March 3, 2024 4 minutes read

In this episode of DCC, we meet Vignesh Shankar, a communication master mind who spearheads innovative campaigns that artfully blend data-driven insights with intuitive storytelling. With over a decade’s experience honed at top agencies and brands like Mercedes and Britannia, Vignesh brings his passion for meaningful consumer connections to drive breakthrough results.

While envisioning a future powered by the convergence of human creativity and machine capabilities, he underscores that empathy and ethics remain guiding lights.


Vignesh Shankar, with around 10+ years of experience, has dedicated the majority of his career, spanning over nine plus years, to the fields of PR and communications. Currently serving as the Product Innovation Manager at Good Day within Britannia Industries Limited, he transitioned to this role in October of the previous year, having joined Britannia in June 2021 as their inaugural dedicated PR Manager. 

Prior to this, Vignesh honed his expertise at Mercedes Benz India as the Launch and Lifestyle Communications Manager for five years, delving into his passion for cars. Before his tenure at Mercedes, he pursued his Masters in Advertising and Marketing from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, complementing his agency experience at leading firms. Beginning his career at Genesis Burson-Marsteller, now Genesis BCW, Vignesh immersed himself in the fast-paced environment of Mumbai, working across various clients, with a significant focus on the entertainment industry, particularly with Colors from the Viacom Group 18. His notable projects included handling PR for reality shows like Big Boss, which not only enhanced his media intelligence but also fostered invaluable relationships within the industry. Reflecting on his journey, Vignesh emphasizes the blend of practical experience and academic learning, underscoring the importance of hands-on work in shaping his professional growth.

First Interaction with data

Vignesh Shankar reminisces about his initial encounters with data, likening it to raw information waiting to be structured and shared. Reflecting on his experiences, he divides his journey into two realms: agency and corporate. In his agency days, he vividly recalls the overwhelming task of organizing extensive data sets, such as lists of media professionals, which, despite seeming mundane at the time, laid the foundation for his understanding of data’s value.

He explains how this groundwork evolved into crafting accurate and meaningful media reports for clients, emphasizing the importance of filtering and analyzing data to derive actionable insights. Transitioning to the corporate side, Vignesh discusses the intricacies of utilizing data to engage with a discerning clientele, citing Mercedes as an example. He underscores the challenge of leveraging data to design campaigns tailored to informed consumers’ preferences. Throughout his narrative, Vignesh emphasizes the synergy between data analysis and intuitive decision-making, stressing the iterative nature of learning and adaptation in the dynamic landscape of FMCG. He concludes by highlighting the pivotal role of data in driving business growth and fostering stakeholder relationships.

Favourite Campaign

Vignesh enthusiastically described two of his favorite marketing campaigns that drove impressive consumer engagement through innovative approaches. The first was the 2021 “Bring Back Milk Bikis Classic” campaign in Tamil Nadu, aimed at relaunching a nostalgic biscuit variety called Milk Bikis Classic with a unique floral design that had gone off the market in the 1990s. The campaign asked consumers to share memories and ‘vote’ on social media to bring back the classic variety, setting a goal of 1 million votes. It garnered over 1 million votes in less than 5 days through an integrated campaign with advertising, PR and digital engagement, demonstrating the deep brand love and resulting in the relaunched variety growing sales over 4X. 

The second was an interactive Independence Day campaign for Britannia  “1947% More Independence,” that paid tribute to India’s freedom fighters and aimed to engage younger consumers who take independence for granted. By interviewing 5 aged 90+ freedom fighters and using AI to transform their audio stories into video reenactments of their youth, and AR to create immersive pack experiences, they brought the independence struggle to life. The emotionally resonating campaign avoided typical sales promotions in favor of an educational approach that connected brand values with India’s heritage.

Impact of AI on Communications

Vignesh Shankar discusses the impact of AI on communications, highlighting its potential benefits and challenges. He acknowledges AI’s efficiency in analytics, content filtering, and time-saving capabilities, particularly citing examples like Wizikey’s’ Imara AI-World’s first avatar for PR and Comms.. However, he emphasizes the need for ethical considerations and data protection, noting the absence of a defined GDPR-like framework in India. He stresses the importance of human oversight and ethical use of technology, advocating for a balance between innovation and ethical principles. He views AI as a tool for enhancing productivity and decision-making, but underscores the irreplaceable role of human intuition and empathy in communication. 

Vignesh envisions a future where human and technological capabilities converge to drive progress, cautioning against complacency and emphasizing the need for continuous adaptation and learning.

Dream Metric

Vignesh Shankar expresses a desire for a more comprehensive metric in the PR and communications field to measure the direct impact of reputation campaigns on business outcomes. While traditional metrics like readership and AVE are used, they often fall short in quantifying the tangible business impact of PR efforts. 

He highlights the need for a scientific tool that can accurately assess how reputation campaigns influence overall business performance, bridging the gap between PR activities and business results. He envisions this dream metric as a valuable addition to the PR toolkit, providing clearer insights into the effectiveness and ROI of PR initiatives.

My two cents

Vignesh Shankar shares timeless advice for youngsters, emphasizing the importance of hard work, focus, and perseverance. He acknowledges the wealth of knowledge and technology available to today’s youth, urging them to remain grounded while reaching for their aspirations. 

He highlights the significance of humility, regardless of personal or professional achievements, and underscores the essential values of empathy and ethics. He believes that practicing these principles over time will not only contribute to individual growth but also build long-term equity and success in both personal and professional endeavors.