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Consumer word-of-mouth has become more critical than ever

13-September-2013
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Consumer word-of-mouth has become more critical than ever

In conversation with exchange4media, Rohit Ohri, Executive Chairman, Dentsu India Group talks about creativity in India, the latest industry trends, booming South India market, digital translation of ideas, along with acquisition plans for 2014...

How, according to you, is India positioned in terms of creativity?
I think India has done pretty well at international awards. The talent that we have in India is world-class. For example, Taproot won four Gold awards for one campaign, which is extremely good. We have seen a very positive movement and it’s a great start for us. I don’t think we have anything lacking in terms of creativity in India.

Is South India a lucrative market for young talent of the advertising world?
In terms of talent, there is a migration to Delhi and Mumbai, because I think that’s where the businesses are, especially in the world of advertising. The way we are looking at it is that we have created a hub for the Southern market and the creative nerve centre or planning nerve centre is Bangalore. We are also servicing in Chennai, Coimbatore, Cochin. Many people move to Bangalore from Chennai. So, I think clients are now asking for the best; the place of the agency does not matter to them. The client’s objective is to get to the talent and not restrict themselves to their city.

Please mention few innovative campaigns done for clients in the South? How strong is Dentsu Group in the Southern market?
Some of the clients are looking at iButterfly. We are doing lot of digital creativity as well for clients such as Jos Alukas. We have actually got jewellery buying to go online and increasingly, people are looking at it.

For Toyota, we enabled a Toyota Etios race, along with Toyota University Cricket Tournament.

We have a strong team in Bangalore. Though they are based out of Bangalore, they develop clients in Chennai and Kerala markets.

Please throw light on some of the industry trends you have observed?
One of the trends that I am seeing is how a piece of creativity can be translated into digital. The most important aspect is creating relevant, interesting and engaging content. Very important we have these three things in the communication business.

Brands are fighting for consumer mind space. So it’s very important to be relevant, and that I think is the insight and way forward in creativity.

The new trend is that the consumer has become the medium in a way. The word-of-mouth the consumer can generate is critical. The best example is British Airways – Visit Mum campaign. It has relevant content with a sharp insight.

We have seen Dentsu Group acquiring Taproot and then Webchutney. Are there any specific acquisitions in the pipeline?
We will be acquiring in the first quarter of 2014. We are looking at activation as it’s a big space. These acquisitions help us grow enormously. The two acquisitions that we have done have helped add over 75 clients to the Group, which is otherwise difficult. So, there is organic growth and inorganic growth. In this way, we get an opportunity to work with more clients in a holistic way by offering Webchutney clients to Taproot or Dentsu and vice versa. So we can expand the scope of the business.

You mentioned iButterfly. Can you please elaborate?
iButterfly is a text platform that any brand can use. Honda has just used it for its motorcycles. It’s a mobile platform. Any ‘idea brand’ can use it; of course, retail brands find greater utility.  It combines GPS, motion sensing and virtual reality. You just have to download the app and then as soon as you switch on the camera and swipe the phone around, you can see butterflies and catch them through the phone. This is a very interesting concept as I can release the butterfly in any geographic locations. So, you could have CCD butterfly or Zara butterfly or any brand that wants to use this. These are all created especially for the clients. It’s a virtual technology. The consumers can actually catch these butterflies, store them or trade in these butterflies and exchange with friends. The app could be used in many ways. We are also thinking of introducing it during IPL in the stadiums, provided we have a wi-fi.

What are some of the targets marked ahead of 2013?
I basically set my targets on the basis of the quality of the work we do for clients. My measures are only the measures of work, integrated services that we can create and the awards that we can win.

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