Agency Feature: Pollen

Pollen agency

How do we define Pollen?

Pollen is an influencer marketing agency, established in 2019, under the Zoo Media network, (the homegrown network comprising 7 agency brands including the flagship digital agency FoxyMoron).

It has its headquarters in Mumbai with regional offices in Gurgaon and Bangalore. Led by Aarushi Sethi, the mission of Pollen is to cultivate and nurture new age creators and build creator eco-systems. It not only aims to provide data-backed creator solutions for clients but also helps creators use data and category insights to build their personal brands. 

What’s in the name? 

What better analogy to growth than the process of pollination. No seed can germinate to bear fruit without the assistance of pollinating agents. We are the cross pollinators between the brands, creators, media, and agencies. 

Our 3 step business approach encapsulates the essence of Pollen. 

  • ‘Germination’ where we assess, consult and build the right strategy for every campaign 
  • ‘Pollination’ where we curate and create content based on our insights and objectives 
  • ‘Fruition’ where we measure and evaluate the results of the campaign to help build key learnings for our future collaborations. 

What do we do? 

  • Pollinate*: Training and workshops for brand teams about the influencer marketing ecosystem including Best Practices, Platform Strategy, and latest trends
  • Creator Services: Collaborations with all types of talent (Celebrities and digital influencers – macro, micro, nano and regional)
  • Content Services: Content Strategy, Studio Services, Production Services, Creative Tech, Fast Marketing( Meme Marketing & Video Seeding), Community Building, Reputation Management, Search, Listening & Response, E-Commerce Strategy, IP Creation, Regional Content Strategy 4.
  • Measurement & ROI: KPI setting, Data Insights & Reporting, Tools & Influencer Relationship Management 

Why we do it? 

Pollen’s expertise combined with the network’s abilities across creative, data, technology and media, helps differentiate the agency in this otherwise transactional influencer ecosystem.

We’re of the strong belief that the influencer industry is in its early growth stage, and between now and maturity, a lot of things will evolve and change. We’re hoping to be that change-maker who works across the business ambitions of both, the brands and the creators. 

How we evolve? 

With the cancellation of events and outdoor shoots, we are attempting to create opportunities to deliver personal experiences to our audiences even from a distance.

Our team has adapted to such drastic changes, from full-fledged shoot setups to adapting to self-shot, work from home setups for Netflix’s Behensplaining. From working on travel luxury videos with fancy locations and creating content about the latest fashion trends, we’ve adapted to making videos on DIY and how to repurpose your wardrobe.

We’ve evolved overnight, to engage our audience over content interactive formats like Instagram Lives and have quickly learned to use the latest technology to help create self-shot videos, to help ensure the delivery of quality content to our clients. 

Social responsibility in social media 

It is imperative to follow and abide by the laws set in place for the industry to maintain the social code of conduct. We ensure that we follow the guidelines set for the industry and take necessary measures to safeguard the interests of all parties involved.

This includes running reference and credibility checks for the information that we put out, making necessary disclosures so as to not misguide the consumers, among other practices. 

Also read: Agency Feature: Fingerprints

The need of the hour 

Ensuring the music you’re using for your campaign doesn’t infringe on any copyrights. Doing your homework and putting in the extra effort to ensure that your ‘inspiration’ doesn’t result in a direct copy of a campaign. Ensuring that the information put out for a product is credible; necessary product disclosures are made wherever required.

Influencers share a moral and social responsibility to let their followers know when their post is a part of a paid campaign. 

We learned the hard way 

Firstly, the most successful campaigns are the ones where Influencers are treated as partners and are equally involved in the conceptualization as well as the execution.

Secondly, the ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work for all campaigns. The creatives have to often be customized to suit the needs of different influencer’s audiences.

Lastly, the influencer knows their audience the best. Their advice based on experience can be the icing on the cake which helps differentiate a good campaign from a great one. 

Did we just share that?

We recently collaborated with a celebrity for a self-shot video campaign that had to be executed in less than 10 hours. We got the brief at 3 am and had to go live the next day at 3pm. We thought the client was joking about the turnaround time, but turns out it was the ultimate challenge during this lockdown.

Starting from the celebrity’s home tour to pick the perfect location, to setting the right frames and directing the entire campaign with a celebrity who we had no experience working with in the past, the entire campaign was shot in an hour on a video call. It’s amusing only now in retrospect because we feel good about pulling off this huge feat. 

They work with us

Pollen’s notable list of clients includes Gulabari, Fem Cre’me Bleach, Real, Burger King, Hershey’s Kisses, Sofit Netflix, Kellogg, Maybelline, Chinese Wok, Wok to Walk, Pulse, Chingles, ABC, Gillette Venus, NYX, Celio, ManyavarMohey, Spaces, Sofy, OBL tiles, McCain, Netflix, Amazon, Ishq FM, Alt Balaji Huawei, SanDisk, WD, Emami, Stonelam, Glance.

The industry as we foresee

The social media content game has completely changed. Everything from concerts, shoots for brand campaigns will be done virtually. It will be a natural progression to see more UGC content. A trend that we at Pollen are seeing more of, is the rise of the micro-influencers.

The true potential of micro-influencers lies in their ability to create vernacular content. With a country as diverse as India, the power of digital content customization can only be achieved through these regional influencers. 

A day without the Internet

A day without the internet would be liberating. We are highly dependent on the internet for inspiration, and references for our campaigns. We’re constantly checking up on what our competitors are doing, in a bid to outdo them. A day without it puts a halt to all of this. It will force us to slow down and introspect.

Lastly, are you hiring? 

No, but we will be expanding our team in the coming few months.