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The World Can’t Push the Skip Button on Advertising: Uddhav Parab, JioSaavn

If a brand wants to be relevant, it doesn’t just have to support a cause, it has to make sure it brings real impact and change writes Uddhav Parab, Senior Manager- Copy at JioSaavn .

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It used to be different! You would talk shop, even learn. Now it’s a front row seat to the apocalypse’, when I heard these words, I turned around to see that this great seer of advertising wasn’t wearing any robes or sporting a Gandalf like beard. He was a middle-aged ad guy, sweating a little in his suit at the security check. 

A lot of speakers and attendees are talking about the impending ad-apocalypse. Luckily,I spent the next 5 days on sunnier shores of the Cannes Young Lions Creative Academy – a workshop that picks 25 talented creatives from across the world, and trains them to become future ad leaders, andcreate advertising that’s future-proof.   

What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There

Susan Creadle, the CCO of FCB broke it down for us in these simple, eloquent terms. To go further in our careers, we have to do things we haven’t done before. Her words were apt for advertising at large too. Bring more empathy into offices, create safe spaces, and learn management as creative leaders. Her advice can completely change the way creative directors run agencies.

The work Paul and his team are doing for Uber is often better than the the work done by agencies today. Sitting in the client’s office can give you insights and access to resources that an agency just cannot match. Integrating creative teams directly inside client offices will soon change the future of advertising. 

Gary Vaynerchuck, the outspoken media giant behind VaynerMedia echoed the same sentiments. His agency doesn’t even follow the old copywriter-art director structure for every client. They have a copywriter, an art director, and a video producer/editor for every brand, and this team is dedicated to just one brand irrespective of the size of the business. Every day, countless advertising execs harp on disruption. It’s imperative that advertising disrupts itself first.

The In-house Agency Model Is Here to Stay

I’m among the few creatives that work directly on the brand-side. Or the dark side as agencies call it. PaulieDery, ECD at Uber, told us that the in-house agency model came into being because ad agencies weren’t getting creative in how they service a client. Paul explained that his mandate for his team is clear – ‘Don’t be a good in-house agency, be the best agency. Period.’ The work Paul and his team are doing for Uber often exceeds the work done by agencies today. Sitting in the client’s office give you insights and access an agency just cannot offer. Integrating creative teams directly inside client offices will soon change the future of advertising. 

Gary Vaynerchuck, the outspoken media giant behind VaynerMedia echoed the same sentiments. His agency doesn’t even follow the old copywriter-art director structure for every client. They have a copywriter, an art director, and a video producer/editorfor every business, and this team is dedicated to just one brand irrespective of the size of the business. Every day, countless advertising execs harp on disruption. It’s imperative that advertising disrupts itself today. 

Say Aye to AI

AI is the buzzword for the day, and many are intimidated by it, but the larger consensus is that the AI revolution is still far away. As Tea Uglow, a Creative Director from Google pointed out - using AI is like playing Pictionary with a computer, and the computer is getting better at it every single day. It would be ideal if every brand and every ad agency had a creative technologist on board to lead the way on integrating AI into communications, but brands and agencies can work with AI right away. They can employ simple tools like chatbots to empower their consumers. There’s been a steady uptick in Cannes Lions award entries that use AI, and that uptick won’t stop anytime soon.

Do All Brands Have a Purpose?

During a panel discussion with Academy Award® winner Alfonso Cuarón, and David Linde of Participant Media, Wieden+Kennedy’s Colleen DeCourcy emphasized that, ‘If every brand is supporting a cause, then we are using the cause to generate equity, and not cause real change.’

As more and more brands blindly jump on the bandwagon of having a purpose and doing good, we might soon make cause-vertising a lost cause. The idea is to put yourself, as an agency and a brand, at the service of a cause. So, the next time you think of a great idea about a relevant cause, make sure your brand goes all in to support the cause. Get colleagues to volunteer, help raise money internally and externally. Remember, creativity is a tool for good, not a tool for good advertising. Millennials and Gen Z are adept at detecting green-washing and a brand championing a cause to win their support.  So, if a brand wants to be relevant, it doesn’t just have to support a cause, it has to make sure it brings real impact and change.




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