Deepashree Banerjee

"WeWork is a platform for creators from diverse backgrounds..."

... says Karan Virwani, CWeO, WeWork India, about the global 'office spaces' brand that recently launched its first ad for our market.

Ever wondered what fun going to work would turn out to be if your conventional cubicles get swapped by a sassy set-up and beer on tap every evening? Even the very thought of it is good enough to drive away your mid-week blues for now, right?

WeWork, the global collaborative workspace giant (which came into existence in 2010 and hit Indian shores only last year) has launched its first-ever national campaign in India, "Reimagine Your Workspace". The three-month campaign went live recently on digital, OOH, Social media, and through engaging events in Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru.

"WeWork is a platform for creators from diverse backgrounds..."

WeWork has recently released its first national campaign in India titled 'Reimagine Your Workspace'

Office designs have time and again gone through periods of change as psychologists have debated the benefits of open spaces versus cubicles.

On any given day, in a usual WeWork office set up, you are greeted by cool music (which is streamed from the New York-based company's headquarter) and even a café providing you with cosy corners to hang out in. Also, expect to spot a bunch of millennials who have gleefully ditched formals for jeans.

WeWork Galaxy located in the heart of Bengaluru's vibrant commercial district is unlike any other as this one has a swimming pool on the rooftop. It's the only WeWork office space to have a swimming pool, globally.

WeWork's eight locations are spread across Mumbai, Bengaluru and Gurugram. 50 per cent of its 10,000-plus occupants consist of start-ups and freelancers while the rest are blue-chip companies which include the likes of Microsoft India, Discovery Channel and Twitter India.

In spite of garnering a considerable amount of polarized opinions, with sceptics raising eyebrows about their credibility and long-term viability, co-working spaces, a concept that originated and evolved in the West, are very much a fad in the Indian start-up community now.

So, what kind of a TG does WeWork usually cater to? Are there any particular groups/ investors they are planning to engage with through this recently launched campaign?

Here's is what Karan Virwani, chief WeWork executive officer, WeWork India (CWeO) has to say about it:-

"WeWork is a platform for creators from diverse backgrounds..."

Karan Virwani

"WeWork is a platform for creators that come from diverse backgrounds, like entrepreneurs, freelancers, start-ups, artists, businesses of all sizes et al who come together to collaborate, innovate and follow their passions. We provide the space, services and community (both offline and online) for all our members to collaborate and grow their businesses to the maximum potential," he informs.

The sharing economy trend in India is now gaining traction and more consumers are finding shared workspaces convenient and cost-effective. Besides, shared spaces come with flexibility, reduced costs, networking, and collaboration with other members of the community.

"WeWork is the first brand in the world that adopted a different approach to traditional workspaces," claims Virwani.

"With our campaign, we are targeting everyone who is looking for more than a regular office space. The idea is to create brand awareness among the audience about how we are reimagining spaces and showcase our signature elements ranging from amenities, collaboration opportunities, to events that spark business connections," Virwani adds.

Doing away completely with the "traditional" cubicles and reimagining the concept of a workspace incubating businesses of all sizes that can learn, network, grow, and expand is basically what WeWork aims for and this, at the same time, is possibly the biggest challenge lying in front of them. But, owing to changing trends and urban challenges, there has been a noticeable shift in the attitudes of the professional sector, be it corporate or start-up, flexibility has been found to play a key role.

In terms of India, from being an outsourcing hub to actually being home to thousands of start-ups (Flipkart, Ola, Zomato etc.) and many international offices (Facebook, Amazon, Uber, Google etc.), the country is slowly getting into the big picture. So, what took WeWork so long to launch its first campaign in India?

"It was a strategic decision to launch the campaign now as the idea of an open, communicative, barrier-less office culture is finally catching up on this side of the economic ecosystem and the younger generation is used to sharing economy services and thrive on communities, both online (Facebook, Instagram) and offline (meet-ups, festivals). We are disrupting the traditional real estate market and building a community of forward-thinking entrepreneurs, SMEs and larger enterprises and using technology and our spaces to bring people together," reveals Virwani.

Vishnu Srivatsav, creative head, DDB Mudra South, shares his views on making an ad for such a niche segment as opposed to a 'regular brand'.

"WeWork is a platform for creators from diverse backgrounds..."

Vishnu Srivatsav

"WeWork is a truly game-changing concept when it comes to transforming ordinary office spaces into collaborative and inspiring ones. By bringing to life the magic of working out of a WeWork, we aim to allow potential customers to reimagine their unique WeWork life by seeing it to believe it," Srivatsav signs off.

The recently launched 41 second-long video comes with an amateurish feel and clearly doesn't look as sleek as the company's earlier global campaigns.

"WeWork is a platform for creators from diverse backgrounds..."

Nilesh Vaidya

Nilesh Vaidya, director, Workship Communications points out, "This film came across as a slickly made product demo, but I'm puzzled why they didn't try to do something more interesting. Co-working spaces are hardly a new concept that needs explaining, at least not in the metros. Not the kind of film I'd like to see more than once, especially with a 'Skip' button just waiting for me to tap."

Below are some of the global campaigns released by the company so far.

"WeWork is a platform for creators from diverse backgrounds..."

The global collaborative work space giant released a video titled 'We Are WeWork' last year

"WeWork is a platform for creators from diverse backgrounds..."

Watch their latest global campaign titled 'Life at WeWork' released this year

"WeWork is a platform for creators from diverse backgrounds..."

Campaign titled 'WeWork VR Tour' released in the first leg of last year