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Guest Column: It's no longer about how loud you can scream, instead, how smart, funny or respectable you can sound: Keshav Naidu

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Guest Column: It's no longer about how loud you can scream, instead, how smart, funny or respectable you can sound: Keshav Naidu

Keshav Naidu, co-founder, Naidu & Panjabi spoke about which kinds of ads stood out in 2015 and the future of the creative agencies

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If paid for content is the lovechild of advertising and product placement, then 2015 certainly was its golden year. The word ‘advertise’ has its root in the Old French verb 'to turn towards.’ Even today, the endeavour of getting people to turn towards you stays true for advertising and marketing the world over, in our technology fuelled quicksilver society. Just look at the movies - take any film that's set in the future, whether it's Bladerunner, Minority Report or the cult hit Idiocracy, advertising acts as a marker of the times. In Idiocracy, Mike Judge shows us year 2505 where the world has come under a garbage avalanche and people wear disposable clothing out of vending machines that are partly paid for, by advertisements. Here was a future where humans had been successfully turned into billboards. More about the future later, first let’s examine the year that was.

Taking a look at the year that was, some of the messages sent our way mark a fairly progressive time in our history. Social messages were big, whether it was pure play PSA as in the case of the Vogue Empower ‘start with the boys’ campaign, or brands doing a social take - like in the case of Fevikwik, Tanishq, Titan or India's first pro-gay ad by Anouk. Culturally relevant pieces were big too - Nescafe's cartoonist, Amazon’s ‘Aur Dikhao’, Star Sports had ‘Mauka Mauka’, and the highly underrated ‘Bhalaai ki supply’ from Tata Docomo.

The learning is fairly simple - Only brands with a strong voice will be heard. It's no longer about how loud you can scream, instead, how smart, funny or respectable you can sound.

What could be in store in the next year?

We will see more opinionated pieces, communication with a strong point of view, more brands using non-ads to break the marketing-message-immune psyche. Even as we see content creators writing more pieces for marketing teams, it's a trend that will go on for a few years perhaps till media storage technology breaks its final frontier. 

What could be in store in the next 20 years?

The media of the future will be stored in DNA. This is no longer science fiction, its officially just science. Bioengineers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have figured a way to cram upto 700 terabytes into a gram of DNA. This breakthrough work quite simply treats human DNA as just another digital storage medium. The implications of this are unimaginable. But here are a few thought starters - This means, in the future, media can and will be built into the human body. You could load children with movies, music, books, video games, marketing messages, just about anything. You will have babies running on different Operating systems, and the wars of the future will be fought over the ‘Original Race’. Sounds dystopian enough to be a George Orwell novel? It’s not; it’s just the future of advertising.

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