Tonic Media looks to boost brands’ growth on social media

MUMBAI: Traditional marketing comprised being heard on radio and television and being seen on print and Out of Home (OOH) as part of brand campaigns. However, today a brand campaign is considered incomplete without a presence on social media. After this, sustenance through constant engagement too is key as new brands make inroads. In a scenario of clutter and cutthroat competition, digital agency Tonic Media has been aiding brands to achieve this and more. The portfolio for Tonic is quite diverse ranging from entertainment, FMCG, to quick service restaurants.


Speaking to, Tonic Media founder and CEO Chetan Asher says the agency had a first mover advantage since it launched in India when the digital space had not really grown here. “We did a lot of work outside the country as we have a presence in the Middle East. Trends generally break in the western part of the world first. We picked up those trends and started applying it here," he informs.


Some of the brands that complete its roster include the Multi Screen Media bouquet of channels including Sony Pix, AXN, Sony Max, Sony Entertainment Television and Sony Mix. It also works with the National Basketball Association (NBA India), eBay India, McDonald’s India and Neutralite amongst others. Tonic also works with various mobile apps and websites.


Elaborating on how the team goes about designing a digital campaign, Asher says that each campaign is different and they closely work with clients as partners. “There is a lot of understanding on how inter departments work. For example, we work very closely with Sony Entertainment Television with their programming and marketing teams. They also bring in their consumer insights and research. We have a common creative pool that then brings together solutions that can be applied,” informs Asher.


Tonic Media prides itself on coming up with a number of firsts like the browser - mobile integrated game for Pix. One could play a game on the browser using their mobile phones. On the ninth anniversary for eBay, it did a live interactive show with Suresh Menon, wherein he donned the hat of a bouncer and in order to get invited to a party, fans had to make him laugh. “He would personally respond to each comment and tweet that came. It was live streamed. We have done a lot of creative work, which is a first of sorts. That differentiates us from the rest,” he states.


Asher is of the opinion that other digital agencies largely execute but they don’t go beyond a strategy or research that is handed over by a client. Tonic Media, on the other hand, has already built capabilities to do research and deep dives a lot into the target audience and then comes up with a robust strategy. “We have also got a lot of main line learnings and applied it to digital as finally it is about communication but the medium might differ,” Asher says.


In the Middle East, Tonic Media has a team of five people while in India, it boasts of 62 employees. At any given point Tonic Media works with close to 20 to 25 brands each year. Industry experts suggest that each digital account win is approximately Rs 1 crore per year. Going by this figure, Tonic Media most likely sees minimum revenue of Rs 20 – 25 crore per year.


Asher credits his young and energetic millennial team at spotting various trends.


According to Asher, Tonic Media witnessed a growth of 100 per cent last year. “With some big brands already on board and our presence in the Middle East, our plan is to grow these aspects. We will also be focusing on local and international acquisitions,” he informs.

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