Industry

Changing the advertising storyboard

In the aftermath of Cannes Lions, six advertising industry experts from India tell us how advertising is becoming more inclusive of people and technologies

Some friendly advice that Indian brands received from jury members at Cannes Lions was to use a social angle. “Ads from India have a higher chance of winning at Cannes Lions if your story has a social angle. Juries love ideas that talk to the heart. Let the West build campaigns like Nike and McDonald’s that may be purely brand building exercises,” they said.

Going beyond the awards ceremony, these six industry experts tell us how the landscape of advertising is changing thanks to technologies, and a focus on doing good.

Changing the advertising storyboard

Brands as a force of good -— Lyndon Louis, Sr Creative Director, Havas Life Sorento

In the past few years, we are seeing a welcome shift from monologues to dialogues. A shift in tone from ‘selling’ to ‘conversing’ — from the ‘I, Me, Myself’ syndrome to listening to people and understanding how a brand can serve a purpose in their life. This ‘humanising’ of the brand is an attempt at relevance, and at differentiation. The intent and efforts are encouraging; it pushes brand communication, as an industry, forward, and uses its influence positively. In this process, it also ends up shining the light on relevant topics, driving much-needed conversations.

Changing the advertising storyboard

Ideating in the age of memes — Ashish Bhasin, CEO Greater South, Dentsu Aegis Network and Chairman & CEO India

In recent times, there is a lot more data and facts which can act as insights. These are not substitutes for ideation, but are aids. Marketing is more real-time and focussed to an audience of one as much as possible. The one thing that has remained constant is the value of a big idea. We want to be digitally ahead, but creatively led. Ultimately, whatever form of advertising you do has to have creativity at the heart of it. When a viral meme (like the recent one about Nesamani) is used for marketing, it is about being agile. However, tactical advertising — when you are responding to something topical or you have a promotion — is different from brand building, where your message has to be consistent.

Changing the advertising storyboard

Beyond social media — Prathap Suthan, Managing Partner and CCO, Bang in the Middle

It’s not that mainline media is completely dead: more than 50% of the money is spent in TV, radio and outdoor advertising. Increasingly, people are getting more fluent on mobile, it being a platform that hosts multiple avenues to watch, listen and do. People who have left social media are negligible: for every person dropping off the platform, there are 10 or 20 more who join. As long as they are still using the Internet, they can be reached through different avenues. Ad spend on social media is increasing every day; currently, it stands at around 40%. These result in action. For instance, a client like Vivo Mobiles is clear about where they want to reach their clientele. We recently did an ad for a new phone that is set to launch, and in two days, the reach has been 21 million.

Changing the advertising storyboard

Does a rural formula work? — Raj Nair, CEO & Chief Creative Officer, Madison BMB

Last year Blink to Speak, TOI’s Sindoor Khela and SC Johnson’s Stand by Tough Moms won. None of them were rural in nature or setting. This year, Barbershop Girls has won for breaking gender stereotypes. But so have Uri Surgical Strike and Swiggy Voice of Hunger. There is no “rural formula” at work here. Just great work that deserves to win. And let’s not forget one thing: judges from the West are going to be enamoured by Indian work that is uniquely Indian, not something that apes the West.

Changing the advertising storyboard

Political advertising — PG Aditiya, Executive Creative Director, Dentsu Webchutney

In the recent General Elections, we saw what happens when political parties take lessons from advertising. With the BJP, here was a client who applied a lot of rules traditionally applied to brands, to themselves, and it absolutely worked. Influencer marketing and its science was applied to orchestrate the dominant Twitter trends of the day at scale, as was Instant Messenger-centric marketing through storytelling, which most brands haven’t cracked at scale yet!

Changing the advertising storyboard

Tech tools to engage target audience — Pradyumn Tandon, Founder and Managing Director, The Brand Brewery

Through experiential marketing, we can bring the consumer one step closer through a virtual experience — we’re currently working on a VR launch for a brand. It’s about making them feel included and it’s a personal touch. Technology supports other advertising mediums, to convert the target audience into a consumer. Even on-ground engagements, like the Kumbh Kay Shravan by Tata Salt, where the elderly and differently-abled were carried in palkis for the final stretch to the Ganges, is getting recognition for how well it’s doing on social media.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 7:21:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/changing-the-advertising-storyboard/article28107057.ece

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