Raahil Chopra
Mar 08, 2021

Raahil’s blog: One year later, there’s reason to be optimistic

The author lists three reasons why the industry should be optimistic of recovery in 2021

Raahil’s blog: One year later, there’s reason to be optimistic
Rewind to 5 March, 2020. 12 days before Media360 India was to be held, a speaker sent me a message while I was judging the Epica Awards in Sri Lanka. He was apprehensive about being part of a gathering that involved so many guests.
Till then, we had reported global stories of ‘coronavirus’ impacting advertising. However, this was Campaign India’s first direct brush with the illness that was yet to be labelled a pandemic. A quick discussion with the team – and a couple of hours later we decided that we had to postpone the event. We communicated the same to the rest of the speakers; all of them thought it made sense to do the same.
Over the next few hours and days, we saw several other events following suit.
Then, on 13 March, as the news of a Google employee testing positive in Bengaluru broke, a team member came to me and asked if it made sense for us to work from home for a few days (little did we know then!).
On 16 March, we started working from home. And have ever since. We’ve published 412 stories so far on Campaign India which have the word 'Covid' in them. It’s safe to say, it’s impacted us and the industry really hard. Several 'impact' reports said the worst will be felt in 2021.
However, just three things I read (or was told in the last one hour before I wrote this story), make me believe otherwise. I’m not making predictions for the year. I certainly wouldn’t be qualified to do so. I don’t think anyone really can.
But, here we are three months into the year. R3’s first new business league report for India states that January 2021 was better for new business compared to 2020. The estimated overall revenue from new business wins in January 2021 for media agencies was up by 49.4%. For creative agencies, the numbers are up by 32.4%. That has to be good news. The numbers are better than the reported numbers before the pandemic hit us. 
Campaigns have flooded our inbox for Women’s Day. While we are yet to get data on YoY comparison in terms of videos for the occasion, I’d guess that more brands have spent on some sort of activity for the occasion.
Entries have started for our Media360 Awards. The events and marketing team that’s coordinating entries for the same seems to be projecting an increase in the number of entries from what we received last year (again, the bulk of the entries came before the news of the pandemic).
Yes, these could be three isolated instances, and the truth may well be something else, but I'd like to believe these are indications for a better year. The future's bright, the future's...
(The author is managing editor, Campaign India)
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