S Yesudas plays a whole new ball game with triggerbridge

MUMBAI: Of late there has been much talk about going beyond the sales driven take on advertising among the agencies. The focus should shift back to building brand identity, if brands have a long term vision in mind.


It would have been great if the talk truly reflected the industry’s concern over the matter, but, alas, much of that is lip service according to S Yesudas, the former managing director of Vizeum.


The need of the hour, he feels, is to break this pattern that agencies are so used to, and bring in some disruption in the ecosystem. This is precisely what he plans to achieve with his entrepreneurial venture triggerbridge.


Backed by his expertise in media business for over two decades, Yesudas partnered with Ajit Nair of MX Advertising and Amit Tripathi from IdeateLabs to form this ‘un-agency,’ which has managed to create quite a buzz in the industry ever since its launch earlier this month.


Prior to kick starting his new startup venture, Yesudas was known for his successful stint at Vizeum India as managing director, preceded by Grey Worldwide, Lintas/Initiative Media and R K Swamy BBDO/Media Direction. Interestingly, he was Vizeum’s first employee and built it to a successful position with its current 55 employees within a span of four years.


With an impressive portfolio like this, is it easier to handle his new role in a start up? To find out, got in touch with the man himself.


Here’s what he had to say:


What sets triggerbridge apart from other players in the market?

We are the ‘unagency’ and are free of all the bondages as that of an agency. The big and basic difference is, our reason to exist is not to help our clients “spend” their marketing resources, but to help their brands build bridges of relevance with consumers in various ways through our philosophy of True Vertexing.


We look at the core of the brand, human insights, storytelling, technology and data and help itself express truly in order to carry the well aligned consumers along as the brand moves to the highest peak, the vertex. Consumers are human beings is a fact that’s forgotten in the world of transaction. We cater to all brand owners who are looking for much more than just short term sales from their consumer relationships.


Few agencies have taken the ‘brand first’ route as well. What is your take on them?

I’m sure brand love is a dinosaur concept to many. Those who talk about the same, pretend it can be created by the effect and weight of their “advertising” investments including endorsements and other sponsorships. I would leave triggerbridge, the unagency, for our clients to judge us.


What disruptive ideas does triggerbridge have in store for its clients?

There’s disruption in everything we do. Firstly, we are not just a service, but a product as well. Among the set of products is a platform that aggregates storytellers and technology producers for the benefit of brands. Our focus is the brand in its entirety and not specific specialised solutions. We also have a unique structure of a creative advisory board, which consists of real storytellers like authors and theatre artists along with a business board that consists of members of the board of other companies as well as venture capitalists. We are also looking at a whole new measurement of SoV and SoE as Share of Vision and Share of Empathy as against the transactional Share of Voice and Share of Expenditure.


Since triggerbridge is a product as well, what is the target group or clientele you are looking at?

Every brand owner who is interested in looking beyond short term results and those who actually believe that the future of commerce is brand commerce, would be a triggerbridge client. 


What is the one thing that the industry is lacking currently?

I believe lot of agencies today pay lip service to brand building and focus their energy and attention on “selling” their specialised silos to clients for better profitability. Once you create a need and everyone is doing that, the advertisers, knowingly and/or unknowingly will keep following the pattern.


Most often computers create the strategy to connect with humans with emotions. Then it is a mad rush to justify Share of Voice (SoV) and Share of Expenditure (SoE). The result is increasing instances of ad avoidance and the agency then offers one more specialisation to “catch” the consumer's’ attention. The circle keep going on. We will fill the very vacuum of zero brand love for most brands, by first helping the brand owners understand the purpose of their brands. We will also help them articulate that through executions that will create multi - sensorial impact on the consumers


Can you mention one recent campaign that you think lacked brand identity?

One campaign that comes to mind is what Pepsi did during IPL, getting consumers to feature in its ads. It was a gimmick that I presume they spent top dollars on. And I personally don’t think it worked at all. They could have done things to bring together larger Pepsi communities across the country, very meaningfully, who interacted with each other in a sustainable manner as they shared their love for the brand, at much lesser cost and left enduring impressions on the consumers. But again this is purely based on their stated purpose/intention.


Tell us about your partners and what they bring to the table in triggerbridge? 

Ajit Nair has been running a very successful full-service advertising business, MX Advertising, for a quarter of a century and has built many brands through that journey. Amit Tripathi has been running a leading digital business, Ideate Labs for 15 years. I have been in the media business for over two decades.


Our vision, purpose and the conviction about the future of communication business converged at the same point. I also don’t think there could have been a better combination than this which brings all aspects of the communication business together.


What is your target for the upcoming year?

We have not set a revenue or profit target. Money will follow good and differentiated work that will produce actual results. But we have a five year blue print with clear milestones to eventually see a good part of the “advertising” market practice True Vertexing. 

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