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Consumer storytelling as an industry has become less indulgent with prologues: Ambarish Ray

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Consumer storytelling as an industry has become less indulgent with prologues: Ambarish Ray

Ambarish Ray, Director & Vice-President, Metal Communications speaks to exchange4media about the highlights of 2014 and the trends that prevailed the advertising industry.

What are the key highlights of the advertising industry in 2014?

Advertising in India in 2014 has somehow become more about the consumer as a human being and less about archetypes. I think because of the economic turmoil and resultant financial belt tightening, consumer storytelling as an industry has become less indulgent with the prologues. The consumer, the context and the plot is all there largely to the big campaigns of 2014.

Is there any industry specific trend that you have seen emerging?

Very powerful and highly human stories are the trend. Not that there was a dearth of these earlier but they are now more of an imperative rather than the habits of good brands doing deeply thoughtful advertising.

There is also an emerging trend of being very, very abnormal in plot construction or execution to break the clutter. Personally, I welcome this as I feel this is a necessary phase in the growing up years of advertising and engaging storytelling. Leo Burnett had said something about always coming down in the morning with a sock in one’s mouth if getting noticed was really paramount. As long as we keep that in mind, there is no problem being different.

Which is the best advertising campaign that comes to your mind for 2014?

Most definitely, the Platinum TV led campaign that we just made (finished about a month back and currently on TV). I am a little limited in my adulation that way - I believe METAL’s work is the best by far.

What are the challenges that you see facing the advertising industry?

Getting digital. Getting the consumer in a human way and getting paid relevantly yet well enough.

Our typical marketing budget is usually 10 per cent of the topline spend

There are some forces impacting the way our business works. The IT/ITeS sector has changed tremendously. Platforms like Twitter have made everyone journalists. Smartphones have made everyone a photographer. The trend that we are seeing is one of hyperdigitalization, which is causing the lines between product and services to blur. For example, <a href=

The OOH sector is among the fastest growing, globally. Brands and marketers have realized its potential and impact and begun to craft medium-specific adverts. Self-regulation is not only necessary but also essential to growth of the sector. The industry needs to exercise a certain level of this self-restraint to prove its commitment to maintaining the best standards in advertising.

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