Campaign India Team
Jan 12, 2016

'A year when some won and many lost'

What happened in 2015? What's next, in 2016? Here's what DAN's Ashish Bhasin and Perfect Relations' Dilip Cherian had to say (part one)

'A year when some won and many lost'

We asked 25 respondents  from advertising, media, marketing and PR to tell us what they will remember 2015 by, and the trends they expect to see in 2016.

Read on for peer predictions – on agencies, long format films, the 30-seconder, digital, mobile, e-commerce, technology, people... 

Here's part one:

‘Digital and mobile will define in many ways how we work’
Ashish Bhasin
Chairman and CEO South Asia - Dentsu Aegis Network and chairman Posterscope and psLIVE - Asia Pacific
Digital and mobile came into its own in 2015, from being a fringe player. It has become more mainstream than ever before. It will define in many ways the way we work, going forward. In 2016, I expect this trend will continue.
‘A year when some won and many lost’
Dilip Cherian
Co-founder, Perfect Relations
Public Relations evolved partially as an infectious epidemic reaction in 2015. The rise of digital media of course continued inexorably but what became clearly evident was the emergence of visuals as yet another new medium and instant visuals almost looked like superseding all else.
Companies realised yet again that young people have little by way of patience. So, they had to find expedient ways to grab their attention in order to get their ‘profound’ messaging across.
It was also a year where absolute veracity of information, corroborating facts and outing corporate errors became infinitely easier. Beyond the power of Google, a rash of social networks now allowed people to compare, contrast and research. Even here visual began to dominate and will expand in 2016.
For corporations attempting PR the constraints therefore, increased as quickly as the opportunities multiplied. No doubt corporations had to lean heavier on PR agencies who understood new technologies better. Relying on external teams that could seamlessly execute and deliver what their own back offices and marcom teams were unable to. Corporations recognised that leaving messaging to agencies worked, as long as there was a clarity of intent and flexibility of methodology. Or at least the smart ones will, in 2016.
Where there was political campaigning, once again a familiar trumping ground for advanced PR practitioners, the reliance on new technology has increased. It was clearly a year of experimentation, a year when some won and many lost – 2016 will see more of this. The trick of great agencies was to spot the ones that could effectively work and to be able to deploy content that could find multiplication across channels.
Content creation is going to be the big thing everyone will focus their attention on in 2016. Content is and has always been the backbone of PR – everything is content from a tweet to a video, to an event. More people in the industry understand that now. As the media landscape rapidly changes, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands to produce and furthermore, articulate good, engaging content.
Stakeholders today are more picky and demanding than ever before therefore, brand content needs to be increasingly creative, compelling and targeted but not too insistent. 2016 will see customer push-back.
Visual content will continue to dominate, which is why PR agencies will need to double up as creative advisors, not just in terms of the communication ideas/ strategies they propose to their clients but the additional creative services they can offer, especially on the digital side

(Part of a feature that first appeared in the 8 January 2016 issue of Campaign India.)

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