If day one of Goafest, the advertising, media and marketing
summit at Bambolim, Goa, dwelt on the marketer’s perspective on advertising, day two focused on what agencies had to say about it.
One would assume that as partners in the effort to build brands, agencies have all the answers to complex advertising
problems. But as Sanjay Nazerali, global chief strategy officer, Carat, a media agency, part of the Dentsu group, says, “Our weakness shows up in the number of ads blocked by consumers.”
Ad blocking refers to the tendency among consumers to skip or avoid ads. It is seen especially in the digital medium, though ad blocking could also happen on television when consumers simply switch channels during ad breaks. Speaking on the second day of Goafest, Nazerali highlighted that ad blocking cost Indian publishers $250-300 million in advertising· revenue a year.
India’s ad-blocking rate is the highest in the world at 30 per cent, followed by China at 28 per cent, say digital marketing
and media experts. Markets such as Europe and the US have an ad blocking rate of 10-15 per cent.
So why are consumers blocking ads in India? Nazerali points to India still having to play catch-up when it comes to digital marketing.
“While digital remains a buzzword among most agencies and marketers, the question is: Do we fully understand it at all?”
Rod Findley, executive creative director at US-based digital agency C2K, best-known for its work for clients such as Toyota, Toshiba, Sony and Canon, says that marketers and agencies should plan strategically and engage with their audience rather than chase gimmicks on digital. “Technology can lure an agency or client to embellish their ads with it. This will mean nothing if it fails to engage the audience it is targeted at,” he says while dwelling on the subject of the effective use of technology in digital campaigns on day two of Goafest.
Findley, who has helped C2K stand out of the digital-agency clutter in the US by focusing on virtual reality (VR), says there are seven drivers that can help build an effective VR campaign. They include being immersive, interactive, memorable, empathetic, scalable, novel and stimulating.
Nazerali, on the other hand, points to the future saying the emphasis will shift from being capital-intensive to being knowledge-intensive, legacy infrastructure will make way for digital infrastructure and the focus from multinationals will move to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals, eager to make their presence felt in the marketplace. “There are 45 million SMEs in India and as these organisations and individuals aspire to be visible and heard, advertising
could well take a different hue,” he says.
Awards at Goafest
Friday belonged to Taproot, part of the Dentsu group. It walked away with 28 metals on the second day of Goafest, which saw the first set of Creative Abby awards declared.
Metals is industry parlance for awards or trophies. Taproot also walked away with the highest number of golds on Friday, giving it a clear edge over rivals such as JWT, Social Street and Scarecrow. JWT and Scarecrow had three and two golds each on Friday, while Scarecrow had no golds to add to its list.
The tally so far for Social Street, founded by adman Pratap Bose, was 16 metals, while Scarecrow, co-founded by Raghu Bhat and Manish Bhatt, and Dentsu Impact were tied at 14 metals each on day two of the festival. The final agency tally will become clear on Saturday once the winners of the second part of the Creative Abbies are declared.