#LeadersOfTomorrow: There are no templates to campaigns: Sandhya Gurung, Autumn Worldwide

sandhya gurung

A believer of always learning something in the ever-changing digital landscape and creating work customized as per the brands’ and the audience’s need, Sandhya Gurung, Client Servicing – Director at Autumn Worldwide is a leader of tomorrow. 

Gurung is a follower of campaigns cannot be created based on standard templates; she loves working side to side with her team. In conversation with Social Samosa, Gurung takes us through the dynamic digital world.

What led to your entry in the dynamic world of digital marketing?

It’s a very good question. I ask this to myself everyday (LOL). Honestly speaking, I don’t know. As mentioned earlier, Social & Digital Advertising happened to me by accident; but I must admit – this was the most beautiful accident ever. I was in a state, where anything that came my way, I was ready to give it a go. That’s how Autumn happened. I was lucky that Anusha Shetty (CEO-Autumn Worldwide) was taking a very bold step; shifting from a traditional agency to a dynamic digital/social marketing world. That’s how I entered the world of Social/Digital marketing

Looking back, how would you describe the journey. What is the one instance that made it all worthwhile?

Every day is worthwhile. The beauty of this space is that you are always learning something. And to keep ourselves at par with what’s happening around the world in the industry, we end up self- learning. With the digital landscape changing almost every day, it has been challenging and an enriching journey building these brands. Love and appreciations showered by clients and workplace is always motivating. To add to this, being recognized as #SS30Under30 by Social Samosa has been encouraging.

Your idea of an ideal campaign?

I hear a lot of people talk about brands and agencies following standard templates. Standard template? Really? There are no templates to campaigns. If it works for your brand and your consumers, you do it. It should definitely be led by insights. Understand your audience online, analyze their digital behavior and lead with the campaign. As brand custodians, we should all be aware of what are we trying to drive through these campaigns – is it about impressing the marketing world or doing a good job by delivering your message to the end consumers, is the question we should ask ourselves.

One memorable campaign that you worked on. Any behind the scenes dope?

The latest campaign I am part of right now is Scotch-Brite (#GharSabkaKaamSabka). They have just released a brand new TVC with a new positioning – “Ghar sabka toh kaam bhi sabhi ka.” Interesting thought! But will it garner conversations online? The brand reached out to Autumn Worldwide for Social/Digital support. Unlike most of the brands who launch a TVC first and then approaches digital platform for amplification, the marketing teams at Scotch-Brite knew what they wanted from the Digital/Social world. We suggested a pre- launch campaign on Digital/Social platforms to excite our audience that would lead to the TVC (with the new messaging of “Ghar sabka toh kaam bhi sabhi ka”).

Social Samosa 40Under40
We created a new-age #GossipAunty (who showcases the society’s beliefs). With her fun Vlogs, this Auty spies on the Sharma household. She sees him washing dishes, kids cleaning the house while the mother is away and starts gossiping to the world about it. These hilarious videos build intrigue for our audience to find out what’s going on in the Sharma household and finally watch the TVC!

Motivation mantra
“There was no one near to confuse me, so I was forced to become an original”
~ Joseph Haydn~

One day in your work life…

Wake up alarm – Client’s call
Shower – Client’s missed call
Commute to work – assuring client “let me get to work”
Reach office – Client messages – ‘Can we talk now?’
Throughout the day – call, email, messages X 8 hours
Leave for home – Client calls saying – “Baat hi nahin hui hamari”

One upcoming trend you want to latch on

Not a trend but would love to take on “Co-creating content with Influencers” to another level. Surprisingly, this always works.

One trait that helped you win 30Under30; any tips for upcoming participants? –

PASSION.
It all boils down to how passionate you are in what you are doing. It’s never about how big or small the brand or the budget is…it’s about the idea. I live truly by the thought – “You do not buy attention. You have to earn it by being an idea first and not content first.” and that is what by god’s grace I have always aspired and achieved in this huge social space for the brands I work with.

One moment or instance from your journey that aptly describes #AgencyLife

Client – “You guys had great pitch ideas”.
Me – But those were pitch ideas #AgencyLife

Rapid Fire:
Your favourite campaign – #1CroreChallenge campaign by Exide Life Insurance
Most irritating word in a brief – CLUTTERBREAKING
Most overused digital marketing buzzword – VIRAL
One brand you love on social media – DUREX
Rank in order of fondness: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn – INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN, TWITTER, SNAPCHAT

One stereotype about working in the digital media sector that is thrown at you everytime

“We don’t have huge budgets so planning to go just digital… but want my campaign to go VIRAL.” If you don’t have money, then go for digital is something I get to hear a lot.

“Mainline campaigns are generally creative… Digital is just about amplifying it further by using platforms like Facebook, Instagram etc.”

Life is a #tag or a meme

One campaign you wished you had been a part of and why?

I really liked the Kashmir Tourism – The Warmest Place On Earth campaign…the perception of people towards the place in terms of safety has always been a concern…the creative film did a good job in addressing the same… though in terms of Digital expansion (360-degree approach), I feel they could have done much more.

3 things you do daily that have helped you excel professionally

My mornings start with me browsing through multiple brands online (Instagram, FB, Digital news) …Huddle with the team…work closely with everyone in the company – from designers to writers to media to search to analytics… stay updated!

Digital marketing gurus you loop up to

Anusha Shetty (CEO & Founder – Autumn Worldwide) is my guru. I think no one understands Social/Digital the way she does. It’s true that no one in the industry has all the answers about Digital as it’s always evolving… new trends are emerging everyday… but somehow, she always makes sure that she is updated and well equipped… she works closely everybody… from youngest members to experienced lot.

Where do you see yourself 5 years down the line

Definitely not opening a Digital agency (haha…) It requires #LeadersOfTomorrowa lot of patience and time, which I don’t think I will have at that point of time. However, will definitely be an Entrepreneur and use all my Digital skills to make it big

Marketing and Advertising Icons/Leaders you follow and look up to for inspiration

D Shivakumar Sir (Now – Group Exec. President- Corporate Strategy & Business Development – Aditya Birla& Chairman of ASCI). Love the way he talks and inspires people. He is a great leader. Had a chance to meet him and be part of one of his AIMA sessions. Absolutely loved listening to him.


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