What’s in store for the ad world in 2019

Creative leaders share their big predictions for the new year

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Jan 8, 2019 8:28 AM

2018 has been a year of massive changes in creative advertising. From large-scale mergers to a shift away from digital giants like Google and Facebook as their once robust image of wide reach & scale took a beating because of measurement errors and brand safety scandals. We also watched TV join the ranks of digital-only companies in audience-targeting capabilities and affordability. And you bet, 2019 won’t be any different. So we asked creative leaders to share their big predictions for 2019. Here's what they have to say.

Amer Jaleel – Group CCO & Chairman, MullenLowe Lintas Group

I think brands and marketers will become a bit more circumspect about the go-to device of 2017 and 2018-- long-format brand video. I think everyone has rushed in excited by the obvious fame gains of this format, mostly getting attracted by the media opportunities that came their way in the form of Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, et al. I think most have not evaluated what these opportunities mean to their brands, many have not stopped to consider how to customise their brand message to this format. As a result, a few films are remembered for the social message they gave out but since they were hardly in sync with the brand, the brand has taken a beating.

But news-making for brands is not going anywhere. What that means is that we will see brands wanting to participate in completely new ways to create or add to the conversation around news stories or events or happenings. This will keep marketers and agencies on their toes throughout the year and no one will have the luxury of a nap during the year. It just seems that younger people will likely root for brands that have something to say about the issues and topics that interest them as they happen, rather than just wait for that one brilliant Christmas or Super Bowl video.

I also feel that video will go down as a tool simply because it’s just getting too, too much. So it won’t die for sure but physicality will come back big time. Holding a real show or an event or putting up an installation or designing a special issue of your brand’s offering will start to take precedence over video. Of course, capturing that physicality and amplifying it will still be the job of the video!

And finally, I am really looking forward to the day when I get a brief that details its target audience as ‘Sanjana is a three-year-old voice assistant living in the outskirts of Gorakhpur...’ We’ll see! 

Rohit Ohri, Group Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, FCB India

First will be e-commerce boom. With a decrease in data costs, we will see a dramatic increase in mobile e-commerce. Consumer purchase behaviour will change completely. Voice search in vernacular will drive brand penetration in India.

Second, consumers will be smarter and more conscious. Consumers of all ages will demand more transparency. They will buy brands they can trust. There will be zero tolerance for unethical brands.

And third, video content will be king. Brands that master the use of video online will leap ahead.


Raghu Bhat, Director, Scarecrow M&C Saatchi

Nobody earns till the consumer spends. Liquidity is all in the mind. Today, the joy of saving is winning the battle against the joy of spending. This is true even for marketers. The desire to indulge will remain but we will see more spending on “affordable pleasures” like digital entertainment, food and deals. In the rest of categories, consumers will tighten their belts. The impact of this will be felt on any service that delivers an intangible like creativity. Agencies will also have to think of delivering a ROI-linked product or integrated solution in which creativity is one part.               

Neeraj Bassi, Managing Partner & Chief Strategy Officer, Publicis    

2019 is going to be a landmark year for advertising. There has been a lot of churn in the industry in the past couple of years

-- change of creative guard, merger of agency propositions and even change of a marquee signature. These are all signs that the industry is taking bold steps to adapt to the new environment. Finally, all eyes are on defining a future facing value proposition. 

My prediction is that agencies are going to start working in a lot more collaborative manner-- rather than trying to build every specialisation internally, collaborate with the best specialists in the market. They will go back to their core of brand custodianship and bring in specialists on need basis. This will help the industry to grow at an overall level and help the agencies focus on what they do best-- build great brands. 


Aalap Desai, Senior Creative Director, Dentsu Webchutney

Artificial Intelligence-powered voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home might have been deemed as the trump card for their parent companies but for brands, the potential will actually be tapped into when customers start making voice purchases in huge numbers. Like the early days of internet searches, the technology’s potential is yet to be fully realized. Marketers are still figuring out how to operate in a context where each platform gives certain brands an advantage, and where they can’t rely on visual advertising to drive purchase behaviour. For example, if someone who has forgotten their spectacles could order an Uber by talking to their phones, then would their bookings increase? They definitely would.

Jigar Fernandes, Founder & Creative Head, Tiqui-taka

A year is a short time for big changes in our industry. I believe the same trends will continue. Shorter ads with lesser dialogues will become more common on TV as that is what works in the pre-roll web world. There will be a rise in digital celebs being cast for TVCs to tap into their following online. On the content side, brands that'll make bolder fresh stuff will win more than others who are ticking boxes.


Read more news about (internet advertising India, internet advertising, advertising India, digital advertising India, media advertising India)

For more updates, be socially connected with us on
Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Youtube