The panel discussion at the Goafest Advertising Conclave 2012 brought together the speakers from the day – Intel’s Jayant Murthy, Coca-Cola’s Jonathan Mildenhall, Omnicom’s Tim Love and Publicis Groupe’s Jean-Yves Naouri, with the conversation being moderated by CNBC TV18’s Anuradha Sengupta.
Sengupta asked for questions from the audience for the speakers.
On a question about how Coke is responding to conversations about the sugar content in it and health, Mildenhall said as a company response, the mission is to have a desired beverage in every category to suit every consumer need, which is why the brand has a zero calorie or caffeine offering.
On a question about whether along with the term ‘agency’, the term ‘advertising’ has to change as well, Love said, “Advertising is about education. We’ve allowed ourselves to focus on the technology of communication, instead of human emotional side. If you see it as a shabby old industry, it’s your problem.”
Naouri said, “Our job is not just to respond to briefs, we’re here to respond to business concerns, gain share of trust, throats, and mind. I’m not ashamed of being in ‘advertising’. We bring sparkles to the eyes of people when they see a great campaign.”
Murthy added that selling coffee is an insignificant part of the Starbucks Coffee chain now as they’ve moved into selling more offerings. Ad agencies would have to follow suit.
On a question about how to build brands if agencies are given one-offs, Naouri said, “We work with clients who are giving us work on a global basis, and others who work on a limited basis. We have to respect that.”
Mildenhall said, “It’s easier to manage one relationship than ten. We have to be loyal to the brand agenda, can only service that if we’re with people who understand popular culture. We look outside our roster reluctantly.”
On a question about how as an industry, advertising is going to keep pace with change if leaders are over 50 years old, Love said, “You need young rebellious minds as much as you need wisdom.”
On a question about the focus on digital in India, Mildenhall said, “Treat the ‘internet island’ like a nation that gets bigger and bigger. Internet reality is bigger than creative ambition, encourage creative ambition to try and meet it.”
One of the final questions was about the focus on people as per earlier presentations, and whether ‘Best Use of People as a Medium’ should be introduced as an award at Goafest next year, Mildenhall said, “Best use of conversation would be good idea.”