As we come to the end of 2008, a few stray thoughts and observations (all my own work).
Like, the worst is over.
Like, cost-cutting will not be as painful as the words sound. Learn to use the Internet and the phone more efficiently. Forget about foreign junkets, unless you’re working with Times of India, STAR TV or Colors.
Like, struggle as I might, I can’t recall any spectacular advertising created in 2008. Some good work, but nothing spectacular.
Like, perhaps there’s some spectacular work that’s appeared in a newspaper I’ve never read in a city that I’ve never been to for a brand that I know and created by an agency that I know.
Like, Cannes will be a dry year for India.
Like, the bigger media agencies will do better in 2009 than in 2008, both from top-line and bottom-line perspectives.
Like, WPP’s freeze on recruitment will be unfrozen sooner rather than later. If India is to deliver the profits, Indian managers need the people to do the job. The first beneficiaries of the lifting of the freeze will be the media agencies.
Like, pink slips in south east Asia and the far East will begin after the New Year or after Chinese New Year, which is on January 26.
Like, pink-slipped Indians from the region will make their way home and look for jobs in agencies that they are familiar with. They’ll get jobs, perhaps in smaller agencies than they targeted.
Like, BBH will be up and running. They will work on a number of international brands, but I don’t think they’ll do too well with Indian brands.
Like, working on global (especially American) brands won’t be as lucrative or creatively fulfilling this year. Expect a lot of brands to run ‘lowest-common-denominator’ international campaigns, with minor local adaptations.
Like, European football will be huge this year – and the Barclay’s Premier League bigger than ever before. Liverpool will win the BPL. Or, they might not. If your brand is sports-aligned, start negotiating for spots in the April-August period.
Like, we won’t see a flurry of new TV channels being launched as we have been seeing in the last few years, but newspapers will continue to be launched. New editions and new titles. Expect a lot of activity in the B2B space.
Like, the steady performance of Colors has been a revelation.
Like, Forbes will launch the Indian edition in Q1, and it’ll be interesting to see the support from advertising.
Like, I’ll keep an eye on Aggie and Paddy once they make their announcement of intentions.
Like, there will be a partial improvement in the measurement of readership of magazines thanks to the efforts of the Association of Indian Magazines. Don’t get all excited, now, it’ll be only a partial improvement.
Like, news television channels would have learnt nothing from their coverage of the terror attacks and go ballistic during the general elections. Brace yourself for a lot of sting operations.
Like, ET TV will launch in January or February. It’ll take the number two spot amongst business channels instantly.
Like, radio will continue to grow, both geographically and in stature.
Like, while on radio, Bennett, Coleman and Company will announce another acquisition abroad. And it might not be a radio station.
Like, companies will have bigger budgets for PR and below-the-line, but it’ll take some time for them to get used to their use.
Like, WPP will continue to invest in BTL and digital. If you’re an entrepreneur in these spaces and want to cash out, start cleaning up your books.
Like, it’s been a tough year – but next year will be like a stroll in the park in comparison – at least for all of us in India. Have a great one.