Telum Talks to... Juhi Bimbhet, Head of Grove, Coconuts Media Brand Studio
Take us through a day in your life as Head of Grove?
As a working mum with a toddler and two quirky rescue dogs, my day as Head of Grove (and head of the household!) starts with a very long mental list of what I need to get done that day.
I divide my day up into four big areas of focus: people, processes, clients and creativity. These are the core pillars to any company’s success. We've integrated many new staff members from the acquisition of BK Magazine, so a large part of my day is spent getting to know the team, understanding their motivations, and defining how everyone gets the best out of their time. Those catch-ups are so crucial to us feeling connected, especially now when we often can’t see each other face-to-face.
Fuelled by those chats, and lots of coffee, I then move onto actively thinking about how to grow the business. I spend an hour speaking with our Founder and CEO, Byron. He started Coconuts to share crazy, untold stories about Asia’s megacities, and after our chats I always feel that I have more ways I can take that storytelling ethos to our brands and clients.
Our head of video production, Vim, is usually next on my list. His team develops all of Grove’s awesome branded video content, and our calls always remind me of why I love the creative business. We are constantly spitballing ways to take new, not-done-before formats to our clients, and create entertainment instead of advertising.
My days are varied and frenetic, but so fulfilling. We’re at the start of this incredible journey, and I’m lucky to be able to set the vision of where we go.
Grove is Coconuts Media’s in-house brand content studio. So many clients were approaching Coconuts to do creative work that the company decided it needed a dedicated studio, not just for branded content hosted on its platforms but also large, larger content and creative projects. We were born from our publishing platforms – platforms that are built for authentic and real storytelling. We harness our audience, editorial and broadcast production expertise to create content and entertainment for brands – on our channels and theirs.
Can you tell us a bit more about Grove, and the types of stories or content the team covers?
Grove is Coconuts Media’s in-house brand content studio. So many clients were approaching Coconuts to do creative work that the company decided it needed a dedicated studio, not just for branded content hosted on its platforms but also large, larger content and creative projects. We were born from our publishing platforms - platforms that are built for authentic and real storytelling. We harness our audience, editorial and broadcast production expertise to create content and entertainment for brands - on our channels and theirs.
Personally, what are the kind of brand campaigns/content that intrigued you the most?
Campaigns that have a human story at their heart are the ones that stay with me the most. You would think that all comms in the marketing and advertising industry would be consumer-centric, but they rarely are!
What John Lewis does with their Christmas ads is a perfect example of consumer-centric advertising. They’re not only masterclasses in storytelling, but also some of the best examples of a brand remaining true to who it is. It’s the kind of stuff that stands the test of time and makes people forget the “skip ad” button exists.
What is the most interesting project you’ve covered for Grove?
We are currently working on a launch film for an exciting new tech brand (can’t tell you who!). They want to revolutionise the world’s relationship with social media, the role it plays in our lives, and how we explore our interests. It’s a complex but very compelling idea. Trying to communicate this to its potential users in a way that excites and engages them is an amazing challenge – and we’re working hand-in-hand with the founders and team building the app. It’s been incredible!
Client work aside, the most exciting project for me personally has been setting the vision and plans for Grove. I get to take something still in its nascency, but that was born from something established, and define a truly disruptive offering for brands. It has been and remains the best part of my time with Grove.
What do you think publishers can bring to brands?
Publishers bring a very consumer-centric lens to brands and their communications. They are natural storytellers and investigators – constantly digging to find those stories that have to be told. People engage with this content by choice, not because it’s forced on them. Bringing that consumer-centricity to a brand’s communication, bringing that knowledge of what it takes to create content that doesn’t feel like advertising, is what makes working with a publishing company so unique. At Grove for example, the same crew shooting a pilot for Netflix will be shooting your brand’s next video, or the next branded article you do with us could be written by Coconuts very own podcast host!
Moving from advertising to a publisher, what are the biggest challenges or takeaway you face?
My biggest takeaway so far has been that in the more traditional advertising space you tend to over-index your focus on the ‘who’ and the ‘what’ - the audience and the message. But it is the ‘where’ and the ‘when’ that can often make or break a campaign. Working at a place like Grove, where we sit in that position between consumer, media, content and entertainment - it allows us to see that whole picture, not just the pixel.
Any advice for PRs looking to get in touch with a branded content team?
Just reach out, but do it with the highest expectations! We’ll connect you with our highly engaged audience in a way that excites them. We can also use that publishing background and broadcast expertise to create content that resonates and motivates that audience.