Instead of giving out a list of which ads did well and which didn’t quite hit the mark, Josy Paul and Agnello Dias threw light on how advertising communication has evolved with time and how everybody has an opinion these days and finding a context
Roshni Nair | Mumbai | June 16, 2016
One of The Ad Club’s keenly awaited events, the Annual Ad Review, came with a twist this year. Usually an affair which recognises the best advertisements churned out by the industry for the year, this year’s Ad Review revolved around Who Cares? vs Who Cares!
Flagging off the event and setting the tone for the evening, Raj Nayak, President, The Advertising Club, said, “It has been our constant endeavor to encourage an inclusive analysis of our work from within our industry. I am thankful to Agnello, Josy and Subhajit for their enthusiasm in partaking the Ad Review, 2016 and hope tonight’s session leaves both the creative and the business minds of our industry with a more in-depth understanding of our work. Also, I’d like to thank Bhaskar Das for helping us curate tonight’s event.”
Instead of giving out a list of which ads did well and which didn’t quite hit the mark, Agnello Dias, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Taproot Dentsu India, and Josy Paul, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, BBDO India, shared their insights and thoughts on the communication trends in today’s times. Shubhajit Sen, Chief Marketing Officer, Micromax Informatics, was the Moderator.
Dias kicked off the review with a quirkily named presentation called “Everybody cares and no one gives a damn”. The focus of Dias’s presentation was ‘Who is watching’ or in other words the target audience or the target group. Shedding light on how communication has evolved with time, he spoke about how something that essentially used to be a dialogue has now transformed into a ‘trialogue’.
“Let us take two steps back when communication used to be a dialogue. There used to be a target group, let us call it audience for now, and there used to be a marketer. We would tell the marketers something, they would listen and that used to be the end of the story. However, over the last few years, what was once a cosy dialogue between two cosy buddies has now become a trialogue. There is now another interested party in the middle that is not letting us talk,” said Dias.
Dias described this third party in the middle as “everyone who has an opinion and a keyboard”. Explaining how the audience or the target group has changed, Dias talked about how public opinion shapes ones preferences and choices nowadays. According to Dias, in a world where everyone has everything to say about everything, “advertising is not just the act of getting consumers. It is a drive to recruit many millions of advertising agencies for the brand and these agencies are everyone who has their bit to add on anything.”
Drawing attention to the challenges of creating advertising communication in today’s ‘share crazy’ environment and the concept of ‘bad will ambassadors’, Dias said, “A human being needs his/her associate group, friends to think a certain way but they don’t have the money to hire an advertising agency or the ability to create a campaign. So they borrow the advertising campaign others have created and share it to say I am this type of a person. But it could work in reverse where they could use your campaign to say this is what I don’t like.”
Talking about how Lifebouy has leveraged this new trend, Dias gave the example of the brand’s Chamki advertisement that looked at minimising infant mortality rate by encouraging expectant mothers to wash their hands. “What Lifebouy has done is spoken to a fixed target audience but actually included a large group of spectators in it so that they also become mini advertising agencies for the brand,” he explained.
Josy Paul on the other hand started with an “artistic stupid impression” of which advertisements stuck with him and tried to explore why through his presentation. “There was so much good stuff happening in the past one year and I asked myself why the ones that stuck with me did so, and I realised, based on what I see and what I do, that Context is King,” he said.
Talking about how people respond in reference to context, Paul explained that context could be based on cultural, social, national or on a relationship. Calling context the glue, Paul was of the view that context is what made things stick and that the consumer reacts to context.
“Context starts and grows a conversation and for us in today’s world that is important because you just don’t want to be a brand that is talking to people. You want to be a brand that is unfinished, a brand that is finished by other people,” Paul said.
Speaking on how context is remembered and content is fleeting, Paul gave the example of Ariel’s Share the Load campaign and how the ads became viral because they had the right context.
Sharing his thoughts on this year’s Ad Review, Santosh Padhi, aka Paddy, Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer, Taproot Dentsu India, said, “I think what they showed was relevant in today’s world. In past ad reviews, people have shown great commercials which were relevant five years back. Today, brands and agencies have to think differently because the world around is changing. Consumers are looking at the approach that brands from different parts of the world are taking and they are asking why I am being communicated in a traditional way. The consumer today is consuming two different things and what Dias and Paul have tried to share today is that basically to try and get a new act, a new approach in place.”
Jaideep Gandhi, MD, Jaya Advertising, commented, “It was very relevant and I really liked the way Bhaskar planned the entire event around Who Cares? vs Who Cares.”
Speaking about people’s reaction to the Ad Review, Bhaskar Das, President and Chief Growth and Innovation Officer, Zee Unimedia Limited, said, “People are saying it was fantastic and, most importantly, the learnings were very important because it is not literally about reviewing ads but fundamentally it is about the key learnings from the year that has gone by and going forward how it can be useful.”