Are agencies delivering value to a brand?

MUMBAI: This panel discussion with eminent people from the advertising fraternity as well outside the advertising circle debated on agencies delivery on brands. The verdict may have not been out on this one, but consensus was that advertising cannot be quantified into a tangible.



Speaking on the occasion O&M CEO John Goodman said that when done right like the IBM and Hutch case advertising has created mega brands. Leo Burnett's K V Sridhar taked about brand names like Hoodibaba, Thanda matlab Coco cola, Aam admi ko kya mila, Only Vimal and said that India has created some very powerful brands. Magic is possible only through strategic partnerships between the client and the agency. Trust is very important and partnership is key.

Quoting the famous quote, "In factory we make cosmetics, in the store we create hope," The Printers Mysore GM DB Dutta said. In the absence of advertising one will be buying products and not brands. Life will be status quo. Advertising has created aspirations, lifestyles, desires. Agencies have done a tremendous job in creating brands in the consumer space. Bit is that enough?



Dutta said that it was time agencies should not just associate themselves with creative and move on to sales and more so being the brand custodian. Owing to the market behaving differently it is important for agencies to get local insight and understand the local lingo.

Mudra Communications MD & CEO Madhukar Kamat said "Advertising is like salvation under a Banyan tree." Reiterating K V Sridhar's words, Kamat talked about the true partnership and trust. An interesting point he brought about was that are clients allowing agencies to raise the stakes? Are agencies seen as a value cell or as an opportunity to cut cost?



Agency Faq's Director Sreekant Khandekar pointed out the two dramatic changes that have taken place in agencies.

1) The 360 degrees marketing strategy that agencies have adopted

2) The bridging of gap between client servicing and creative

One of his key points were that due to direct exposure creative now has with the client, ad campaign have become much more impactful. Also with media disintermediation taking place, agencies have lost out on insights from their media counterparts as well as sharing of resources.

Lowe India's NCD R Balakrishnan although talked about advertising not being selling. And the only hob of advertising was to ensure fame and glamour to a brand. "Advertising cannot be quantified and if a product is not selling, sack the marketing team not the agency," he says.

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