Ad Asia: Dance of the Asian advertising elephants

Chitra Narayanan New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on October 31, 2011


Mr Piyush Pandey

Akira Kagami

The roar of the metal beasts on the F1 track had scarcely died down when Delhi moves on to yet another high octane but less noisy event.

Ad Asia 2011, described as the continent’s biggest media, marketing and advertising congress, will kick off in the capital Monday evening with a gala dinner packed with cultural shows.

India had hosted Ad Asia for the first time eight years ago at Jaipur. As then, the who’s who of the marketing and advertising fraternity is here to exchange notes with their global peers.

But this time there is a difference: advertising is in turmoil because of the global economic uncertainty. It is also caught between changing media and consumer preferences and the challenge of new technologies.

Uncertain milieu

So the theme of uncertainty has resonated. As Mr Vivek Srivastava, Joint Managing Director, Innocean, says, “I would be keen to see what practitioners are doing in other similar Asian environments in terms of handling change in the service and intellect-driven field of advertising.”

Mr Srivastava feels that a lot of people within the industry in India are still under the delusion that digital still has some way. So it’s good that the conference is making everyone do a reality check. There are sessions on the New Age Consumer and Marketing 3.0 that should deal with this issue.

Mr Prathap Suthan, Chief Creative Officer, iYogi, a remote tech support company, says he can’t miss the event as “it is happening in my own backyard”. But for him uncertainty is not an extraordinary phenomenon. “New changes are happening, yes. But those changes are part of evolution.”

What’s different now he says is the speed of change. “Earlier, you were cruising in a Padmini car, now you have got on to a faster Mercedes Benz,” he says.

On Tuesday, as the speeches kick off, on the agenda are topics like what it will take India to be a global brand. Economist and strategy guru Pankaj Ghemawat will be moderating the session.

Asia rising

The much awaited session is on Asian creativity, especially as forecasts say that the maximum growth in the advertising industry is going to be witnessed in China and India. Mr Akira Kagami, the legendary global executive creative advisor of Japanese agency Dentsu will lead the discussion on Asian creative renaissance. Lending him company will be Bruce Haines of Cheil, South Korea, Kitty Lun, CEO, Lowe, China and Piyush Pandey of Ogilvy & Mather India.

Ms Lara Balsara of Madison points to the increasing number of our ad honchos being called for jury duty at Cannes. This, she says, shows that momentum is gradually shifting here.

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Published on October 31, 2011
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