The Indian ad blog scenario: how vibrant?

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Correct me if I am wrong, but I get the feeling that blogs related to Indian advertising & marketing are not as vibrant as those abroad. Even with ad portals or online versions of trade magazines I feel that the US and UK titles offer better width and depth of coverage. And when it comes to ‘discussions’ I find both the Indian magazine websites and blogs woefully falling behind. Take a look at the Gulf edition of Campaign or venerable titles like Ad Age or Adweek, and you will find industry folk participating in droves with comments. The online versions of industry magazines across the world – be it BrandRepublic or CampaignBrief Asia or even the Canadian magazines have several blog contributors writing about issues that matter – not just reporting news. Ad blogs like Scamp or Adscam have their own fan following.

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Like any other publishing medium here too content is king. A significant portion of stuff that you find in Indian trade magazines and online portals is company ‘press release stuff’ and not really opinions or views. Contrast that with BrandRepublic or Ad Age: you will find journalists news, views and blogs galore on various topics. With personal ad blogs like Scamp, opinions and views on goings on in the advertising & marketing world is a given. Scamp & Adscam for example have tonnes of comments on virtually every post. And the comments are as vitriolic and free flowing as the posts themselves. Even the media section of mainline dailies in the UK garner a debate. On a recent campaign of Stella Artois, such were the comments:

Has the credit crunch taken the talent out of advertising?”
That has to be the lamest spoof every made. It’s also the laziest. And it’s about as ‘funny’ as rectal cancer.”

Deathly silence greets you on most Indian ad portals & blogs. Even through this blog, I doubt if I reach out to ad folks in particular. Of course this blog is a bhelpuri of sorts with topics beyond advertising news and campaigns – so it may not appeal to all. Some of the reasons why the Indian ad blog scenario is comparatively tepid:

-lack of personal ad blogs from the bigwigs and senior folks in the industry – the CEO’s, planning heads, creative folk: there are a handful (Suman Srivastava, Manish Sinha, Lynn de Souza, Rahul Jauhari, Sunil Shibad – there could be others that I am not aware of) but not all focused on issues pertaining to Marketing & Advertising. It’d be great if the veterans took time to blog – a la The Big B
– lack of blogs from the big agencies. Again, there are only a handful – W+K Delhi, iContract, Orchard and so on
– predominance of news reports in online versions of trade magazines and less focus on blogs and opinions
– ad industry folk satisfied simply with ‘viewing work’ on Ads of the World and such
ad industry folk being really busy at work to either blog or leave comment
– general good natured approach to most work and avoiding controversy by publicly bitching work from an agency which you may join tomorrow

Any other? What’s your take on the Indian ad blog scenario? Would love your comments.

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7 comments

  • Thanks for dropping by, Rahul. A community blog is a great idea. How is it planned – a panel of writers? I think it would be nice to have youngsters authoring the blog. I think it’s also important to have some PR going around the launch – so that it’s not left to the team behind the blog to get eye balls.

  • Yup, pretty much panel of invited writers. It is still at a stage where I am messing around with the site and blog construction on my own. Intend to discuss the same with some adfolk at the Goafest and see what happens. The PR is the easy part in our industry :-). You can mail me at rjauhari@gmail.com if you want to chat up further on this. Are you at the Goafest? We could catch up there.

    rahuljauhari.net

  • missed this post. just stumbled upon the discussion. i think the lack of buzz at the blogosphere is merely a symptom of a lack of buzz in ‘thinking’ and conversations in general in our venerable adland!

    i think the ad land brain is wrapped up in awards, controversy about awards, the who-will-take-part-who-will-not-in-the-next-awards, scams, and other non-essentials…

    rahul – the community blog is a great initiative. let me know if you need any help. wud love to pitch in!!

  • Completely agree. The bigger blogs almost become PR pieces for the agencies – just complimenting every new campaign and announcing which agency won which new client.

    The two things that are really missing are:
    – widespread involvement, from the people that are actually working in the industry
    – and criticism.

    Your blog idea sounds great.

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