Working in a somewhat creative field has some great perks. An obvious one being— the ability to get paid to use you imagination. To construct how a to spread a message among an audience of people in a way that it stick with them and that they don’t see the message just once but multiple times.
As much as this imagination can be a blank slate, there are always limitations. I kind of touched upon this last week as well, but I felt like I left something incomplete. While last week I talked about working to create campaigns with filters, today I want to talk about limitations. Things that take place when you have an idea, it works conceptually, but a snag takes place when you move into the operational part of the situation. These are limitations— constraints that you didn’t think you would have to face but now that you do, how do you go about finding a solution that achieves the same impact.
An example that stands out is working for a food board from Canada that promotes pure maple syrup. They wanted to enter India with an objective to create a holistic awareness about the product before brands can enter. This meant, our objective was purely to create awareness with no other measure of success other than the number of eyes who have seen, heard or tasted the product. This is probably one of the easiest things to do in marketing because of the little accountability there is in terms of measures. Months ahead, we had created a list of campaigns that we’ll want to run with allocated budgets to each. While each worked amazingly well, we reached a roadblock in one of our final campaigns. Our plan was to celebrate pancakes (because that is something that we have stayed away from in the three years that we ran the program) by collaborating with influencers who create some beautiful content and generate reach among a (mostly) niche group of consumers. Seems all good right? Well, right when we sent over this concept note to the client they came back saying that they’re cutting marketing budgets as they want to slowly exit the market. This meant shifting our budgets around, moving most of our money to a much bigger campaign at the end of the year, and allocating enough funds to pay one influencer rather than our original plan for 7.
This was a limitation we were not prepared, but also something that made work a lot more challenging than it would have been otherwise. We looked at how we can get influencers for free. Giving them enough that they felt compensated and therefore happy to engage with a brand that has worked with them for so long. With our restricted budget, we invested in creating custom aprons that would be shipped to our big name influencers along with our product as a thank you for all their work (with a selfish hope for us to get some Instagram stories out of it). Additionally, we found smaller content creators (or micro-influencers such as me) to create content for barter as well. This enabled us to have high quality content, a barrage of audiences coming in from the stories shared by the larger influencers, all for the cost of some aprons (and shipping). When we did the calculation after the campaign was over, we had managed to reach a hundred thousand people in three cities, most of whom were exactly the audience we wanted to target.
Limitations help you cut away from the norm, think outside the box, and in cooking— outside a recipe. I love trying out new food, but recently all I want to do is innovate the wheel. Add and subtract from recipes to create something unique. This recipe came out of the realisation that the ingredients the original needed were either to expensive or just things I forgot. The original bowl was a saffron rice with flaky soy salmon, a side of tahini yogurt, and miring soaked shiitake mushrooms. All sounds great but also something so hard to procure and make on a daily basis. So I changed it up: I boiled the rice with turmeric to get that beautiful yellow colour, a curried river sole, with a side of tzatziki sauce (yogurt, cucumber, and mint), and soft boiled eggs with a beautiful runny yolk. The result is a bowl that matches the colour, texture, and taste that I was going for but something that doesn’t need an arm and a leg to make it.
1 tablespoon Curry Powder (Cumin powder, ginger powder, garlic powder, garam masala, turmeric, and black pepper)
2 tablespoons of veggie oil
250 grams of river sole, cut into large cubes
1/2 cup of cooked rice (add a teaspoon of turmeric in the cooking water)
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of greek yogurt
1 medium cucumber, shredded and drained
Handful of fresh mint
Salt to taste
Set the oven to 160 Celsius. Line the baking sheet with oil lined aluminium foil. Place the fish on the sheet and salt. Let it sit in the fridge for 20 minutes. Then wipe down the moisture that it expels.
Mix 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil to a tablespoon of curry powder. Dip the cubes of fish and place the baking sheet into the oven for 12 minutes or until the fish is soft and flaky.
Cook the eggs for 8 minutes in simmering water, remove and place in ice cold water to prevent from overcooking
In a bowl add yogurt, finely chopped mint, garlic, and cucumber that has been shredded and drained in a cheesecloth to prevent too much moisture to dilute the sauce.
In a skillet on medium high heat, add 1/2 tablespoon of oil and cook the onions until they get soft. Add the rice, and push them flat down. Let them be for about 3 minutes and then remove to get a beautiful char
Assemble into a bowl!