Campaign India Team
Jan 22, 2016

‘Could the next chapter of Indian advertising be in the writing?’

What happened in 2015? What's next, in 2016? Here's what DDB Mudra's Rahul Mathew, What's Your Problem's Amit Akali and Cheil's Shiv Sethuraman had to say. (part nine)

‘Could the next chapter of Indian advertising be in the writing?’
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 nine.
‘Could the next chapter of Indian advertising be in the writing?’
Rahul Mathew
Creative head, DDB Mudra West
2015 saw the change of guard in many agencies. I can’t remember a year with so much movement. A lot of young heads took over at the helm. And experienced heads started their own.
Could the next chapter of Indian advertising be in the writing? Where the next generation of thinkers get to show that they are indeed the next generation of leaders? And experience shows that it isn’t the name on the building that makes the difference? 2016 should have the answers.
Personally, I’m hoping for 2016 to be the year that ends the traditional vs non-traditional nonsense. Unfortunately, we are using mediums to define the two.
For me, traditional is just work that doesn’t seem fresh in its approach. It could be in any medium.
And since everyone, be it agency of the client, is being a lot braver in the digital medium; it has become the torch-bearer for the non-traditional.
I would wish everyone a braver and more creative 2016. One that would finally end this communal divide.
‘2015 proved that clients now need an agency that’s not stuck to one medium’
Amit Akali
Managing partner and creative head, What’s Your Problem
Personally, 2015 is probably my most memorable year ever. It’s the year Medulla was declared the number three healthcare agency at the world at Cannes. It’s the year we launched What’s Your Problem. It’s also the year in which my decision of leaving mainline advertising to start an independent digital-focused agency was vindicated by the number of other independent agencies that were started. While most of them were started by people who’d spent their life in mainline advertising, a lot of them took the effort of distinguishing themselves from a typical advertising agency, focusing on media such as digital, mobile or social. And all of them spoke about problem solving – we of course already had problem solving in our name!
2015 proved that clients now need an agency that’s not stuck to one media, especially film. (In fact just being a digital agency doesn’t help either.). They’re looking for an agency that marries strategy, creativity and technology.
I think 2016 will be the year that agencies will start getting their act together and delivering this marriage of strategy, creativity and technology. While they’ve been claiming ‘integration’ for years everybody knows that most agencies aren’t really integrated. I think in the coming year, they’ll have no choice but to be truly integrated.
‘2016 will belong to a ‘new and improved’ social media’
Shiv Sethuraman
Group president, South-West Asia, Cheil India
2015 will surely go down as the year e-commerce came into its own from an advertising industry perspective. 
I think 2016 will belong to a ‘new and improved’ social media. Terms such as social CRM and social commerce will enter the mainstream.
(Part of a feature that appeared in the 8 January 2016 issue of Campaign India)


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