There has never been a time like this. With the global recession creeping across the world and India, advertising agencies will find newer and more economic delivery mechanisms to reach out to consumers. While it has never been safe for anyone to wisely predict or to even foolishly pontificate on trends, the following, perhaps, will cue the sense of belt-tightening that we suspect and anticipate within the next marketing year.
* The biggest of the trends is staring us in the face. There will be a return of common sense and prudence. Flippant advertising will find no room in this austere future.
Austere future: Cheil Communications’ Suthan says advertising will still deliver results, but the trimmed budgets will be more carefully spent. Madhu Kapparath / Mint
* Advertising will continue to deliver results, but the trimmed budgets will be more carefully spent, focused and questioned. Carpet-bombing and booby-trapping vast stretches of the consumer markets will stop.
* The 30-seconder will be the backbone of advertising, but there will be more 15, 10 and 5 second edits. We will also see newer TV innovations, such as more product placements, branded entertainment and Adsync usage.
* Clever and guerilla advertising will emerge stronger. Creatives will also connive with technology to take advantage of 3G (third generation) and mobile screens. The Internet, too, will play host to more and newer executions.
* Mega sponsorships won’t get any bigger. They will be smaller, and all media will cut costs to retain and encourage brands to advertise.
* Emotion, trust, sincerity and honesty will be on overdose. And in an environment that looks at insulating personal financial risk and consolidating financial safety, banks and investment firms will consistently converse with customers and reinforce relationships.
* The youth-focused advertising flurry could take a hit because the youth market could slow. It might lose steam and unfettered buying energy. We can’t blame them. They know they are on the culling lists of many employers.
* Below-the-line (BTL) ideas will mushroom but will be cheaper, and with advertising agencies expanding into BTL, this segment will also become more competitive and will be asked for more transparent and lucid costs. There will also be an increase in co-branded promos, advertising, and we could see collective BTL efforts for retail spaces in small to medium local community markets.
* Pitches are likely to slow. Most agencies will work harder to keep their clients happy, and will have no inclination to spend money to mount spectacular business pitches. Unless, of course, there’s a pitch compensation, global pressure or minimal competition.
* Advertising margins will continue to get hammered, and even more creative people will leave to choose more rewarding options or will find opportunity outside agency walls. This New Year, award money will get a lawn mowing.
Prathap Suthanis national creative director of advertising agency Cheil Communications .This is the second of a nine-part series. Tomorrow: Technopak Advisors Pvt. Ltd chairman Arvind Singhal talks about likely consumer trends.