeal which they felt will also work in their country). Free Press Journal, with whom Taproot has worked in the past, is one of them who used these creatives in their publication. They wanted to change the layout, hence, did a new one for them with same creative. They dedicated full page ads to each of these creatives, few were taken on the front pages as well.

Since this was created to educate people to fight against the corona virus I felt the more it reaches, the better for society. Hence, I whole heartedly agreed to land these creatives who ever asked it for and it’s open if some more brands / companies wants to run, though I have created these but still told Ramnathkar ( who launched the yellow box initiative ) about this progress of others showing willingness to take these forward, he was more than happy.

I really enjoyed creating these as I personally always love to have my hands on few things hence this wasn’t that difficult to pull it off as I always believe in a playing coach 🙂
though with no resource and limited software on the laptop did made my life bit difficult, but there is certain joy over coming those as well 🙂


Popularly known as ‘Paddy’, Santosh Padhi started his advertising career 2 decade back. An art graduate from Mumbai, he started his carrier with DDB, than a good fruitful 10-year stint at Leo Burnett, where he was an Executive Creative Director and the National Head of Art. 10 years ago he start his new creative venture ‘Taproot India’ (Now Taproot Dentsu).

Over the last 10 years, Taproot has risen to become one of India’s most prominent creative agencies, notching up several accolades along the way. In its very first year it was the only agency in Asia to win a Gold Clio. The same year Taproot has been rated the No. 1 Independent Agency from India at Cannes and ranked amongst the Top 20 Independent Agencies in the World in the Cannes Survey. Best Performing Agency from India at Adfest 2010 with multiple Gold’s to its credit. Best Performing Indian Agency in 2011 at Spikes Asia, Topped Gunn report several years in India, Taproot was also proud title holder of “Creative Agency Of The Year” at the Adfest Pattaya, first ever Indian agency to win this title in 2013, a record 4 Gold’s Cannes Lions 2013 for their Times Of India Farmer Suicide Campaign, Clio India agency of the year, spike agency of the year, spikes Integrated Grand Prix to name a few.

Taproot has been rated in top three most awarded agency in India for last 10 years be it creative or effectiveness, be it at local or international show.

His Conqueror Papers print campaign was one of the most awarded and celebrated print campaigns which was ranked the 11th most awarded print campaign in the world by the Gunn Report 2011.

Paddy holds the record for the most number of Cannes Lions (23) by an individual Indian creative from India. He has won gold’s at almost every advertising award show. With over 200 international and over 300 local awards as well as multiple Grand Prix titles under his belt, Adidas Odds campaign for Para-athletes which is close to Paddy’s heart is one of his most recent and most awarded campaign from India.

Paddy has deservedly served as a jury member for numerous national and international award shows including Cannes Lions twice, Clio, New York Festival thrice, London International Awards twice, Dubai Lynx, Adfest Pattaya, AdStar Busan Thrice, ADC, ANDY awards, Kancil Malaysian Award, Chilli-SriLankan Award and many other local advertising shows.

He has also served as Jury President at Adfest, for Design and Print Craft Category.

Partner with adobo Magazine

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button