Why this meme marketing agency avoids hiring ad agency professionals

In an interview with BuzzInContent.com, Saksham Jadon, Founder, Youngun, spoke about atypical hiring, making viral memes and learning from mistakes

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Saksham Jadon

New Delhi: Be it T-20, IPL, elections, or anything under the sun, chances are you will scroll past more than a hundred memes on the subject in a couple of minutes. Defined as an idea, behaviour, trend, or style that carries a symbolic meaning, memes represent the quirky side of the internet.  

In the marketers’ manifesto, one will rarely find mentions of meme-marketing as an important pillar but Youngun, an upcoming advertising agency, is busy writing its own rulebook. Using memes as a form of storytelling, Youngun specialises in tailoring ‘campaigns that become conversation points for the internet. 

Four years ago, the mechanical routine of influencer marketing steered Saksham Jadon to launch Youngun, a creative agency with a simple logo called ‘MakeMemes, Not Ads.’ 

As an outsider in the industry, Jadon’s approach to marketing was unique. He brought a thorough understanding of the user perspective and assembled a team of like-minded individuals through the most atypical hiring process in the industry. 

Emphasising on having a perspective that is outside the agency realms and is out of the box, Jadon mentioned why he never hires people from agencies for creative tasks. He said, "Our hiring process is very different. We never hire from other ad or media agencies as their work process can be binding.”

He explained how being an outsider always helps and shed light on the members of his team who are from Twitter, from Instagram, etc. 

He added, “We hire people who make their own content. Someone who is an avid consumer of social media and can understand people's consumption patterns.”

For non creative roles, like account management, non-creative, execution, Youngun hires from other agencies. 

Addressing curiosity surrounding his company’s name, he said, "Youngun, because I think that our core is social media and only young people have the extra time to understand the ins and outs of it. You need to be young to grasp and stay on top of what’s going on in social media." 

Not every media campaign becomes a conversation point for the internet; some cause flare-ups and may even upset a certain audience. Looking at such instances, Jadon gave an analogy: “If Dev has launched a biscuit, then either the brand of Dev's biscuit communicates to the people or I talk about Dev's biscuit. Now I can talk about Dev's biscuit in any way because it’s not the brand but me who is talking to people in my personal capacity.”

Commenting upon marketing campaigns that catch slack from the public, Jadon addressed them as focal points of learning for a brand. He cited the instance of Zomato and called such ‘flak’ as lessons to the marketing team on zones to enter and zones to avoid. 

 

In his words, “If you don't do anything, you don't have any learning and will never be able to level yourself up.”  

As per Jadon, creativity and strategy are often on the backburner, but when it comes to virality, it is always a function of authenticity.  

“Don’t remember the name,” he said while confessing that the agency behind Snoop Dogg’s campaign continues to inspire Jadon even today.  

“We aspire to become like the advertising agency of Rihanna and Reynolds. They are known for a certain type of work only.” 

Brands have an inherent need to look ‘cool and relevant’ naturally, he added while highlighting how people gain inspiration from it.  

He said, “I think coolness and relevancy are the two core aspects of Youngun.”  

In today’s world, social media is a fragmented landscape. In other words, two people cannot have a similar Instagram feed, resulting in fragmentation of the content consumed.  

To address the issue of fragmentation in social media, Jadon plans to develop a tool: “a mass-level user consumption engine that we could use to study the consumption patterns of nearly 1 lakh Instagram users.” This tool aims to help in generating a truly holistic picture of India's social media.  

Jadon concluded the interview by reaffirming his overarching support for memes as a form of marketing and in hopes of doubling his revenue in the upcoming financial year.