Youth Quotient: "Most brands in India yet to exploit social media platforms"

Platforms such as Vine, Reddit, Pinterest and Instagram are underutilised by most brands and agencies in India even today, says Dakshin Adyanthaya, Senior Ideator, Ultra Violet

e4m by Priyanka Nair
Published: Sep 25, 2013 9:35 AM  | 6 min read
Youth Quotient: "Most brands in India yet to exploit social media platforms"

The young and the restless are the ones that the advertising and media industry is looking to, to bring in fresh thinking and a bold new way of working. Youth Quotient, a new initiative by exchange4media, is an effort to put the spotlight on these young guns, their thinking, what clicks with them, their expectations and much more.

Dakshin Adyanthaya, Senior Ideator, Ultra Violet started his career as a campus reporter for Radio One. He then moved on to write for ‘JAM’ magazine, before switching to mainstream advertising. But it was digital media that clicked with him, and since then, he has never looked back.

In a candid chat with exchange4media, Adyanthaya speaks about his fascination with digital media, his wish list and much more...

How does your typical work day look like?
My day starts and ends with 140 characters. During mornings you will always find my fingers tapping on a racing speed tweeting on my way to work. Once I reach my desk is when I start checking my mails, surf and maintain various brands on social media platforms, read through Mashables or a few other media-related sites. Apart from this, you will also find me taking part in trending hashtags or contests as research or measure the influence. I also maintain an idea sheet or content sheet for various campaigns, update my food blog and contribute to articles on brands.

What do you love about your work? And what do you dislike?
The innovation! Yes, that’s the most interesting thing I love about my job. You set a mark for yourself by seeing your campaigns succeed in engaging with your fans. The thing I hate the most is the limitations involved, either technically or from the client’s side in terms of budget.

Which is that one project you are proud to have been associated with?
There are many projects that I’m proud to have been associated with. For example, handling a brand like Airtel was very challenging, especially when I was new to the digital space. I grew up with the brand when it had just 8,000 fans till the time it reached over a million fans. In this while, the campaigns we promoted included the first season of the Indian Grand Prix, where Airtel was the main sponsor, the Delhi Half Marathon and many more such big events.

Close behind is when I was handling the social media for the film ‘Inkaar’. Constant brainstorming sessions and creative ideas made the campaign successful and earned a few positive words for the same.

In terms of measuring success, my campaign idea on Facebook, called ‘I’m Dyslexic’ for Akshar Dyslexia Centre, definitely earned itself a nomination in few digital advertising awards last year.

Also, handling Cadbury 5 Star and Bournvita was fun. These are a few brands that most of us dream of working with and I’m glad I was part of such campaigns at a very early stage of my career.

Prior to the digital experience, being associated in the ideation process of a TVC was fun. This was back when I used to work with a very creative team in Associated Advertising. The TVC was for a brand called Gandour Safari Chocolates.

Who is that one digital industry leader whom you look up to?
There are a lot of people whom I look up to. I have worked with great people, especially my bosses, who have helped me to understand the client and the consumers’ needs. Working under greats such as Mahesh Murthy and Ansoo Gupta gives you immense knowledge and understanding of the need and executing a campaign.

Working with Gautamm Mehra gave me a lot of technical understanding, which helped me come up with better ideas. And then there were people like Salil Mirashi and Jayakrishnan Nambiar, my team leads in my previous job, who guided me well to understand what works on social media and what doesn’t and things like why being personally active on social media platform is an advantage. So, people who drive others to lead from the front are also leaders in their own way. And there are so many people like them who people need to appreciate and look up to.

Five brands you would want to work with….
Five brands that I wish to work with would be Pepsi, Oreo, Cadbury Silk, MTV and McDonalds.

Five things social media marketing has taught you…
• Open an account on Twitter to tweet sensible stuff and not vent out *laughs*
• Changed my perception of looking at social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and how to utilise it to the fullest
• Helped me understand how to reach out to the audience and understand why the brand is doing well/ not doing well by hearing it straight from the audience itself
• Ideate on a daily basis. So many campaigns are simply adapted into another campaign these days. To come up with fresh contest ideas; innovative ways of engaging with customers and at the same time help the brand get maximum leverage, is what social media marketing has taught me.
• How to utilise various mediums effectively for brand promotion, which is not exploited by most brands in India. Platforms like Vine, Reddit, Pinterest and Instagram are underutilised by most brands and agencies in India even today.

Had you not been in social media marketing, what do you think you would be doing?
I would have pursued a career as an RJ, may be a full time teacher in a college or continued performing in theaters or may be a full time food reviewer, writing about food in my food blog

Where do you see yourself five years down the line?
Putting my love for social media and food together, and going by the recession storm hitting, I would see myself as an owner of a social media company doing amazing work, not for money but may be for free food (laughs). I am also aiming at making my food blog a hotspot for food lovers of the world.

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