Q&A: Aaliya Amrin – ‘A Simple Brief Can be Met With a Simple Creative Solution’

Aaliya Amrin (Image via BTG)

To learn more about influencer marketing in India, we caught up for a conversation with Aaliya Amrin, the Co-Founder of By The Gram, a creative content studio that works with a wide list of brands in India, including Dharma Productions, Tiger Baby, Netflix, Prime Video, Nykaa, Lakme Fashion Week, Bumble, TATA Cliq Luxury, and others.

Over the course of our conversation, Amrin talks about By The Gram, the importance of giving influencers creative freedom, trends that marketers seeking greater engagement should be aware of, and more.


What’s been keeping you busy lately?

Quite the opposite of ‘busy’, I’ve been taking some time to pause, relax and reflect this summer amidst my travels to LA & London as I’ve been reconnecting with old friends and new.

 
 

Traditionally in the agency world, you’re always go-go-go, but as creatives, it’s important to pause, be still, be bored in order to let the creativity strike and often to reinvent the wheel – else I find myself stuck in the same loop!

Tell us about By The Gram – what inspired you to build it, and how has it grown?

Whatever you may think you’re building in the moment, is often not what it will turn out to be. I find this to be so true with BTG. We completely underestimated its potential for growth, market share, market leadership, etc.

The inspiration stemmed from my personal experience as a freelancer, I was being met with a lot of briefs from clients globally who needed turnkey, efficient, high-quality content sans unsustainable billable hours from big-name agencies. Our unique niche for fashion, film & luxury along with our international standards for content was welcomed with open arms.

 
 

We like your tagline “We design smarter ways to use simple things and simpler ways to use smart things.” Can you tell us more about that?

We try not to overcomplicate things. It’s not always the big budget, multi-day schedule that leads to the most impactful output. A simple brief can be met with a simple creative solution and we’re all about that.

“Creators/influencers require freedom to maintain their authenticity else they’re just paid models and actors in which case the motive and intent have completely shifted.”

What are some trends in India you’re seeing that you think marketers should be aware of for stronger engagement?

Video has been reigning for a while now and it’s only gotten stronger with growing access to 3G, 4G, (and for some even 5G). The west has TikTok, and we have IG Reels as our go-to ‘short-form video’ medium in India. All of our clients want Reels. Be it for; film or OTT promotions, brand launches, etc.

Are there any lessons you learned during the pandemic that you carry with you post-pandemic?

Everything is temporary, there are ebbs and flows and the only thing that future-proofs you and your business is adaptability.

We recently published an article discussing how giving influencers freedom is crucial. What advice do you have for hesitant marketers to approach this?

Creators/influencers require freedom to maintain their authenticity else they’re just paid models and actors in which case the motive and intent have completely shifted.

What is some work you’ve done that you are most proud of?

Our Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day campaigns earlier this year for TATACLIQ were by far my favorite.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by BY THE GRAM (@by.the.gram)

End-to-end created by us with thankfully a very flexible and open-minded set of clients who were willing to push the envelope on traditional holiday creatives.


Quick Hits:

Book everyone in the industry should read:

These days I’ve been listening to a podcast series (The Diary of a CEO) that has been particularly useful. What I appreciate about podcasts most is; by the nature of its medium, it keeps up with the times.

Favorite show you’re watching lately:

I love a good spy thriller or the opposite, trashy reality tv!

One album you would take to a deserted island: 

John Legend – Get Lifted

Bobby McGill

Bobby McGill

Bobby is the founder and publisher of Branding in Asia.

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