Nivea’s MD for India and South Asia, Neil George, presented IAA’s Retrospect and Prospects for 2019.
Before speaking about trends that emerged in 2018 and laying down predictions for the future, George thanked professor Anil Kulkarni and Bharat Patel for being role models and teaching him everything related to marketing.
He then proceeded with his presentation, which he titled ‘Revenge of the client’. He went on to state that he got the help of industry experts from five continents for the same.
George’s ‘retrospect’ started a little before 2018 and stated that his presentation won’t be all about TVCs because communication is being shared via non TV devices now.
He spoke about Deepfake, the term coined in 2017, for the technique used to combine and superimpose images and videos into source videos to create ‘fake content’ and stated that he was horrified when he learnt of this.
He followed this with five trends that he saw emerging in the recent past and said, “People are losing trust in the system. But, at the same time there’s pessimistic optimism, where the number of pessimists are matched by the optimists. The optimists are the millennials while the pessimists are the ‘baby boomers’ and ‘gen X’. We’re also seeing the emergence of female superstars like Arianna Grande and Serena Williams and the growth of voice search thanks to devices like the Amazon Echo. And we’re seeing Instagram and Netflix dominate the content space, the former has over a billion users while the latter has over a 100 million subscribers.”
With this he dwelled into eight trends that he saw in the marketing and communications industry in 2018.
Hope – Restored?
He showed three examples where lost hope received some sparks in 2018. These came in the form of films from Argentina, USA and India.
Trust - Regained?
Showing three pieces of work again, he said, “Trust wasn’t regained fully during the year. Some brands that lost trust had ad men and PR finding it extremely difficult.”
The three examples he showed were for The New York Times, KFC and Samsonite.
Real stories. Romanticised
He explained, “For movie and art fans this year was fantastic. The three stories that stood out through the year weren’t conventional pieces of marketing. There were real stories brought to life. A theatre on Broadway had almost shut down before Bruce Springsteen performed there five days in a row. Netflix bought the rights for the same and revived the theatre.”
The other pieces of work he showed was for Apple Mac and the movie Bohemian Rhapsody.
Celebrities – they became brands and stronger
“Cristiano Ronaldo and Arianna Grande topped the Instagram celebrities. They garnered 2.5 billion likes for a combined 700 posts in 2018. Ronaldo charges brands US$ 7,50,000 for an Instagram post. But, funnily enough the biggest celebrity and brand in 2018 on Instagram was an egg which garnered 53 million likes,” said George.
He went on to show the video of the song ‘Girls Like You’ which was created by Maroon 5 in collaboration with Cardi B.
“The video topped YouTube charts and till June 2019 it had 2.2 billion views making it the 25th most viewed and liked video ever. It involves a number of female celebrities like Lilly Singh, Gal Gadot, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, Ellen DeGeneres and Camilla Cabello among others.”
The other celebrity he mentioned was Michelle Obama. “She’ll probably run for president soon. Her memoirs turned the fortunes for the publisher,” explained George.
Male superheroes – RIP?
The MD of Nivea in South Asia didn’t believe that ‘real male superheroes’ are dead but stated that only two movies in 2018 which featured real male superheroes topped the charts in 2018.
Creativity reached new heights
He showcased the new heights reached by creativity in 2018 with the help of three films, two of which were from the USA and one from Russia.
Production values – Revival?
“Production values were revived. We saw Netflix start it but then there were smaller production houses too that had some great content,” said George.
Machines – Are They Coming?
George’s last trend for the year was about two big trends he saw in marketing:
A: Penetration of voice, thanks to Amazon.
B: Big data available
He showed two pieces of work for the same.
George then stated trends he expects to see beyond 2019.
1: Brands that have purpose driven communication will succeed.
2: A rapid increase in data and technology all thanks to the increase in voice search.
3: Personalisation at scale.
4: Great storytelling will emerge to be stronger than before.
He added, “The future is about sinless consumption, with the launch of products like the ‘Impossible Whopper’ and zero per cent beer. There are going to be two big battles – Netflix versus Disney in the entertainment space and Amazon versus Google in the technology space.”
George ended his presentation on a lighter note by giving a piece of wisdom, “We’re going to see the rise of the professional boyfriend photographer thanks to Instagram!”