Tag Americas CEO Ajit Kara on why seamlessly integrating with brand and agency has been a winning formula, and his personal drive behind impactful D&I initiatives
As a leading end-to-end global creative production and sourcing company for brands and agencies, Tag Americas
balances imagination with pragmatism to execute exceptional marketing ideas and bespoke solutions for many of the world’s top brands.
“Tag Americas has grown to become the preferred creative and the execution partner to brands and agencies - from ideation to delivery and every step in between,” states Ajit Kara, Americas CEO. “Brands have the ability to come to us for the entire breadth of a campaign or a one-off, on-demand need.”
Agility, adaptability and transparency are at the core of Tag’s commitment to clients, which is hugely appealing to brands looking for a partner to support their growth strategy with quick turnarounds and shifting demands.
“From the day I started with the company 20 years ago, to now, Tag is always anticipating what is next so that we can best support and prepare our clients,” Ajit says. “What I love about this company is our ability to provide flexible talent solutions and service offerings to meet the emerging needs of our clients.”
“We are in an optimal position to help brands consolidate creative production efforts to do more with less and to turn around content quickly. The traditional advertising model has been completely disrupted and this gives brands an opportunity to think differently about the way they communicate with their customers,” he says.
Always A Step Ahead
Speaking with Ajit, it’s fascinating to learn just how far reaching Tag’s scope really is: “We’ve been able to accomplish what we have by expanding resources, acquiring incredible companies like Taylor James, specialising in creative production and offering pre/post and end-to-end creative solutions in still and moving imagery, CGI, AR/VR and beyond. Their work is truly original, innovative and awe inspiring.”
He continues: “World Writers, our language services acquisition, is fully immersed in Tag’s creative production operations. This team coined the term “transcreation” and they are debunking the myth that brands can get away with reaching new audiences through straight translation. I’ve watched first-hand our linguistic experts save big brands from costly expansion mistakes, simply because the client thought they could take a one-size-fits-all approach in multiple markets – which is not the case.”
“And then there’s THP, a Toronto based social media company we acquired in 2018, with an emphasis on social content creation for consumer brands. This team creates strong, relevant social conversations and digital engagement with brands and customers. Content is produced quickly, results are measured and actions are taken to shift and change based on customer response and need. Exactly what brands need in the hyperactive world of social media.”
With the collective power of their acquired companies, paired with Tag’s legacy, the company is armed with the building blocks for the future of marketing CMOs who have the insight to predict consumer behaviour and find more innovative ways to reach customers, often with less time and fewer resources - something that has been particularly invaluable since the start of the pandemic.
“As the landscape is rapidly transforming, brands must find a different way to stand out and communicate with their customers. We are helping them do this today, while preparing for the future,” Ajit says. “Our COVID-19 response is an excellent example of how we collaborate with other Tag offices in different regions all over the world. It hit our APAC region first and we watched how the retail and consumer industry responded. We then shared learnings with our Americas-based clients as different solutions began to unfold. So we share insights from other regions, help clients expand to reach new international markets and tap into our overseas and offshore resources, giving our clients the potential for 24/7 account support.”
As a proudly independent business, Tag sets itself apart from competitors by being able to offer a wider range of services and much faster response time. Ajit explains: “Our place in the industry allows us to work with both brand and agency, even aligning at times with our competitors, for a faster, better approach to content creation and creative production.”
He continues: “Brands want transparency; they want a more transactional business model with access to on-demand resources that range from huge names in creative direction or film production to print sourcing and in the Americas, Tag has successfully built exactly that.”
“Another key differentiator is in our ability to really embed a team in our clients’ business: to be onsite (today virtually) within a clients’ brand, to be immersed in their culture and learning, to improve internal processes and to quickly anticipate needs. We recently heard from a financial services client that what makes Tag different is that we know what it is like to be them and that is really important.”
The Future Is Diverse
As a future-focused company driven by innovation, Tag has taken the opportunity to transform during this reflective year. One significant area of focus: diversity and inclusion.
“For Tag, being diverse and inclusive is not about just words, it is about action. This year we accelerated the efforts of our Global Diversity and Inclusion Councils. We held virtual panels on ageism in the workplace, we held discussions on gender equality, we opened up forums on the importance of Black Lives Matter and took a day to pause and reflect on Juneteeth. We’ve joined an organisation to support individuals with disabilities and acknowledged International Day of Persons with Disabilities. We have an actionable D&I plan in place for 2021.”
“We’ve also launched a range of employee programs to address the needs and interests of our Tag people, including green teams with a focus on sustainability, employee resource groups with a focus on peer support, mentor programs and Tag Academy to support learning and professional growth,” he outlines.
Looking even further ahead, Ajit has ambitious plans for where he would like to steer Tag in the Americas: “When I begin to think about where marketing will be in five years time – the changes in technology, the massive emergence of AR for consumer brands, the evolution of the way that brands speak to their customers, and the ever-changing consumer behaviour – it is all super exciting. The company is constantly evolving and adding new, innovative resources.”
He concludes: “Innovation is a big buzzword and many people have very different definitions. For Tag, we are driving innovation based on the growth objects of our clients. First, we agree on what ‘good’ looks like to them and then we figure out the best way to get there. And for the immediate future, we are looking at new ways to marry data with creative output, so stay tuned for that.”