Exclusive | Winning at EMVIEs is a great honour: Vizeum's Yesudas

Vizeum India, a part of Aegis Media Group, is a young agency in existence for less than four years but in a short span it has done wonders by winning a metal at the Emvie’s recently. This certainly speaks volumes about the creative talent that is buzzing at Vizeum India whose vision is to Start from a Different Place. 
The Different Place is the way today’s empowered consumers make decisions about brands. Vizeum India combines a unique understanding of the timeless motivations that drive decisions with the new behaviours enabled by the digital age. “This has enabled us the agency to identify ‘moments of maximum motivation’ and then leverage the creative power of media to build stronger connections between consumers and brands,” says S Yesudas, Managing Director, Indian sub-continent, Vizeum India. 
A veteran of 20 years, Yesudas joined Aegis in 2009 to launch Vizeum. A leadership team and credible client base came into reality within the first six months and the agency earned a profit in the first year itself. The credit of leading the team did not go waste. Within one year Yesudas became a member of the Board and has been driving the agency’s growth as vigorously as ever before. To know more about Yesudas’ views on winning the metal, Adgully spoke to him post the award. 
The ffollowing are the excerpts of the interview. 
Adgully (AG): Are you happy now that it you have won a metal? What are your thoughts now after the win and what is it that you have planned after the win?
S Yesudas (SY): I have always maintained that awards and recognitions do make a difference in our business.  It is also a high for our people.  Winning a metal at the Emvie is a great honor of the good work we were able to produce.  There are many more pieces of such work which our clients regularly pat our back for. We consider those also as our awards.  Having tasted the award blood, we intend to go for more. Our focus is and will always be on producing tangible business results for our clients. 
AG: Were you expecting the award?
SY: After I saw the case study presentations on the category we were competing in, I had a sense of us giving a tough competition to others.  I must take this opportunity to thank both the first as well as the final round jury members for recognizing real pieces of good work.  I consider Emvies as the highest media recognition in India.  
AG: At Vizeum, what do you feel are the contents/ingredients behind a successful campaign? How do you measure success?
SY: Every campaign is unique so is the objective.  Hence, you cannot really generalize the ingredients. If  people believe Content (creative) is King, I would say Delivery  (communication plan) should be considered God.  Only God can save the King. Right? J  A must in any campaign should be the ability of the communication plan to get the message on media channels where the consumer is most likely to see it, act on it and create some behavioral changes. It is also not just about picking out what has been produced by the creative agency and plastering across, but working with the creative agency as a team to arrive at what’s good for the campaign from the consumers perspective. We do a lot of that with our creative agency partners.  At Vizeum we also believe, the campaigns must not only talk “AT” consumers (mostly happens through mass media advertising) but talk “WITH” the consumers too when they are in the consideration/purchase frame of mind.  Success measurements are many and again different for different brands based on its life cycle. A brand in the growth markets would focus on market share while in matured markets, the focus should be to retain and grow its consumers up the value chain in terms of share of wallet. We do not measure the campaign success on pre and post media numbers based on algorithms loaded on computer hard drives.
AG: Who is you inspiration in the advertising world who has influence you the most?
SY: Actually, no one really influences me. Don’t take it as arrogance.  It is a fact. I am a self made entrepreneur and have always learned by doing. I worked with different people and teams in different parts of the world and have always tried leaving a mark behind. I would say my knowledge on the subject and my confidence are two of my greatest assets and perhaps my influencers too. I do a lot of self talking. However, I’m quite thankful to T N Ravindran (ex media head of daCunha Associates and one of the directors of Zen Communication which later got sold to Publicis, if am not mistaken) for giving me an opportunity to start my media journey.   I salute people for success stories.  From  business perspective, ones those are built bottom up and increased size and scale without the general route of acquisitions. Sam Balsara is one such person I respect for building the media business the way he has. It is an amazing story. I respect Pradeep Guha for turning the Times of India Advertising Department into the flagship Times Response. I have seen both versions of it. I salute Alok Kejriwal for the vision he had that simply began by capitalizing on the online gaming space through brand contests where people play and win.   I also respect people who can move millions through creativity.  I respect Balki (Paa touched me) and Prasoon Joshi (Meri maa still brings me goose pimples) I respect A G Krishnamurthy for his vision for MICA. I don’t think you will have space to cover a long list. So let me stop it here.
AG: Where do you feel are the standards on Indian advertising compared to the west? Do you feel we have the right talent to win more awards on the global stage as well in the years to come?
SY: Our intellectual standards are definitely good so is the talent base.  Maxus’ decision to base Vikram as their global head in India, holding companies looking at global board meetings/conferences in here are also part of the emerging recognition.   We have all it takes to win better on global stages too.  But I think an area we can all do better is in packaging and marketing ourselves.  People in the west do a much better job in this area.  While we may have better content, their story telling ability is superior.  
AG: Where do we need to put our act together or fill the gap?
SY: I presume the answer above takes care of this question too
AG: Can you shed some light on the other work you are doing and what are your future plans? 
SY: There are a couple of emerging trends we are focusing on.  People are embracing the social culture.  We are building plans for our clients with a view to enhancing the quality of brands’ interactions with the consumers (this may not necessarily be transactions).  The new paradigm of communication is about “dialogues” (moved to from monologues in the ancient communication era)  moving to “discussions”. “Search” will move to “Discovery”.  Brands must be able to harness the impact of all possible touch points (Bought+Owned+Earned media avenues) to enable such “Discussions” for others to “Discover” We are also witnessing an era where consumers are willfully leaving behind foot prints.  It is extremely important for brands to gather the same in the spirit in which consumers leave it behind, mine the data and use it for business building through better consumer engagement. We are in the process of launching a service in this area soon. 

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