In the hypercompetitive market scenario, the year 2014 will be more challenging for the creative industry. With shrinking budgets, they will face the challenge of creating the best strategy for a brand at a minimal cost. However, agencies are hopeful that the economic condition will certainly improve in 2014.
In 2014, there must be infusion of fresh ideas to help India create a mark at the global level. The unexpected turn of events in 2013 made everyone look at the Indian awards more critically. Hence, in 2014 there will be a reduction in scam advertising as agencies lost their big-ticket clients and senior officials. There will be more transparency in awards so that forums like Goa fest do not lose their relevance.
With the 10+2 ad cap likely to be effective from next year, advertisers will spend more money on print and online than on television to gain maximum attention. The year 2013 saw a lot of mergers and acquisitions, but 2014 will see stabilisation and strategic decision-making to make the relationship work better. There will be an expansion in the digital capability of the agencies creating effective campaigns as last year saw mergers and acquisitions of the traditional agencies with the digital ones.
Another interesting trend witnessed last year was the rise of long duration ads such as Google, British Airways, Dove and Lifebuoy that went viral and created a long-lasting impact in the consumer’s mind. This year will see brands coming up with such long duration ads on the online platform to establish connect with the audience. The year 2014 will also see a trend where equal importance will be given to the digital and activation agency along with the traditional ones. One single brief will roll across all the platforms in order to create maximum impact.
Word-of-mouth will be the king
Word-of-mouth is going to become the next most powerful medium. Consumers increasingly rely on word-of-mouth before any purchase, so brands have to create a positive feedback to grow further. With the penetration of smartphones, people will have more access to community decision-making and ultimately people power and word-of-mouth will be the most crucial thing. Brands will have to move away from functionality and sell a point of view that is liked and shared. This will in turn drive engagement and help in the brand’s success.
The new found love for Activation
Brands will be opting for more and more of activation programmes to deliver the key message. A classic example is of how Lifebuoy stamped its handwashing message onto millions of rotis at Kumbh Mela. The year 2014 will see a boom in activation with clients using this medium to grow their businesses. Another interesting trend to watch out for in 2014 will be a marriage between activation and digital. Heineken has been doing this for years and this terrific combo has driven good results for the brand. Hence, there will be increasing adoption of this trend in 2014.
Stable economy post elections
Due to the depreciating Rupee, soaring inflation and high current account deficit, the year 2013 has been a nightmare for agencies and marketers. The industry witnessed the biggest slump over years and the economy grew at its slowest pace with the profit margins under severe pressure. Major sectors witnessed product launches on a small scale and lesser advertising campaigns due to tighter pockets. However, after the elections the economy will stabilise and clients will be spending more on marketing activities. Hence, 2014 will see product launches on a bigger scale and more of ad campaigns.
Topical ads to connect with consumers
Brands have started realising the potential of topical ads to become a part of national conversation. In order to remain relevant, brands have started grabbing opportunities from predictable events such as Eid, Rakhi, Christmas and Valentine’s Day to unpredictable events such as the birth of the Royal baby to victory or defeat in sporting events. The latest trend is that brands are shifting away from major festivals like Diwali and distributing their media spends across other festivals and relevant topical issues. It creates a long-lasting impact on the consumer’s mind, invoking curiosity for the brand’s take on the next important development. In 2014, topical ads will take the centre-stage and brands will opt for topical ideas to connect with consumers on a regular basis.
The limiting freedom in creative agencies has led to talent moving out to greener pastures such as digital and filmmaking. Due to this growing trend many agencies have lost their valuable talent and 2014 will witness more experienced talent moving to digital, filmmaking and other creative mediums.