Behind the scenes – Celebrating Mother’s Day & food ❤️

“Tomorrow’s Mother’s Day!!” panicked the marketing team at 7 PM! Working remotely, faces huddled on the Zoom screen—the team and production agency at 24 Mantra Organic, specialists in organic foods. This was during the lockdown years; I was helping a friend and their team. Everyone looked a bit lost, the pressures of marketing teams on a deadline, only this time without a direction. All eyes turned to me as if I had a magic pill. But I had none—my mind was blank, zero ideas.

Then I pushed forward with the only method I knew. “Alright, everyone, next 5 minutes, just jam about all micro-moments and memories about food and moms, fast jam, talking like an auctioneer… just bringing all minds into one whole mind, rapid fire one after another. It was chaotic, voices overlapping, ideas clashing until… Food food food… mothers moms maa… wait, what all foods have ‘maa/माँ’ in their name?” Rajमाँ, upमाँ, माँcaroni… and suddenly, it clicked. Once you have three, you know it can be a long list. Over the next 15 minutes, we shaped a whole list, then shortened and curated to pick the best. With no time to spare, decided to keep it minimal using wordplay, ensuring ‘maa/माँ’ was highlighted in a different color.

We organized the list in the order they would appear on screen, as described in the book, and the screenplay started coming to life. We hunted on stock music websites for that perfect tune, one that matched the feeling and cut every shot on a beat or audio spike, so it all flowed like poetry. Reviews on screen sharing are tiresome, and maintaining creativity on Zoom calls was the weirdest, most disjointed experience, yet somehow it worked.

After reviewing it multiple times until it felt just right, hit the brakes… ‘Okay, done!’ the team then made multiple versions and finalized the release plan. By 9 PM, the video was ready. Phew! Released on Mother’s Day, it received heartwarming responses, including many comments where the audience started sharing more words with ‘maa’ in them, sparking conversations apt for a food brand on Mother’s Day.

The team works their best when work doesn’t feel like work, but play… like jamming together, like playing music together. Those two hours were not just about hard work; they were full of teamwork, spontaneous creativity, heart, and a sense of accomplishing something special together. The whole game is about obsession and a deep dive until we get to that tiny truth we all share… making it an honest, authentic experience :)

Why Purpose-Driven Marketing Matters? And Nothing Else.

Traditionally, marketing has been about grabbing attention and yelling your message in the audience’s faces. The entire advertising game over the decades has been built on recall-recall-recall, from radio jingles to TV ads over the decades. Fast forward to today, and no one gives a sh*t about your ads or your brands. Trust and loyalty must be earned. This is why many startups in the D2C space are competing with big brands, gaining more market share by being more authentic and closer to audiences.

Here are three truths from my experiences, if you want your brand to matter…

1. Define Your Brand DNA:

The fundamental ‘why’ you exist is way bigger than ‘what’ you do. What’s the big reason behind why you do what you do? If it’s just about making money, well, everyone is thinking the same, and audiences don’t give a damn about you trying to lure them. The ‘why’ must originate from how you intend to help and create an impact. And when you define your brand DNA, don’t put it on your wall or slide-decks.. live it.. across functions.. authentically.

2. Branding is Not About Recall:

Gone are the days of bombarding your audience’s eyeballs to drive recall. Everyone and their cousin have moved away from traditional media, so why are your concepts about brands lingering in the past? Branding today is about relevance, not recall. If everyone is spending way more time on their devices, that’s where the party is, and that’s where you need to matter, be relevant, and be part of conversations. The more conversations your content can start to be part of, the more you stay in their lives. It’s not about acquiring customers but building a relationship with them. So next time you review any marketing material going out.. ask.. what conversation will it start or be part of?

3. Don’t Create for the Brand:

Nobody gives a damn about your brand or how shiny your logo is. It’s only you who’s obsessed with it. The goal must be to create share-worthy content (in any form) for the audience. All your marketing must be about your audience and not about you. Not about your USP, not about five product features, not about clients and testimonials (all that works when someone comes looking for you, then it adds credibility). Anything you create in marketing, must be share-worthy, engagement-worthy, in their interest first. Experiment with the IUCTC framework (in the book), which is all about deep diving and getting to know your audience. Create to solve or celebrate the tiniest pain points of your audience, and your brand becomes the conduit through which the content flows, and you turn your audience into brand evangelists who take your content (brand along) to crazy distances.

Stop peddling your products and services in the name of marketing; Stop targeting the eye-balls and start connecting with their hearts, that’s where true engagement and love is.

How to pick share-worthy ideas?

How to pick share-worthy ideas? Here’s the framework behind 80 viral videos.. My truths about simplifying the creative process, every bucket is backed by validation of engagement and views… a starting point for all brainstorms about killer content ideas..

I – Inspirational Ideas
(make a list of 100 ways to inspire your audience, curate and deep dive into the micro moments from your audiences’ life)

U – Useful Ideas
(solving users’ pain points with creativity, create a list of 100 pain points, then find ways… research.. and find creative hacks around those pain points)

C – Celebrating their life
(pain points you can’t solve, you celebrate with relatable content… eg. 5 things only _ will get)

T – Topical
(breaking news story + your brand DNA = topical content idea, practise daily for 5 ideas on top news story of the day)

C – Change the world
(an attempt to make the world a better place, authentically.. not CSR not PR.. keep it real.. and document that)

If you have a question or a challenge, reply below.. I’d be happy to share from my learnings…

The process for killer creativity

Success revolves around happiness, not the other way around. My truths and the most under-rated way for generating killer ideas at 0:21 in the video.

What stops you from being your creative best?