Featuring a Social Media and Content Agency: Jack in the Box Worldwide
Who are we?
We are a cross-cultural mish mash of Jacks and Jackies from all over India and Europe. We are a collage of musicians, producers, fashionistas, writers, editors, advertising suits, creative hacks and bio technologists successfully role playing as content writers and search executives, non-tech guys developing amazing sites and blogs, business managers who shoot and produce massive film and video projects. We are multi-skilled, super adaptable and ultra ambitious. Jack in the Box Worldwide is a 2.5 yr company that creates ‘Content-for-Brands’ across multiple screens, platforms and geographies. We are a thinking and doing company that very successfully creates, manages and tracks conversations around branded content.
Roopak Saluja, Co-Founder & MD
Prashanth Challapalli, Business Head
Samit Malkani, Creative Head
Hussain Sharif, Head – Media, Technology & Search
What’s in the name?
There is no great branding insight here. Surprise is a key factor in our work. Fun is a vital necessity to create as well as the outcome of that work. Jack in the Box is the most obvious representation of that combination. We believe in common sense over rocket science. And we like entertaining audiences more than broadcasting brand sales pitches. And we have great fun doing it. And our clients are more than happy to let us build their brands through this approach.
What we do?
We create content for brands. And content according to us could be anything from a tweet to a television series. Then we establish digital and on-ground platforms around this content. We seed and create conversations. Manage them. Track them. And build brands. In order to do this, we produce videos, create social media marketing strategies, execute on ground activations, build mobile apps, build kick-ass websites and blogs and help drive traffic through SEO & Media buys.
Why we do it?
Almost 3 years back, logic told us that brands would need to figure out how to engage people online. They were very good at broadcasting sales messages on mass media but not so great at engaged conversations. We also realized that most people online are not consumers unless of course they were on an e-bay. They were audiences looking for entertainment.
Ergo, we wanted to create branded content that could be offered as value to audiences online in return for their time and attention. If a brand can entertain and not sell to an audience, the audience wouldn’t mind giving up a little of their time and attention in return. Thus Jack was born.
How we evolve?
Be humble and not call our selves experts. The only experts we know are the audiences. The audience is not fickle. It is at the cutting edge of pop culture. And a bunch of guys with management degrees is not going to cut this pop culture pie. So we constantly hire people from diverse backgrounds; people who come from different layers of this culture. We staff our brand & creative teams with people who have relevant experiences. So we have people who are passionate about music on our music brands. Fashionistas for our beauty and lifestyle brands and passionate sports enthusiasts for our sports brands. We invest a huge amount in people, training and happiness. They in turn invest an even bigger amount of their passion into the brands they nurture and build. We try to be honest, relevant and happy. And we have found that if the people here have fun working then they never have to work. We give them huge amounts of freedom and authority. We believe in passion over experience. Emotional maturity over intellectualism. And we say sorry when we screw up. We evolve because we try to have fun always. And this is possible only when you discover newer ways of having fun.
Social responsibility in social media
Just like alcohol companies say ‘Drink Responsibly’, we advocate the same to our brands as well as the audiences on the brand platforms. Social is open & therefore democratic. However, democracy doesn’t tolerate abuse of fundamental rights. A brand has as much claim to these fundamental rights on social platforms as the audiences have. We arbitrate and oversee these social interactions. Abusive behavior by audiences is dealt with swiftly. Equally, we don’t put out false brand claims or messages. If you treat the audience with respect, they return that many fold. And if you make mistakes, say sorry and own up. That’s tougher but ultimately more rewarding than covering up.
Need of the hour
This is a grey area. Can laws be drafted at all for a platform that is as open as this? Again the best way to govern is not to govern. We believe that self-censorship is the best course. Being transparent and honest with your brands and audiences always helps. Are we being naïve? Maybe. But we strongly believe that it’s not always naïve to be naïve.
Clients need to pay agencies more. Far more. It’s ridiculous for an agency to work at 25K or 50K per month retainers. 1L per month should be the minimum expectation. All of us are smart people doing smart work. And that costs money. We all want better salaries and want to live the good life. Can the industry form an association? In my experience, that never works. Some agency will always undercut to get work. Ultimately, it’s for the clients to recognize that bad pay gets you bad work.
We learned the hard way
Brands don’t have fans. Only Rajnikanth has fans. Fans by definition are non-judgmental, emotional champions of an entity. If a brand makes a mistake or makes false claims, it gets torn down. Aamir Khan said in Rangeela, ‘Apun public hai. Picture achcha nahin laga toh dabba gul’. We very strongly believe in that. Brands can only hope to have audiences for the content that they produce. A weak script can’t save a multi-crore production just as a shoddy execution can’t elevate a great idea. Simple rules. Everyday lessons. Above all, don’t take your audience for granted.
Did we just share that?
We produce a lot of video based work. Each shoot can take up multiple GBs of data since we shoot digital. And we have lost count of the number of times clients have asked us to burn DVDs or send it over wetransfer. Everyday we have atleast one #facepalm moment.
But this is a classic, especially after we did Kolaveri. Every day we get a call from a musician or an agency saying, ‘This has to be your second Kolaveri. Make it viral’. Another #facepalm moment
They work with us
L’Oreal Paris, Kerastase India, Vogue, GQ, CondeNast Traveller, Puma, Puma Cricket, Red Bull, Adobe, Sony Music, SAB Miller, Louis Philippe, Forest Essentials, Windows Phone, Tara Jewellers, Fisher Price, Comedy Central, Ek Stop, Cinnabon, Cadbury, Pepsi, Ford, IBM Worldwide to name a few.
Industry as we foresee
Global players will buy out successful stand alones. We have already seen some moves happening in this direction. Scale is important to survive. Geographically and skill-set wise.
Advertising agencies will try to integrate digital and social but as long as they do it as an add-on service, they won’t succeed. True integration is not having digital and mainline. It is about having brand teams who can create, produce and execute the same idea across platforms. True integration is actually having PR and event management capabilities also within the agency teams.
Brands will increasingly curate content. Mobile phones will become instruments of creation rather than just communication.
We are putting our neck on the line but Facebook will take over real life transactions. Retailers and banks are already on Facebook. Who needs a credit card when you can swap goods for FB Credits even at brick and mortar stores. Plus your FB identity will become a standard just like your driving license is.
A day without Internet
Rajni Sir will still be able to power websites. Who needs the internet when you have Thalaivar? We will all rediscover the simple joy of reading a book. Even if only for a day. And all social media agencies will be deeply grateful to the BMC (MMRDA) guy who knocked out the deeply buried fibre-optic cables for giving them an unexpected day off. But seriously, a day without the net will be great. Just great. We can all sit back and have a beer. Or ten.