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Ashutosh Srivastava, Anna Kirah & Rob Campbell present a vision of the future

17-September-2009
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Ashutosh Srivastava, Anna Kirah & Rob Campbell present a vision of the future

Clearly one of the best attended sessions of Spikes Asia 2009 so far was the final session of the first day. Microsoft Advertising put together a panel comprising Ashutosh Srivastava, CEO, Mindshare Asia Pacific; Anna Kirah, VP, CPH Design; and Rob Campbell, Managing Partner, Creative Strategist Asia, Sunshine. Richard Dunmall, GM, Microsoft Advertising, Greater APAC moderated the session.

Anna Kirah kicked off the conversation with a presentation on some of the new age tactics, which had the potential of setting the communication order of the future, especially in light of the turbulent times that people were living in and the fact that one was going in and out of chaos constantly. She gave the example of flash mobs to say that for any brand to be successful, their branding strategies had to be flexible and create a place in the everyday chaos. She added, “Extraordinary products and services came from ordinary people. The rules of engagement are changing, but keep those ordinary people close.”

The panel had varied views on what the future held. Ashutosh Srivastava ensured that the discussion stayed glued to reality and noted that the needs for connectivity and media consumption had not changed as drastically as the means that were enabling these needs and that the future would see the same trait. He said, “People connect for information, for content and the future would be about that too, but the big difference is coming in the means that people use for these. But even in that, you have two extreme cases – those who will consume media at a fixed time, versus those would connect with it at anytime and anyplace. The challenge is to be able to navigate between these two sets of consumers.”

Rob Campbell pointed out that there were barely any brands that were able to do that. He said, “Today, brands are doing more of buying into popularity than making something popular.” He was of the opinion that brands were not doing enough to experiment with the opportunities that were present in the new age of communication.

Richard Dunmall tossed this as a question to Srivastava, and he replied, “Everyone is to take the blame for that. Every component of the ecosystem has been stuck in status quo, and practices of the old world are being brought to the new world.”

However, Srivastava also said that over a period of time, new business models would emerge, wherein even as the classic model would change, there still would be co-existence of different forms of connecting with the consumer.

Kirah ended the conversation by saying that agencies and many other relevant bodies today were digital immigrants, and everyone was trying to bridge a gap, wider than a generation gap. The future indeed was not easy to predict.

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