On day two of Goafest 2023 Rajdeepak Das, chief creative officer and CEO, Leo Burnett, SouthAsia, India and chairman, creative council, Publicis Groupe - South Asia; Shreya Agarwal, head, FilterCopy, Pocket Aces; Smruthi Rajagopalan - AGM Maybelline, L’Oreal and influencer Prableen Kaur Bhomrah, discussed the need to foster a thriving creative community comprising brands, agencies, influencers and all partners involved.
It was moderated by Subhash Kamath, former CEO, BBH and Publicis Worldwide, India and former chairperson, The Advertising Standards Council of India.
The brand is first
Rajagopalan highlighted that her company and most marketers are consumer-first and brand-first. Speaking about how this could be a challenge for marketers, she said, “We want our message to glow and we want our brand to be intact. At the risk of saying it, we are the people who say things like integrate the brand colours in the creative, logo etc. While our mainline agencies are still with us on that journey and we have some shared goal, it’s not the same.”
Kamath then added that global brands barely get the freedom to do as they like, owing to the million protocols they have to adhere to.
Speaking about this, Das stated that the thing that owns a brand is PowerPoint.
He explained, “You have to create things with what you have with your best creativity for them to not have an option. If you have all the options, a single-line brief coming from the client will not have much scope. However, to be sure of the options we lay out, data happens to be one of the biggest tools that we have.”
At a time when brands consider consistency as the holy grail, Kamath pointed out that they have multiple personalities on different mediums, which defies the point.
Applying this logic to influencer marketing, Kamath asked Bhomrah if she looks to collaborate with brands that fit her personality and expression.
She responded, “Brands came in very late for me, but when they did, I understood the kind of money that came with it. I believe that you have a few specifications you say no to, brands will come back to you.”
Agreeing with Bhomrah, Rajagopalan shared how there are influencers who denied working on her brand’s campaigns for some categories. “We respect the fact that you have your expertise. It's authentic and you don't have to be a sellout in that space. And as a brand, we appreciate that,” she added.
However, defending why communication coming out of brands should be different for different mediums, Agarwal said, “The entire communication is coming together to build brand consistency. Maybe the formats are different, but somewhere the communication does meet.”
What is a possible threat to an agency?
Kamath asked the panellists if creative agencies could be insecure about brands having multiple options for creative association today. Answering this, Das shared that they look at a bigger bank and that whoever can help make that happen, is more than welcome.
“The biggest brands have built a relationship with their agencies over five to ten years, but things are changing very fast. You can't hold it too strong, but at the same time, you have to make it bigger.”
“Ideas can come from anywhere, but the only thing that matters is how we make it big. And all the collaborators need to have that same goal," Das surmised.