Mumbai: On the side-lines of the Goafest2023, Indiantelevision.com caught up with White Rivers Media co-founder Shrenik Gandhi on the conversation around brand messaging and the metal haul at ABBY this year…
On how the agency has picked up since the turbulent times, Gandhi said, “Honestly, we were pessimistic. But honestly, the business influx has been mildly overwhelming, because we have seen growth, which we've never seen before as an organization, as I'm sure you must be aware, we now have 400 people. That was the scale, we are working with brands in Delhi, and Mumbai, across some global brands as well, which we never thought we would be working with. Some fantastic work is happening, and doing work which is very different, very clutter-breaking and interesting work. Like I said, mildly overwhelming but it's a good problem to have”.
On how brands are slowly moving towards digital but whether there is a third-party measurement to it, how does one measure ROI, Gandhi said “Each platform has some very, very good measurement capabilities. If a platform does not have it then there are platforms which are designed only to measure platforms which can't be measured, like Seismic we do a lot of work with them and it helps us track. I think digital is the most pious form of advertising because you can track absolutely, giving you the ROI. Also digital is the only two-way platform. Tell me another platform in the field of advertising, cinema, TV, hoarding etc. you can't talk back to your customer. This is the only platform where you get real-time analytics.”
On White Rivers Media also deals with content writers and influencers, at the fest a panel discussion on who owns the brand as there is too much brand messaging, Gandhi elaborates on this and said, “Yes, I agree there is a lot of rubbish, it's not difficult to find diamonds in that rubbish and there are a lot of diamonds as well. Why there is a lot of rubbish is because the entry has opened up, it is not as restrictive or as costly as it was some time back. So of course, there'll be a lot more people who will enter as brands and then there'll be a lot of people who enter as advertisers. If there is no entry restriction, of course, there'll be more supply than demand on both sides and when that happens, of course, the quality will be compromised. But that doesn't mean stars are not there”.
On whether messaging is compromised, Gandhi goes on to add,” Absolutely, yes. I think it's a fantastic point. I think, to begin with, gone are the days when advertising was vertical. Advertising was always and will always be horizontal. Now what I mean by that is the same message has to be there across multiple mediums if there is one message vertically on the second or third, it is not going to fly. Secondly, one has to understand that customers of the brand are not the ones sitting in a fancy apartment in South Mumbai, there could be a lot of brands whose customers are tier two and three customers who probably have not even seen Instagram. Brand managers, agencies, creative folks, and the industry must open up to those avenues as well. We were speaking to one of our partners, Josh, there is a lot of massy content, but there is also a lot of creativity. These are people, the creators who are creating, and the resources they have are negligible, still, the kind of creativity they're coming up with is wonderful. If they are going to be in your buying audience, you need to market to them as well. So, one need not feel that only the fancy audience has to be marketed to, one has to understand who your true audience is going to give you the right monies and we have to advertise where they are present”.
On having a good haul of metals at the ABBY this year, Gandhi said, “While we had some fantastic campaigns, I think we can do a lot more. We are very sure that in the coming year, we're going to enter not one but multiple campaigns for multiple categories. We have some fantastic campaigns which have happened over the last few months, some of the most viral campaigns and some of the most impactful campaigns the country has ever seen. We've done it and we are very hopeful that those campaigns are going to make the country proud next year”.