Breaking the Digital Code: Industry experts share insights on the new digital paradigm

At the 2nd edition of D-CODE by The Advertising Club, 13 industry leaders shared examples of their best creations, one work they admire and three learnings they would want to share with the audience 

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Aug 8, 2019 8:44 AM

The Advertising Club’s D-CODE, the annual digital review event  held on Wednesday, saw 13 industry stalwarts sharing examples of their best work, a work they admire and three learnings. 

Vikram Sakhuja, President, The Advertising Club, threw open the stage to the speakers and what followed was an engaging evening of creative insights into the digital advertising and marketing world.

Addressing the forum were Amarjit Singh Batra, MD, Spotify; Jogesh Lulla, COO, Corner Stone Sport & Entertainment; Karan Bedi, CEO, MX Player; Mustafa Ghouse, COO, JSW Sports Pvt Ltd; Nirmal Pulickal, Head–Facebook Creative Shop, Facebook; Partha Sinha, VC& MD, McCann Worldgroup; Rashi Goel, VP- Consumer Communication Media, CRM & NHW, Nestle; Sachin Sharma, Director - Sales & Partnerships;  Bytedance (Tik Tok); Sidharth Rao, CEO & Co-Founder, Dentsu Webchutney; Srivats TS, VP Marketing, Swiggy; Sumeet Narang, Vice-President - Marketing, Bajaj Auto; Vikas Agnihotri, Country Director, Google; and Standup Comedian Kenny Sabastian.

Showcasing the Haggle bot campaign which was an engaging Google assistant chatbot experience that helped build consumer engagement, Vikas Agnihotri, Country Director, Google said: “Organizations have been slow in embracing technology and digital into their core competencies. What was science fiction at a point of time has become a part of real life. Technology is powering our eco-system.”

Nirmal Pulickal, Head, Creative Shop, Facebook, spoke about Uber and the study they did around it last year. The idea was to increase frequency of more recreational travel, following which a campaign targeted on interests was created. “How big idea translates into action. The larger thought that sits over execution filters down. In principle, it makes sense. It is built for the grammar of that medium the marketers are more familiar with and it is broadcast. But you can't take that message on Instagram and expect it to work. The broad takeout is create for the medium. Every medium has its own grammar.”

While Sachin Sharma, Director - Sales & Partnerships; Bytedance (Tik Tok) believes that, “Mass marketing is essential to brand marketing and growth.” He showcased Pepsi’s swag campaign on their platform which wanted to reach out to the Gen Z. Through user-generated videos, the campaign was a huge success for Pepsi. “Users have less and less time, so cut down on your formats. A few seconds is what matters and in those few seconds you have to communicate the emotion and the power of your narrative,” advised Sharma. A campaign that he admired was Kingfisher’s Instant Beer mix prank.

Partha Sinha, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, McCann Worldgroup, showcased BJP’s digital campaign footprint in Karnataka. He remarked, “Digital campaigns need to be more transient. The truth lies in the medium. We need to use the power of technology and creativity to provide better brand solutions.”  Talking about his key learnings, Sinha said, “It is not output but the outcome. This is the biggest truth about the digital world.”

MX Player’s CEO Karan Bedi spoke about their campaign around ‘Thinkistan’, a show about the ad industry. Picking on the two India concept, one that speaks English and the other Hindi, Bedi showcased how their campaign touched a nerve with the audience. “No matter the agencies tell you, know how to track viral stuff, if you see something going viral in the environment latch onto it. Bedi said Pepsi’s swag ad with the 87-year-old lady as their brand ambassador was “a good example of how you can ride on the environment to make a large impact for your brand”.

Swiggy’s CMO Srivats TS selected his Appraisal mirror campaign to share with the audience. Swiggy tapped into the nervousness of the appraisal months and created an email campaign. Interestingly, the campaign had zero production cost, zero media costs. “The power of digital is you know real-time if a campaign is engaging or not. What I am personally happy is you can really engage with consumers through the power of a simple idea and you don't necessarily need money for it.” A work of another brand he really liked was the campaign done by Samsonite. 

Showcasing the Bajaj campaign around Bajaj V - The rebirth of INS Vikrant bike. Sumeet Narang, Vice-President, Marketing, Bajaj Auto explained how the campaign was more about creating a brand using digital and getting an authentic image around it. “If you want to deal with a subject that is sensitive it depends on how you market it,” said Narang.

“You have to remember that the consumer is analogue. He/she is a human being. Ideas are based on analogue insights and truth. One thing that digital does is it allows identification of activity reach at unprecedented scale,” said Siddharth Rao, Co-founder, CEO, Webchutney. He presented Swiggy’s voice of hunger campaign and a campaign for ‘Uri’, the film. The work he liked was Radhika omnipresent campaign by Netflix. 

The three digital mantras, according to Amarjit Singh Batra, MD, Spotify, is that the message is the medium, look at consuming consumer data across touchpoints and hearing what the customer has to say. Speaking about their Phygital campaign of creating personalised playlists, Batra said: “We picked up various nuances of what people are grappling with every day. Then we went back on using the digital insights. We created the campaign using the insights. The campaign went viral on digital.”

Rashi Goel, VP- Consumer Communication Media, CRM & NHW, Nestle Jogesh Lulla, COO showcased the success of the Ask Nestle campaign. Celebrity management firm Corner Stone Sport and Entertainment’s Jogesh Lulla spoke about their creative campaign for Ocean one8, an energy drink they launched for Virat Kohli. 

Mustafa Ghouse, CEO, JSW Sports, touched upon the re-branding of successful sports teams.

Closing the evening on a much lighter note, Kenny Sabastian made a tongue-in-cheek presentation on the industry and how marketers and brands need to lighten up, have a bit of fun with their products and take themselves a little less seriously.

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