Launched in August 2018, Tilt Brand Solutions offers ambitious brands and businesses, services in Consulting, Communication, Content creation, and Content production. The Tilt team has over 350 years of combined experience across advertising, marketing, data analytics, content creation, behavioral science, storytelling, studio production, digital, media, qualitative research, and consumer advocacy.
Their recent campaign for Livspace titled “Don’t try this at home”. features six short brand films. The films take a humorous approach and showcase people doing everyday things in their home—like watching TV, cooking in the kitchen, or storing clothes in the wardrobe, but due to poor design, they have to perform “stunts” to get these tasks done.
Rajiv Chatterjee, Chief Business Officer at Tilt Brand Solutions, speaks to us on the growth of the organization, its innovative campaigns, and how the advertising industry is seeing 2021…
Tilt Brand Solutions was launched in 2018, how has the journey been?
Most gratifying, especially when considering that we started out in the most challenging of times as far as the industry goes – when big agencies were struggling and most others were dropping off the radar. But we were clear on what and why we were trying to build out, in terms of product, process, and people..” this is in my story Tilt Solutions, and that was and continues to be the biggest and most constant motivation for us. We have kept our head down and just been at it the last 33 months!
And we are extremely glad that this has worked out well for us so far – we broke even in just 12 months; probably the fastest in the industry. In less than three years we have a roster of more than 25 clients across blue-chip MNCs, homegrown giants, consumer tech, e-sports, and FMCG start-ups. And most satisfyingly, we have arguably put out the industry’s best body of work in the last 3 years.
We are the single largest contributor of assets in this IPL. Close to 35 assets across 7 of our clients! For an agency that is not even 3 years old, this is a staggering and humbling statistic. And 3 of the 5 most popular and loved campaigns this IPL are ours – Dream11, Livspace, and JD Mart.
So yes, we are very grateful for where we are today in our journey thus far – especially considering the environment in which we started out and the fact that we have had 2 waves of COVID and lockdowns along the way!
2020 we saw the pandemic, we are still recovering and the second wave has hit us, how as an organization has you coped and what have been the challenges?
Like everyone else, the pandemic forced us all too to pause and think about our teams and their families, their ability to balance work and home commitments. Their mental health and their need to feel productive at work.
Given our size and how old we are as an enterprise, we were able to make lightning-quick decisions that struck a balance between ensuring absolute safety for our employees and ensuring quality deliveries for our clients. We were amongst the first to announce WFH even before the government did. We were again amongst the first to do before the 2nd wave did what it does, and continues to do to us.
We have also been blessed with understanding clients who have been more than reasonable during this period. And so, heartfelt hat tips to all of them. We have tried our very best to make it easy on all of us from making testing absolutely free for all our employees with absolutely no cap on the number of tests to doing all that we can to support our colleagues physically, mentally, and emotionally.
We also feel hugely blessed in knowing that we did not lay off people, not cut salaries, no furloughs, not delayed a single month’s salary for anyone but instead, not just gave out bonuses in 2020, but just last week, we gratefully gave out increments and bonuses to every employee. Given the times we live in, this was a tough call, but the Leadership Team quite quickly agreed that we will act in gratitude for the year that went by instead of in fear of the year ahead.
WFH is the norm now, but the camaraderie and team bonding is missing, how eager are the teams in coming back to the office?
It has been a challenging year in many respects. And as much as we all, as leaders, can do for our teams to function from home, we know it isn’t the same as cracking problems and discussing and arriving at solutions huddled in a conference room. Also, for a start-up like ours, distance disproportionately impacts bonding and co-creation of company culture. So yes, I would say most are keen to come back to the office. For some though, it has been an opportunity to spend more time with family than they were able to, which I am happy to say has only made them perform better. There clearly is no one right answer to this question. And companies are realizing that this is not a binary topic.
As a fall out of our experience with WFH now for over 13 months, we for one have already announced 2 permanent HR policy changes. Every Wednesday will now forever be WFH. We have also announced 12 additional days of “Connected Leave” every year.
Now with the pandemic/lockdown, digital is seeing a huge surge, how are brands adapting to this new normal and leveraging their digital platforms?
The pandemic has both asked questions and driven incentives for businesses to truly introspect on the role and purpose of their digital strategies.
Given the briefs and mandates that we are currently receiving it is clear that brands are focusing and using this as an opportunity to strengthen their digital presence and their engagement strategies.
For us at Tilt, this was a going-in premise for us. Our investments in data and tools exceed that of established creative agencies. We are also the only creative agency whose strategy team have team pairings of left and right-brained strategists. The only creative agency to have mainlined data and digital experts within the strategy team.
In fact, our offering bouquet of Brand Consulting, Digital Transformation and Brand Comms & Engagement has enabled us to hire talent and also follow internal processes that make us uniquely relevant for brands, businesses, and consumers of today
Are you seeing fewer adsspend on traditional platforms like TV/Print/Radio?
There has naturally been a shift in spends this past year, obviously following the drastic shift in purchase and consumption behavior. It is possible that for many, that may never come back to ‘pre-pandemic levels given the habit formation in media consumption of content that the pandemic may have forced upon us.
However, given that television continues to grow, traditional platforms will continue to remain relevant for many advertisers.
How are you seeing 2021 panning out for the Advertising Industry on the whole?
We are a derived industry i.e. we mostly do well when our clients do well and we certainly do badly when our clients do. So, given what we are going through as a country and economy, I think the next 4 months will dictate how 2021/22 will pan out for the Advertising industry.
What is truly interesting to note is the number of first-time advertisers that we saw in 2020. The huge surge in consumer tech startups and their voracious appetites for growth is something that I feel will only continue in 2021. This has insisted on a way more in-depth understanding of marketing in a digitized world as also an expert understanding of the brand building.
In this context, we are in a sweet spot today as an offering – Younger businesses and brands come to us for our “rigour and expertise” with the comfort of knowing how fast and nimble we are, and the more established brands and businesses come to us for our “speed and passion” with the comfort of knowing that our grounding and anchoring is pedigreed and robust.
From an ADEX perspective how has Print performed and will the brand still look at ad spends on Print?
I do believe that to remain relevant, all traditional and non-traditional platforms need to be on a constant journey of re-invention; distribution, consumption, and engagement, akin to consumers. As long as mediums mirror consumer behavior, they will remain relevant.
I also believe that with so much fake news being spread deliberately or otherwise primarily in the video medium, Print today is seen as relatively more “factual”. This is a key aspect Print brands can try and leverage to not just stay relevant but possibly to try and be the medium/platform of choice.