Campaign India Team
Dec 18, 2017

'Meaningful is not an expectation. It's a given': Anita Nayyar

We ask industry leaders for a learning from 2017 and an expectation from 2018

'Meaningful is not an expectation. It's a given': Anita Nayyar

Campaign India starts the countdown to the new year with an industry leader putting down one learning from 2017 and an expectation from 2018.

Here's what Anita Nayyar, CEO-India & South Asia, Havas Media Group, had to say:

One learning from 2017...

Beware, disgruntled customers will punish brands and their top bosses on the yet undefined KPIs of ‘human-ness’, ‘meaningfulness’ and ‘ethics’.

2017 has shown the power of the customer, their willingness to act and the potential effective long term risk to business - no matter who, how big or powerful; and this has been borderless.

To sight some examples of a world were once brand apologies happened once in a way, now it’s more than once a year for a single brand!

Facebook has seen the wrath and loss of trust of advertisers drawing their skepticism on its business core, with metric issues on ad performance on its mobile app, internal dashboard and overestimating average viewing time on its video ads. ‘Mark Zuckerberg apologises for…’ has been quite a headline in 2017 and for various issues including Russian ads targeting US voters, a VR virtual trip to hurricane ridden Puerto Rico with a VR tour app launch, etc; not quite the case for mega brands and their entrepreneur CEOs revered as demi-Gods of business and marketing, even over the last decade.

YouTube was boycotted by leading brands for displaying their ads near controversial, unsavory and illegal content by terrorists, white supremacists, pornographers. It was recently again in controversy as the go to site where pedophilestarget, lure and exploit children.

Uber’s co-founder and host of executives resigned over a series of scandals including sexual harassment and gender diversity issues; in the effort to save the business.

Amazon removed the offensive floor mat carrying the Indian flag even though it was on Amazon Canada by vendors there. The benefits of the connected world and disconnected geography that brands enjoy; they must now also be responsible and answerable in and across this same world.

Puma India had to apologise for spray painting and defacing a heritage wall in old Delhi.

Customers have begun holding marketers, brands and vendors accountable and in a digital world where information spreads fast, even the biggest companies cannot escape it. 

A prediction for 2018...
Meaningfulness matters. And, it is on its way to becoming a full-fledged metric in the long term.
Though not a legitimate KPI and thus not counted by marketers, it is already at number one, in the minds of customers who use it just like their connected devices. This fact comes to the fore in times of crisis when the brand is forced to take responsibility.
As customers get more aware, more informed and as their purchasing power increases so do their expectations. And really, to customers and unknown to brand marketers, ‘meaningful’ is not an expectation, that is how the brand-marketer-advertiser interprets or terms it - to the customer, it is a given, irrespective of product, category or service. Also it has a positive impact on the dhare of wallet for the meaningful brand and increases its value on the stock market.
In a marketing word where change is the only constant, the ‘meaningful’ aspect will be the only constant. But it cannot be, one of, it has to be underlined by consistency. There is a shift towards people from product, across category to reach and engage the customer. We’ve seen it in the success of the  healthcare or recently finance as with Aditya Birla Capital’s #DearMoney campaign. 
Further, relationships in ‘brand relationships’ are as relationships are with even our most loved ones. They need to be regularly worked on; and people, their values and traditions need to be respected.
Campaign India

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