Ad Club’s ‘Creative Review’ by Prasoon Joshi, Regional Creative Director (South Asia & South East Asia), McCann Ericsson, is a mixed bag of achievements by the profession as well as challenges facing it. Joshi has quite a few observations to make on the way advertising is being done and the drivers that have led to this.
His key observations are about consumer’s evolving taste, rise in entertainment quotient in most advertisements, globalisation leading to identity crisis, technology leading to a cocooned life, more loner images in ads, and the virtual world becoming the reference point. Joshi has also explained the repercussions of each of these on advertising and the way it is done.
Advertising has become more entertaining
One of the important observations that Joshi shareds is that overall, advertising has become more entertaining than before and the reason is that the consumer likes to be in a state of perpetual gratification. This has also meant that news, which was earlier a serious offering, has also developed properties to entertain the viewer. The commercials, whose example Joshi shares to explain on his point, include Greenply’s Janam Janam ka Saath ad, Sunsilk’s thick and strong ad, Tide’s new pinch ad, Toyota Innova and Hutch 123.
More celebrities entering advertising
Joshi also remarks that a lot of celebrities have now entered advertising as people want to see them there. Though few celebrities still refrain from being featured in ads, many willingly show interest as good money is involved.
Models – more real people
Models acting in advertisements are more real people and the sense of permanence of depravation is not there. There is mention of Airtel’s Dil se dil ki baat bataakar to dekho ad, where handicapped characters have been utilised effectively to convey the message. Also ads like SBI Life’s two sisters ad, Saffola’s Losorb ad and NDTV’s ad are also mentioned as examples of reality finding its way into advertising.
Gone are the days when a consumer bought something forever. Now a second purchase is meant for upgrade and is definitely better, bigger and has more features. Thus, Joshi feels that promotions are here to stay and intelligent advertising will be able to build brands even through campaigns that focus mainly on promotion. Here, he quotes the examples of MacDonald’s Lucky ad, Tata Indicom’s Chal chalaa chal ad, Master Card’s Natkhat saiyya ad and Citibank’s Sab Kuch bik chujka hai ad.
Consumer’s taste is evolving
Joshi is pleased at the evolving taste of consumer and says that this is good news for the creative people as they can indulge more in subtle advertisements. For example, Surf Excel’s Daag Achche hain ad, Coke’s Piyo sar utha ke and Band Aid’s ‘It heals’ ads have been working as the consumer is open to newer, less direct ways of communication.
Consumer becoming emperor from king
Increasing consumer participation in almost everything – from talent shows to cricket team selection – can have its effects on advertising. However, Joshi feels that the consumer should not end up becoming a co-creator of an advertisement.
Impact of globalisation – identity crisis
Joshi fears that the wave of globalization may sweep away identities in its flow. As we move towards a global image and global brands, it seems likely that an identity crisis may soon be a reality and hence, Joshi votes for having a creative department for each different region.
Impact of technology
The mobile, Joshi opines, contrary to superficial belief, is not only enabling to deepen existing relationships but also coming in the way of forming new relationships. Thus, in situations where one can talk to a stranger, the mobile manages to take away that opportunity as one talks with loved ones. Joshi also mentions that many loner images are being used in advertisements and this is on account of the cocooned life many of us lead.
Virtual world as reference point
If the virtual world becomes the reference point for people, then children may tell their parents that they don’t love them and that the way to love is to love in a way as the virtual world shows. This may not be a good sign according to Joshi, for people in advertising who may have to decide whether to borrow from reality or from virtual world.
Times ahead will be marked with more subtle advertisements, more entertaining ones, and definitely more real ones – a nice journey, albeit with a few bumps.