Samosa Talks: The State Of Advertising & Marketing In India

Paawan Sunam
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advertising India

In a rapidly changing landscape where in consumer spends are dictated by phases of lockdowns, and ad spends are controlled by external factors more than internal efforts, marketing mavens illustrate the state of advertising in India.

Ahead of Social Samosa's flagship event, Voot Presents India’s Best Marketers and Planners (IBMP) Awards 2021, the jury members discuss the state of advertising in India, which has had more obstacles than a track race, and how brands and advertisers can jump across the hurdles.

The Panelists

  • Chanpreet Arora, Business Head, AVOD (Voot), Viacom18 Digital Ventures
  • Mansi Dutta, Chief Client Officer & Head - North and East, Wavemaker India
  • Mohit Joshi, MoJo CEO, Havas Media Group India
  • Prasun Kumar, Chief Marketing Officer, Just Dial
  • Rajiv Gopinath, Chief Client Officer, Starcom

The Stae Of Advertising In India

The panelists voice out whether its temporary or permanent consumer behavior and reception of marketing campaigns have experienced a fundamental shift, which consequently also transformed marketing campaigns during the pandemic. They further spell out the changes in

Chanpreet Arora, Business Head, AVOD (Voot), Viacom18 Digital Ventures shares that content-led and influencer marketing had been a part of the budget and was also substantially discussed since 2017, but during this time it took the center stage. This also led to the discovery of new engagement metrics.

Prasun Kumar, Chief Marketing Officer, Just Dial states, "Silence is never an option for a brand, especially in a crisis", and business priorities may have changed but a fundamental shift has not happened so far. He adds that we may not be out of the crisis yet, and consumer behavior does not shift in a short span of time, it takes a decade to set in, and then can be called set behavior.

Rajiv Gopinath, Chief Client Officer, Starcom shares that the way people are using Digital has got a lot more sophisticated, and he reckons ad spends in Digital should close at 23,000 Crores INR.

Mohit Joshi, MoJo CEO, Havas Media Group India, "The second wave significantly dented every aspiration of the average Indian". This led to every media becoming a performance media, and every campaign needs to give you ROI. He believes 80% of the brands are not just communicating their USP but the overall purpose of the brand.

Mansi Datta, Chief Client Officer & Head - North and East, Wavemaker India, says she has observed a lot of their clients investing in content, the entry barrier to content is not as high as compared to any other ATL media.

She adds short-form content has experienced a 300% increase in consumption. OTT, audio, influencer, vernacular, and more types of diverse content consumption has also increased, and brands took cognizance of this consumption.

Also Read: SamosaTalks: Content Marketing Trends to Foresee in 2021

The Content Colosseum

There is a shedload of content on all mediums, and content marketing has not remained the same as it was with this overabundance, the experts share their take on this colosseum where there are one too many pieces of content that may attract the audience as compared to blank space on the black screen.

Prasun Kumar shares most OTT platforms more or less look the same with their slate of releases, the nature of the medium, generation, and consumption at multiple levels may not differ substantially.

Mansi Datta states social media is one of the most easily accessible platforms for content consumption, where a relation can be built with consumers, and fan bases can be mustered with forms of content.

Rajiv Gopinath shares that rather than producing content in bulk, brands should produce few pieces of quality content and then amplify that, and find the right partnerships.

The Role Of Social Media Pages

How many consumers would actually follow a brand on social media? What is the reason for any consumer to follow a brand even if they consume their product or service? Is 6 posts and 4 Tweets a day along with following the social media content calendar, an effective way to maintain a digital presence?

Social Media as a phenomenon may not be minuscule enough to remain unacknowledged, and a brand that may refrain from having a social media presence may risk being called traditional or even "backward".

Mohit Joshi reckons the digital presence of a brand has to represent its real values and brand identity, it should not deviate from what the brand is known as and what it stands for in the real world.

Chanpreet Arora states if a brand chooses not to be on consumers' social media feed, then brands may miss out on creating awareness and recall. But she also believes the brand has to do it right, "We don't sell products and services, we sell stories and culture".

The Advice For Advertisers

Keeping the current state of advertising in India as the focal factor, experts share their advice on pouncing across the hurdles.

Mohit Joshi

Be cautious but optimistic.

Chanpreet Arora

Be open to experimentation.

Mansi Datta

What used to happen before, may not necessarily happen now.

Rajiv Gopinath

Don't go all in.

Prasun Kumar

If I had one, I'd be applying it myself, but we should be paying attention to all of what has been discussed as they may become harsh realities in the near future.