Ex-Fountainhead MKTG Employees Launch Hyperlink Brand Solutions
by Mugdha Gaonkar Industry Watch | April 12, 2021 | Interview
VG Jaishankar Hyperlink Brand Solutions Fountainhead MKTG
Ex-employees of Dentsu Aegis Network’s Fountainhead MKTG have joined hands to launch a new agency, Hyperlink Brand Solutions.
EVENTFAQS Media has learnt that Fountainhead MKTG, which was acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network in 2015, has ceased operations.
The new entity’s offerings include live events, corporate events, Intellectual Properties (IPs), MICE and activations. Besides these, it will also venture into TV and film production, content creation and venue management.
Ex-President of Events and Activations at Fountainhead MKTG VG Jaishankar is now President, Hyperlink Brand Solutions. In an interaction with EVENTFAQS Media, he recounts the challenges of launching an experiential agency amidst the pandemic, services offered, clients and future plans.
How was the idea of Hyperlink Brand Solutions conceived?
We had an excellent team with expertise across areas and mediums, clients who believed in this team and an unbreakable resolve. When you are blessed with three of these most important elements, you don’t need any more prompts to restart. We picked up from where we had been left and are determined to grow Hyperlink into one of the preferred solutions agencies in the country and representing the country.
Name the various services provided by Hyperlink.
Along with live experiences, corporate events, Intellectual Properties (IPs), MICE and activations, we have also ventured into TV and film production, content creation and venue management.
Currently, how many people does Hyperlink employ and how many more are expected? Also, how many are ex-Fountainhead employees?
We are a lean, yet strong team of 45 across Mumbai and Delhi and expect to grow to about 65 in the next financial year depending on the situation with the pandemic.
Most of the team has worked together in the past few years and we function like a well-oiled machine. On hiring, our first port of call will be (Fountainhead) ex-employees, post that we will float the requirements in the open market.
Fountainhead has built some wonderful IPs, not for itself but for client brands. What will the new agency's approach to IPs be?
Our mandate has always been to create properties for clients as part of a business solution. If we stand on the outside looking in, Hyperlink as a brand also requires solutions – to gain audiences, to build client relationships and to support the entertainment industry. This time around, we will also create self-owned Intellectual Properties. These will work towards all the goals stated above and also to cater to genres that we as a team are passionate about.
An expression always used within our team is – “Create a property that you would want to attend as an audience member.” That is exactly what we are set to do.
Of course, sponsorship plays a very important role in the IPs universe – to make brands believe in the idea and back it with their support is key to any property. We will continue to work with this model with new and existing IPs like Mahindra Blues Festival, Mahindra Open Drive, and also for theatrical productions.
From a corporate perspective, how are you planning to make a difference in the event industry with this new venture? What makes it unique compared to the other agencies?
The idea is to not compare ourselves to any other organisation. From the start, we’d like to set the tone that Hyperlink creates its own benchmarks – to create world class experiences by providing solutions based on current trends, using latest technology and understanding the target audience desires.
Brands need stories and emotional connections with their target audiences across all touch-points and every medium the consumer interacts with is an opportunity to draw them into the brand world. Hyperlink crafts tailor-made communication strategies and immersive creative solutions for you.
The other thing Hyperlink takes pride in is the synergy of brand communication across all platforms. Hyperlink believes that the medium is just a vehicle, it is the emotion and the story that brings it all to life. Hyperlink consists of a team of experienced specialists that help craft brand engagement stories and narrative structures across all media.
Hyperlink’s unique selling point is multi-dimensional storytelling.
How has the response to Hyperlink from clients been? Can you name any who are on board already or some of the events you have executed?
One of the key factors of this team has been relationship-building with clients. Over many years, each person in our team developed a rapport with their respective clients, earned their trust and never let them down. This has paid off in more ways than one. Not only have we been fortunate enough to get business from the time of inception of the company, but have also managed to get referrals to new clients.
Some of our esteemed clients at Hyperlink are Netflix, BAFTA, BCCL, WWM, Oriflame, Mahindra & Mahindra and Aditya Birla Group. We have successfully executed the launch of Netflix Originals like Pagglait and Ajeeb Dastaans, Filmfare Awards Marathi, Filmfare Awards, ET Awards for Corporate Excellence and (events for) Oriflame and PWC among others.
Comment on how you are dealing with the pandemic and what according to you are the upcoming trends in the experiential industry?
For a company that started during the pandemic, I guess we are dealing decently with the situation. We have always been a team that adapts to the circumstances and creates alternate, workable solutions – this time is no different. I won’t deny the fact that it is way more challenging than ever before and the challenges are unforeseen almost always, but we are nothing if not resilient. We have single-mindedly moved on to create hybrid events for our clients that have got great responses from their audience.
Some of the upcoming trends in our opinion are, micro events (intimate experiences, high on quality and safety), hybrid events (this has been the trend since September 2020 and is here to stay), bigger, better role of AR in experiences and eventually when we do begin with large scale formats again, protocols will be very different and a lot more stringent.
What are the other initiatives or activations you have planned for the near future through Hyperlink?
The arts and live entertainment sector has been severely hit due to the pandemic. We at Hyperlink are intent on creating IPs and movements that will contribute to helping this sector bounce back. We are firm supporters of the performing arts and will continue to craft interesting properties around them.
As mentioned earlier, we have ventured into film production and have two movies in the development stage. If all goes well, we will announce them soon.
We have a lot more in store, and we urge everyone to keep an eye out for the stories we tell.
VG Jaishankar, President, says the team of 45 could go up to 65. Offerings include TV and film production with two movies in the ‘development stage’.