As slowdown woes start creeping in and companies consider lowering their ad-spends, brand experts and ad-gurus believe that advertisers should be judicious, even careful, but not get panicky in the current scenario.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Prasoon Joshi, executive chairman, McCann Worldgroup India and regional executive creative director, Asia Pacific said, “Unless clients want to shut shop and leave their businesses, they shouldn’t ignore brand building. If the economy takes two years to revive and no brand-building activities are executed in that period, ties with the consumer will be broken.”
While advertising activities of foreign banks, mutual funds, credit cards and real estate projects have come down, those for fixed deposits, insurance etc. within the same bigger category are continuing.
Chandradeep Mitra, president, Mudra MAX said, “Sectors like real estate, where the consumer demand is evidently absent, need not advertise. However, others should wisely use advertising with a realistic yet assuring tone, which paints a hopeful picture and avoids euphoria.”
FMCG players are continuing as per plans. H K Press, executive director and president, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd said, “We are continuing with our advertising plan this year. For the next year, we may even increase our ad-spends to maintain as well as grow sales.”
Marico will also continue to invest 10 to 12 per cent of its sales in advertising. Saugata Gupta, CEO, consumer products, Marico said, “There may be some prioritisation at best, but no significant cut in our ad-spends.” He added that the company’s focus would be to advertise keeping long-term growth in mind.
Many media practitioners are also concerned that clients, in their bid to react to the slowdown, may forget the consumer. Ravi Kiran, CEO-South Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group said, “There is a clear opportunity for challenging brands to increase sales or at least gain market share. This is also an opportunity to be more customer-focussed than ever.” However, his worry is that many advertisers may contract their marketing thinking and make some wrong decisions.