Is traditional advertising the road ahead?, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

Ajay Kakar, Shubhranshu Singh, Rahul Pansare and Josy Paul (left to right)

Digital advertising dominates the discourse. New technologies give rise to new discussion points. However, traditional advertising, on the other hand, continues to retain the trust of large advertisers.

With the advent of digital which is renowned as a data-led medium, how has the role of traditional advertising changed? Is television still a trusted medium to solve a different problem than what it was used for a decade ago? What about the role of print in vernacular markets?

A panel of industry experts moderated by Josy Paul, chairman and chief creative officer, BBDO consisted of Ajay Kakar, chief marketing officer, Aditya Birla Capital, Shubhranshu Singh, vice president- domestic marketing and international business, CVBU, Tata Motors and Rahul Pansare, head marketing and PR, Jeep Stellantis India. The panel discussed the role of traditional advertising and decoded the road ahead.

Kakar said, “As a marketer, I am interested in effectiveness, I am interested in creating awareness for my brands, creating rich associations for them, cultivating a shared meaning. And if some other media or medium allows me to do that, I’m happy to invest in whatever gets the job done.”

“I don’t think there’s a cliff, and that marketers who are invested in traditional media will fall off the cliff on the very next step. I think there is a long tail for every kind of media,” he added.

The Aditya Birla executive emphasized that we as humans take great joy in killing everything and then say TV is dead, print is dead and so on.

Moreover, traditional, by definition, is something that has not changed for years. Pansare shared, “As a marketeer, I don’t think there is any channel or any medium that is reaching out to the mass media that has not changed. Everything has evolved. The newspapers that we used to read 20 years back, are not the same newspapers that we read today.”

He added, “There is nothing traditional when marketers plan their communication. It’s more about a customer centric approach.”

Coming to storytelling, Kakar added, “Storytelling depends on who you’re telling the story to. And then decide how you’re telling the story. The story can be told by a medium, which could be digital, it could be print or TV, it could be pulled across the table. It could be experiential, it could be through drama, it could be through film.”

Highlighting points around the impact of word of mouth, Singh said, “Word of mouth means that you have risen through and ascended to the level where people find you interesting enough to tell others about you. And so I think from a marketing and brand building effort, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

Coming to the digital medium, Singh added, “We live in a country where 400 million people are less than 20 years of age. We’re an incredibly young country where lifestyles are going digital, our phone has everything we need. So naturally, the way in which they engage with brands, how they do their due diligence, how they compare one with the other will also shift digitally.”

Marketers need to build a brand that can stand the test of time and evolve as people, markets, and businesses are constantly changing.


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