I have known Pratap Bose for almost 25 years now. Our paths first crossed when we together handled AT&T’s first ever outdoor campaign in India in the early 1990s. I was then working for Rediffusion and AT&T was a global client of Rediff’s partner, Young & Rubicam. Pratap was at Ogilvy, and in-charge of outdoors which were handled by his agency globally. Dealing with Pratap was not always easy, more so since he knew every outdoor site in India literally like the palm of his hand, and he would bulldoze us into submission in every argument. Ever since, Pratap has grown in professional stature by leaps and bounds. His Social Street venture is wildly successful and he has emerged as one of Indian advertising’s best professional-entrepreneurs.
Pratap Bose, founding partner and chairman – The Social Street
2017 proved to be a very interesting year; we witnessed the effects of demonetisation on the Indian currency and the implementation of GST. But enough has been said about this.
The biggest impact on Indians in 2017 has been the push to a digital India and the advent of low-cost internet on 4G. With an average data usage of 3.4 GB for every smartphone user, India has truly caught on to the concept of the smaller screen. And the amount of data available due to this usage has truly given data-driven marketing a renewed life and vigor.
On the back of this, the next big thing to hit us has been OTT. From the most popular HotStar to the young but growing Alt Balaji, India has decided to give the hand-held screen more eyeballs than ever.
But as the American Author Dan Quinn once said, “The longer we keep looking in the rear view mirror, it takes away from everything that’s moving forward.” And the word on The Street is that 2018 is going to be a very exciting year for Indian advertising.
2018 is a year of sports. From the The FIFA World Cup, the Winter Olympics, the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, this year is not just going to be about cricket and IPL. These will create excitement for the spectators and for advertisers alike as most viewers will be tuned in to these.
Technology is going to play an extremely pivotal role in 2018, with more marketing dollars moving towards AI, Big Data and IoT – ofcourse how it will play out, only time can tell.
Omni-channel retail will come through in 2018. Instead of just fearing Webrooming or Showrooming, brands will embrace the opportunities presented by a connected world more than ever.
And finally in 2018, advertising also will get its Acche Din again. With the elections just around the corner the government can be expected to go into full swing into implementing new schemes and also shift gear in making India aware of existing schemes thus become yet again the largest advertiser.
In closing I would just like to say: The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it!
Here is wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year!
Pratap’s views are focused and pragmatic. Seeing a year full of The FIFA World Cup, the Winter Olympics, the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games is an opportunity not discussed so far. Also that the government can be expected to go into full swing into implementing new schemes and also shift gear in making India aware of existing schemes thus becoming yet again the largest advertiser, is evidence of Pratap’s no-nonsense approach to business and his ability to identify new opportunities.
This is the fifth piece in this year-end series. Just the last of them is now in the pipeline. Wait for it.
(Sandeep Goyal has been 33 years in the advertising and media business. He has seen many sunrises and many sunsets. He thinks year-end assessments are good as a report card; year-beginning predictions are a good road map to new destinations.)