Digital medium in India has experienced great growth in the last year, but how much of it can be sustained? Though Sav Evangelou, Senior Vice President and Executive Creative Director, Digitas, doesn’t have much idea about the India market, he is “deeply impressed”. “I had sat in on a client meeting as well, and there is a level of sophistication here and awareness, which could be in London as well,” he said.
Aside from knowledge of global trends, spending in India is likely to continue to increase. As Kanika Mathur, President, Digitas India, remarked, “The segment is looking big now. Banking and financial sector, telcos, hardware and software companies and FMCGs are all looking into this. It’s safe to expect that a 30-40 per cent growth can continue year on year.”
Does this mean that television is going to lose out on the commanding position that it holds in the market? That seems unlikely even globally, and particularly in India, where the penetration of broadband is still limited, and experts say it will take three to five years to reach truly significant levels.
Evangelou said, “We’re not suggesting that digital will replace television, but there’s no doubt that its reach is phenomenal, and for almost two years now in the UK, the reach of TV and digital have been matched, and so spending on digital is also moving upward, and we can expect the same here in India too.”
According to Nikhil Swarup, Senior Vice President, Digital Creative Strategy, Digitas India, “Today, everything is up for grabs. People are more aware of what you can do with digital. Earlier, when people came up with the idea, they automatically thought of a TV spot, but today people are thinking of more things.”
Evangelou added here, “And of course, you use one medium to activate a response in the other. Studies have shown that campaigns which are reinforced like this are a lot more important. Of course, it’s also important to listen to the audience, and understand what your customers do to get the best results. For example, with P&G, they were targeting moms. We did a little study and realised that these moms are usually online around 11, after the kids have left and the morning’s work is done, and they like to play games online. So, an advergame worked really well there.”
According to Mathur, the situation in India would follow similar trends, and she also noted that there was a willingness in the market to try new ideas.
Mathur noted, “And this is not just happening in other countries anymore. People are ready to try innovative ideas. We recently met a client who wanted to do an alternate reality game, and we keep a close eye on global technology trends.”
If a particular innovation made sense for the message, it would be used, Swarup said and added that the idea that this worked only in the West and not in India, was behind the times. “The key is to find something that is relevant to the audience and is entertaining,” he pointed out.
Evangelou shared, “We’re conditioning such behaviour in our consumers today. They’re a lot more demanding than before. With on demand video changing the way we consume content, why are we still sticking to ideas like pre-rolls and post-rolls? That’s bringing offline thinking online.”