4AM Worldwide is a multi-disciplinary creative communication startup with a large body of work across branding, advertising, digital, film and animation, experiential marketing, events and exhibition design. The company is all about creating custom stories for various groups through strategy, creative aesthetics, compelling visuals, and highly endearing partnerships with clients.
They work closely with the clients to understand their communication needs and business objectives to design strategic and innovative solutions. Over the last decade and a half, the team has helped build brands ground up.
From naming restaurants to naming projects, from logos for companies to the identities for products, from teaser campaigns to grand launches, the 4AM team has been involved at every stage of the brand lifecycle partnering with clients and telling stories that make them memorable.
IndiaTech Desk caught up with Anand Nair – Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer – 4AM Worldwide, an electronics engineer by education but was always inspired by the power of words and ideas. It is what led him to pursue a career in advertising and communication. That, coupled with his curiosity to learn new things about different industries, businesses and consumers, has sustained his love for the business.
He has worked with clients that include the largest Asset Management Fund globally, some of the most prominent Indian Conglomerates for businesses across real estate, BFSI, retail, building materials, India’s largest e-commerce brand and some of the largest Media and Production businesses as well. Here he interacts with us to tell us more about the word of marketing as they gear up for vibrant markets like Singapore and London.
Would you please briefly inform us of the specifics of the client base?
We work with a diverse client base across industries that include entertainment, building materials, education, real estate, retail, e-commerce, and BFSI, among many others. Our clients include large national and multinational corporations and a few small and medium-sized enterprises. Some examples include Blackstone, Timezone, Nexus Malls, DY Patil University, Flipkart, Clean Slate Filmz, L&T, House of Hiranandani, R City Mall etc.
How are your clients benefiting from your services? Would you please explain with an example?
Our clients benefit from the increased brand awareness we create for their business and the intent to purchase that our communication creates in consumers’ minds. A few examples include the online content created for Flipkart for their big billion sales.
This led to an increase in sales for their private labels compared to the previous year and with other brands on the platform as well. Another example would be in real estate, where a prominent developer who launched a new project achieved 90 percent of his target within the first two weeks of launch, which is extremely rare in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
One final example would be the digital crowdfunding campaign launched for an NGO. Powerful storytelling supported by social media and website campaigns created awareness and generated reach across more than 2 million viewers.
What are your expansion plans, and how do you plan to move forward?
As a one stop shop that caters to all communication requirements of our clients through a strong interplay between creativity and technology, we want to build a customer base where we can leverage our internal capabilities across the creative, technology and strategic space. We have a few existing clients and aim to establish a stronger presence soon. We plan to expand our geographical footprint to Singapore & London markets.
What challenges do the creative communication industry face? Please explain from a professional perspective?
Striking a balance between performance marketing and brand building is a challenge the industry faces. Like Rory Sutherland from Ogilvy said in one of his talks, I paraphrase here, “the bane of digital marketing is its use to optimize instead of its use to experiment.”
When RoI pressures increase, focus shifts on optimizing only for short-term sales with a disregard for long-term brand building objectives. The other challenge is the true integration of services. Ensuring that the essence of the idea and story is not lost or diluted along the way as it gets executed across various touchpoints and mediums is a challenging task, especially if different functions within an agency operate in silos.
Would you please elaborate on how 4 AM has taken up these challenges and solved them?
We focus on clear conversations with the client to solve the first challenge. Clarity of objectives and expectations at the goal setting stage help chart clear roadmaps for how we as creative partners will help build the brand and achieve their business goals.
Solving the second challenge is a continuous work in progress. Getting specialists from different functions to understand and appreciate the role of others in conjunction with what they are doing is essential.
A number-crunching performance professional needs to recognize the role of creativity in communication. Similarly, an art director and a writer need to understand the importance of media in meeting business objectives. Solving such challenges is a gradual mindset shift, achieved through training and conversations. The other part is processes that facilitate collaborative engagement amongst teams helping them work together.
Would you please talk with data about the demand for creative communication and how it will evolve in the future with WEB3?
Web3, as we see it, is still evolving, and we believe that the jury is still out on if and how this will shape the future. While individuals like Ethereum Founder Gavin Wood are evangelists and believers of the role, Web3 will play in a decentralized version of the internet, equally influential tech doyens like Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk still imagine it to be, at best, a marketing buzzword and at worst an enabler to shift power from the tech behemoths of today to a different clique of power.
Web3 intersects with the metaverse, where interesting avenues for creative communication seem to develop. The use of Web3 technologies and the creation of the metaverse will drive numerous conversations around evolving consumer behavior and, by extension evolution of creative communication as well.
With more than 3 billion people equipped with a smartphone, as per a marketer survey of Feb 2022, the world of AR today has almost half the planet as a potential audience.
In a Feb 2022 research, Gartner says that by 2026, 25 percent of individuals globally will be spending an hour in the metaverse on an everyday basis. The same report also suggests that 33 percent of organizations globally will be offering services in the metaverse by 2026. These numbers suggest that the metaverse could potentially become a fertile ground to create exciting communication.
What are some of your current focus areas?
We want to devote this year to innovation and experimentation. Supported by a strong team, we want to explore working with a larger variety of clients, sectors where we do not have prior experience and technologies that we need to learn and put to use.
We are currently developing in-house capabilities on the technology front to equip ourselves to service clients’ requirements to launch in the metaverse. Besides this, the firm’s geographic expansion is a key focus area in 2022-23.