Creativity in magazine ads has deteriorated, feels Sam Balsara

Sam Balsara spoke about how advertisers constantly want acknowledgement for their work and see awards as the best way to get talked about

e4m by Anam Khan
Updated: Jan 16, 2018 8:57 AM

At the Magzimise awards held on Monday at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi, advertising experts across creative and media categories were awarded for their excellence in the professional sphere.
Sam Balsara, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Madison World and Madison Communication, delivering the inaugural speech, spoke about how advertisers constantly look for acknowledgement through their work. Being one of the jury members at Magzimise, Balsara also spoke about the entries this year and shared his experiences from the advertising world when magazine ads were considered to be the biggest thing.
"Talking about the entries this year, I think those were decent, good entries.When I first joined advertising, a director's delight knew no bounds if the account execute promised a double spread ad in Stardust or India Today and the amount of effort that would go into creating the double spread ad would be phenomenal, almost turning an agency turn upside down in the process," he said.
Sadly, things have changed since. Focusing on how, today, the importance of magazines has come to a downside, Balsara spoke about how the radio industry would have faced the same problem had it not emerged to be a player of the long race despite the fact that television has always tried to rule traditional media.
"There are too many radio creative experts in agencies and also radio, let's say in a creative agency, is not given the due importance that television is. So the radio guys came up with a brilliant idea- they went to their clients and they went to agencies to give them the ideas, promising to produce radio commercials," Balsara added.

One thing that ails the magazine industry is also dearth of quality ads as creativity is at an all time low, feels Balsara. He feels that a lot can still be done to turn the tide. "I think the quality of magazine advertising has come down as compared to the '70s and '80s, which was far better than what it is today. Even today there are several capable people who can create strong magazine advertising, but it’s just that they are wasted in ad agencies or their creative capabilities don’t get to bloom fully."

Balsara pointed out that advertisers want their work to be celebrated. "Advertisers have a weakness for awards. They want their pictures to be splashed, they want their awards to be known and want their campaigns to be splashed. So as an advertiser, I would urge the magazine publishers to write and cover news about the winners to appreciate their work," said Balsara.

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