Brands have to take a back seat and tell human interest stories

MUMBAI: At a time when the world is moving towards the digital medium, can advertising be far behind?

Indeed, the last couple of years have seen several brands and agencies falling back on this space to reach out to their consumers.

D&AD’s CEO Tim Lindsay and president & Dare CD Laura Jordan Bambach who are in the country to address the forthcoming seminar (organised by Kyoorius) on Building Brands via Digital Media, shared some valuable insights on the subject with

On the fast blurring line between traditional and digital advertising in India, Tim quips: “Probably there are other markets which are further ahead when it comes to digital; and this is simply to do with the penetration of tablets, laptops and smart phones. Mobile is highly developed in this country and will only amplify. Therefore, digital advertising and marketing will develop in a separate way in India.”

Still to recover from jet lag, Laura adds: “It is quite an exciting time and I can see the behaviour change and there is a more digital approach in various campaigns; which is more worldwide, but it is there here as well. The change in advertising message is becoming more purposeful.”

Speaking about the trend of viral videos, Laura says they would work better if people had an interesting story to tell rather than the brand putting forth its message. “The brand has to take a back seat and tell a human interest story. Not all viral campaigns are good, there are many bad ones as well because they don’t tell you the story you want to hear,” she says, pointing out that videos which are entertaining, funny and have a human angle are likely to click with the viewers.

Also the co-founder of SheSays, an international volunteer organisation encouraging women to take up digital creative careers, Laura feels things are changing now as more and more women are not only entering the field but also reaching high positions. “There are a quite a few women in the higher ranks and the things are looking up in India as well,” she says.

Asked to point out the two important advertising trends of 2013, Tim talks about ads and campaigns having moved more towards story-telling apart from the increased engagement of people through branded content and added efforts by companies to take their CSR activities more seriously. He cites the example of Unilever’s latest Project Sunlight (Unilevers Project Sunlight promises a brighter future) . “In India, HUL’s Lifebuoy campaigns have been very successful. Be it the village one or the stamped rotis,” he says.

In the coming year, Tim feels there will be more acquisitions including digital acquisitions of smaller agencies which will only serve to increase their credibility and sustainability.

Both Tim and Laura feel that hereon, the digital space is only set for a further boom, with agencies milking the medium to reach out to as many people as possible.

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