2014 will be remembered as a year where the individual overshadowed the idea. Modi with his “Swachh Bharat” campaign and Malala with her “Education for All” speech captured our mind space in 2014 where personalities created a greater impact than the idea that they championed!
It has been the same with advertising & marketing. The focus moved from the brand to the consumer. More than the offering, it was the user who came to occupy the centre stage. Why do I say this? Consider these 3 trends of 2014 for a moment...
Longer TVCs: The Fortune Ghar ka Khana film is a fine example. At a time when 20 seconds almost became a cardinal rule, TV commercials dared to extend beyond 4 minutes thanks to the advent of Social Media and the resurrection of Cinema Theatre advertising. Today we watch more ads on our Facebook page than on the Telly because someone clicked the like button. This not only gives new life to the art of storytelling (through films) it also makes it possible to produce long format commercials. The fall out is positive... Agencies & brand owners realize that they need to give up cliché and produce creative ads if they really want Social Media users to share it.
Cause led advertising: As differentiation becomes an increasingly difficult proposition, advertising starts moving beyond needs, aspirations... to the Cause! Don’t tell me about X just because you are selling me a Y. Tell me about X because it answers my intrinsic need to connect with the grand design of creation and societal living. This is the consumer’s position and brands are adapting to this changed scenario with alacrity. Many brands in 2014 successfully connected with the cause. Watch the bomb squad film created by Whisper to understand what I am referring to. Short films are emerging as a wonderful avenue to connect to the cause. Websites like Scoopwhoop are providing the needed platform and are emerging as the new media to replace the conventional!
My choice; my voice: In 2014 consumers found their voice and were uninhibited in asserting their choice. I am talking about media... Mass Media is evolving into ‘My Media’. With predictions that SM advertising will equal TV advertising by 2017 it’s going to be a rough ride for established institutions unless they are willing to adapt. Smart phone is the new touch point. WhatsApp is the new media vehicle. The consumers are themselves the proliferators of content. Long live technology!
2014 in all was a year of disruption and this trend will continue in the years to come. That’s my take!
The author is Devarajan Duraibabu, Chief Operations Officer, Disha Communications.