Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production
How a Rise in Social Media Consumption Pushed MullenLowe Lintas to Rebrand their PR Offering into a Digital First Agency
Advertising Agency
Mumbai, India
As mobile phone consumption of media grows MullenLowe Lintas spotted a gap in the market to merge creativity and PR, writes LBB’s Natasha Patel
There is plenty to be said on how much we, as social media users, scroll through on our favourite apps every single day. For MullenLowe Group the estimate is that the average person thumbs across a football field of content in a 24-hour period. That’s around 360 feet of data every single day.

The team at MullenLowe Lintas in Mumbai have been well aware of this fact for some time now and decided to best use it to their advantage to rebrand their PR offering GolinOpinion and create a digital first creative PR and communication agency. With this idea in mind, LintasLive was born with the idea that for a brand to be relevant today it needs to be “live”.

Virat Tandon, group CEO of MullenLowe Lintas group explains why they made this step: “Opinions are getting made online and not just everyday, but every moment and therefore this brought up the realisation that, if we are in the business of managing opinions of companies, brands, celebrities, leaders then we have to look at it that way, we have to change our offering.”

-Virat Tandon, group CEO of MullenLowe Lintas group

The team actually started the transition a few years ago, but a rebranding and restructuring process meant that now was the correct time for them to take the plunge. This may seem strange considering the pandemic but in Virat’s eyes “now was the best time, better than ever”. He explains: “Sometime in February or March we set up a project team and as we started seeing that clients were not spending a lot of money on traditional media, it was social media and influencers that were getting a lot of budgets. That made us realise that this is moving faster right now and it’s the best time.”

Throughout this transition period the senior management team at MullenLowe Lintas experienced a “eureka moment” when stumbling upon the realisation that they can bring creative involvement directly into the PR process. Virat explains: “Other PR agencies have been trying to get creative involvement, here we are, we’re a creative powerhouse. We should intercept it in the middle so we brought in our senior creative head Sarvesh Raikar.”

Ameer Ismail, president of Lintas Live calls the move during these uncertain times “bold and gusty”. “I think when you do something new you’ve got to have the conviction and we all do. It was backed by superb thinking and great creative minds. From my lens, I’m incredibly proud of our experience.”

He explains that since starting Lintas Live, the team have restructured into a number of different communities, each with a finger on a different digital pulse. These are trend spotters, who as the name suggests scour the internet for up and coming trends that clients can be involved in, there are also the creative architects who take these trends and come out with real-time solutions. The third community are called newsjackers who take all of the findings and decide on the best outreach from channels, bloggers and influencers that will get the highest outreach. For Virat, these three communities and the freedom they have to work in a non-linear fashion is where the “magic” of the rebrand lies. 

- Ameer Ismail, president of Lintas Live

The senior leadership team spotted a gap in the market when it came to PR and creativity so to slot this into MullenLowe Lintas as a brand was the next task. Virat explains how the two creative agencies of Mullen Lintas and Lowe Lintas works with Lintas Live: “Both Lowe Lintas and Mullen Lintas can dip into Lintas Live, when it comes to activating their campaigns for influencer, social and content. They can dip into Lintas Live’s pool [because] that’s the team that really understands how the live space works.” 

After seizing the chance to change the market and putting in the graft of rebranding their PR offering, Virat explains his hopes for the future of Lintas Live: “I’m quite clear and quite confident that they’ll be the most famous PR and communications agency very very quickly. That’s really my hope, my wish and my determination. The blueprint is set, the process and experience that we had and on top of what we’re building is a digital first and creative first offering. To me, I think we will be able to make a big impact for our clients and for brands.”

He adds that with client spending growing thanks to the Indian Premier League back in full swing and the new ecosystem of social media and influencers driving opinions “you’re part of a community and that community feeds into the way you think about issues or brands”. While Ameer hopes this new offering can be the flag bearer of change of communication and marketing. “My dream is to make an impact in the industry. I believe we are straggling and everybody knows where the future is going but some agencies are not fully embracing it.”