‘It was women power all the way’

What happened in 2015? What's next, in 2016? Here's what Sabyasachi Mitter of IBS and Madison BMB's Raj Nair had to say. (part seven)

Jan 21, 2016 09:05:00 AM | Article | Campaign India Team

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 seven.
‘Many traditional boundaries are likely to blur’
Sabyasachi Mitter
Managing director, IBS
2015 for me is a watershed year where there has been a tectonic shift in the way consumers interact with brands. The desktop era is fast fading out and mobile in many cases is the lead media. Instead of adapting for mobile we are creating for mobile. Native channels and content marketing leap frog as ad blockers challenge the industry to reinvent its communication model. Many professionals and agencies find their skill sets obsolete, the fast demise of flash contributing no less. Mobile development frameworks have made giant strides making app development far more cost effective and manageable. So as we say goodbye to 2015 many of us will reflect on the way the industry has rapidly transformed and how the world ahead will be very different from what we had been used to for over a decade.  
In the last few months, I can see a major development in the making that can fundamentally alter the way the industry works today. More than talk, many brands are looking at always-on communication and at digitally led campaigns to deliver on this objective. They are also floating the same brief to their creative, media and digital agencies. Many clients are looking for scale ideas with a digital core. This will mean that digital agencies will have to significantly scale up capabilities and teams. They have to get used to proactive opportunity spotting and strategic planning. Large part of digital agency revenues are likely to come from projects as against retainers. For creative agencies also, the walled garden may be breached with digital agencies also getting a shot at creative briefs. The year ahead will be exciting and many traditional boundaries are likely to blur. Brands will finally have agencies, maybe more than one, but their mandates may become fluid. The good thing is that this should be a boon for the industry with lot more cutting edge work coming out. It will also be time for the survival of the fittest.
‘It was women power all the way’
Raj Nair
Chief creative officer, Madison BMB
I think a fair bit of good work has happened across 2015. But apart from the Great Khali doing his really funny turn for Ambuja Cement, particularly notable for me is the fact that a few brands got their act absolutely spot on in the way they talked to women. 
It was women power all the way. Some really well scripted, directed and produced spots caught the eye like never before. 
The TBZ Wedding Jewellery bride ad took my breath away while making me smile at the same time. Lovely insightful story, very playfully enacted. Thoroughly enjoyable. 
The Anouk long format stories – The Visit followed by The Calling. Very insightful, very empowering. 
Titan Raga Woman of Today – While Nimrat Kaur is delightful the guy is (still) quite the cad. And that’s why it works.
Speaking of long format, the Dabur Vatika Brave is Beautiful needs to be remembered as well. 
I think in 2016, one will see more work from more brands that sees women firmly ensconced on the ruler’s throne.  
Long format work is here to stay already. This trend will continue in 2016, as more brands will use the opportunity to tell heartwarming, funny, emotional stories that help consumers remember brands in ways they have never done before. 
Apps versus websites – the story will gather more momentum in 2016 where app explosion will happen and more companies and business owners will harness the power of apps to slowly phase out websites.
This will, in turn, lead to smart mobiles slowly, but surely, phasing out desktops. 2015 has already been a huge year for mobile and Google has announced that apparently mobile traffic has overtaken desktop traffic in 10 different countries. Mobile focused online marketing will definitely be the mantra to chant.
(Part of a feature that first appeared in the 8 January 2016 issue of Campaign India.)