Social distancing makes clients, agencies bond well

They are collaborating in a more transparent way.

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: With the whole country at a standstill because of the Covid2019 crisis, there is hardly anything that seems positive to businesses across the spectrum. It has been well reported that media spends are being cut as clients deal with massive liquidity issues raised by problems in supply and distribution chains. But what this crisis has managed to do beautifully is create human relationships, which are going to be the spirit of agency-client bonding in the years to come.

According to industry insiders, this time has given them an opportunity to bond well with their clients, which are more trustworthy and dependable.

There have been significant examples of brands and agencies working remotely yet coming together with great pieces of work. Some time back, had covered how Ogilvy came on board with brands like Asian Paints and Tata Sky to shoot videos from home.

Elaborating more on how the client-agency relationships have improved in recent times, Publicis Worldwide MD Srija Chatterjee said during one of our virtual roundtables: “We have started understanding each other more. There is much more transparency now. As an agency, we know what the issues are that they face with the cash flows and we are trying our best to help them out.”

She elaborated that they are tackling each client’s problem with a different approach, catering to their specific needs. “Clients are going through a tough time and we are working with them on a 60-90 day plan. We workshop together and discuss ideas. For example, for a client like Cars24, we are expecting that once the lockdown is removed, the demand for second-hand cars may rise as people who did not have a vehicle in their house faced mobility issues and the brand must benefit. So, we are creating hypotheses like that and working on it.”

Madison Media and OOH group CEO Vikram Sakhuja shared that while clients are facing issues with cash flows right now, customers like to get some reassurance in times of a crisis. “We are trying to tell brands that these things (advertisements) will help in the longer run. Strong brands will come out stronger and we are encouraging them to advertise.”

DDB Mudra Group’s CEO and MD Aditya Kanthy said: “There is a lot of work but its nature and form are different from business as usual. It is more consultative in the spirit of client partnership; working together to find answers to the hard questions that are emerging each day for their businesses and ours. It is important to acknowledge that change regardless of increased media consumption.”

Digitalkites senior vice president Amit Lall says that brands are understanding the needs of consumers right now and creating ads according to that. "The consumer is not in the right frame of mind; the sentiments are relatively low. The thing which is important to him now is something he can survive on. Hence, for categories which are supporting consumers, whether it is to boost his immune factor; like Dabur Chyavanprash or sanitizers, the sales which have gone up. From the advertising point of view, purchasing is out of the radar. At this challenging time, it is important for brands to come forward and speak in a motivational way."

Ogilvy India CCO Sukesh Nayak also feels that brands have a role to play during the time of crisis. "It has happened with both the brands; Tata Sky as well as Asian Paints. At the end of the day, consumers are your guide. Ads are created for them.  Today we all are at very challenging times in our lives. Everybody is struggling with their own fear, anxiety, and pressure," he said.

Follow Tellychakkar for the consumer facing news & entertainment

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