Neither an agency nor a production house. what are they?

Content marketing has come a long way from promoting a product to telling a story and putting the consumer first. Another new addition to this space is the strategy-based content startup. Brands are taking their content business to these fledgling companies that design, create and package small content for all types of marketing communications.

“We are neither an ad agency nor a production company. We sit in the middle and take all your obscure content and large-scale production needs,” says Alia Amrin, co-founder of By The Gram.

Who are they and for whom do they work?

They call themselves the Content First Company. Out of Mumbai, the company caters to clients such as Netflix, Tiger Baby, Hotstar, Dharma, Audi, Shantanu, Nikhil and many others in the field of luxury and entertainment.

Know about the wonderful life of Bollywood wives? Lots of promotional trailers for season two have been done by The Gram.

Explaining the costs, Amreen says, “You get what you pay for and the content is no different. A digital ad film can cost you anywhere from Rs 15,000 to Rs 55,000 while TV can take you straight into the Rs 80 to Rs 2 crore category.”

Among marketers surveyed in India in 2021 by business intelligence platform Statista, 27% stated that using content marketing as a strategy helped them attract new audiences.

An increase in brand awareness was the second most common benefit of content marketing reported by 26 percent of respondents during the survey. Clearly, amplifying reach, engagement, and potential customers drives brands to find expert storytelling partners.

“We are neither an ad agency nor a production company. We sit in the middle and take all your obscure content and large-scale production needs,” says Alia two things from By The Gram.

Why don’t they go to the bigger creative agencies?

According to Jitendra Hirawat, Director – SoCheers Films, this is the situation of supply and demand.

According to him, in the world of advertising creativity, digital videos have seen a high demand, especially since the last few years and digital penetration will accelerate this demand with more engaging content.

“In such a scenario, all too often, larger agencies face a bandwidth crunch, which is where new and smaller players come in. These startups are well positioned to fill the bandwidth gap. Second, being a fairly new player, they They tend to offer economical and budget-friendly options,” he says.

Interestingly, many of these startups previously started as part of a larger agency. For example, The Rabbit Hole started as a small three-member video agency unit within FoxyMoron back in 2017.

At the time, they were producing small one-off advertisements for their clients when required. Keen to grow in this field and to realize the demand from customers and the potential of talent they have on board, they decided to take the leap and announce one of the biggest OTT companies launched in India.

However, they lost that pitch because the brand felt they lacked the team size and experience to take on their mandate.

This failure fueled the desire to grow, which led to the separation of this small video solutions team as an independent agency within the Zoo Media network.

“It is an age of decentralization and independent agencies winning as brands are looking more and more for unique and customized offerings,” says Pranay Swarup of Chtrbox.

The Rabbit Hole established itself as an independent entity in 2020 due to the need and demand in the market for expertise in video content solutions,” Rishabh Khater, Head of Business at The Rabbit Hole, told Storyboard18.

It turns out that the same OTT brand that rejected their offer is now on their client list along with a handful of others like Tinder, Swiggy, YouTube India, Unacademy, Maybelline, Zebronics, and Ponds.

The agency’s focus is mostly on marketing communications – address marketing, OTT marketing, Web3.0 marketing, or anything else in the digital space.

The brand has worked on a lot of popular promotions for projects like Netflix’s AK v/s AK followed by Behensplaining and Tinder India’s TinderLog among others.

The effect of the effect at home

Another interesting aspect of these agencies is that they sometimes have other functions like influencer marketing as part of their offering. Like, Chtrbox, which is a creator marketing platform and agency that helps brands produce and distribute influencer-led videos.

Chtrbox was started by Pranay Swarup in 2016 in partnership with Rohit Raj and Varun Duggirala (founders of The Glitch, which was acquired by WPP in 2018) and strategic investments from media and business figures, Roshan Abbas and Gaurav Kapoor.

Content creation for Chtrbox is an integral part of their offering. Their clients include brands that increasingly cater to the first digital India. Some of these companies are P&G, HP, Amazon, and CRED. “Brands that come to us come with a focus on tapping into the love and interest that creators get from the masses, and tapping into the creative skills that creators have to help brands tell their stories,” says Swarup.

According to him, it is the age of decentralization and independent agencies winning as brands are looking more and more for unique and personalized offerings.

Content especially comes to us fast and furious. It is expected to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years and the space will see a huge number of flexible and lively new entrants, giving traditional ad stores a chance to get their own content money. This is one video you don’t want to skip.

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