17 things which will not change in the advertising industry in 2016

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Since this is the season for crystal-ball gazing, predictions and listicles, herewith my unsolicited, light-hearted take (no offence meant) on things which will not change this year for the ad industry:

1. Agency press release announcing big wins: you know the type which says that the agency has already won zillion trillion crores worth of billing over the past 3 months. Usually this is followed by news of clients (mentioned in the above press note), calling for a pitch.

2. Senior creatives leaving to start a new-age agency with ‘digital at the core’: yes, more in the pipeline. Some will do well in terms of business based on their client equations, business savvy and creative skills. Most will struggle to stay afloat.

3. Awards for ads you have never seen: same as previous years.

4. Long form online-only videos with tenuous connect to the sponsoring brand: expect more. Maybe a film about a woman who gives it back to a rude husband; sponsored by a floor cleaner brand (she refuses to be walked all over – see?)

5. Heartwarming PSA films for various ‘causes’: rejoice, NGOs.

6. Celebrity driven films for FMCG, lifestyle & fashion brands: sure shot way for creating awareness. Tried and tested formula among MNC and home-grown consumer goods companies.

7. The use of ‘issi liye’ as the chance to segue into brand window in TVCs: <problem situation> – issi liye – <brand window>.

8. Average number of script iterations (especially for FMCG films) will continue to hover around 23.

9. Production budgets of Rs.1 cr+ for films: ‘film opens in a beach’ means, it has to be be shot abroad, South Africa most likely . Even ‘we see her entering a hospital’, warrants a shoot in Prague.

10. More film production houses with a panel of directors: with margins which would make ad agencies weep, why not?

11. Radio ads will continue to suck: more of ‘Hey, have you heard of <brand name>?’  ‘No, what is <brand name> ?’. ‘It is a <long list of features> ’. <‘Oh, I am going to buy right now’>.

12. Banner ads will not change format: expect more of that teeny weeny banner ad at the bottom of your favourite news app’s screen.

13. Site take-overs, ads which occupy every inch of real estate on a PC, mobile phone or iPad will continue, especially in news sites. Subtlety be damned.

14. Listicles will continue to attract native advertising options. ’15 gifts which are sure to make you swoon’ – and the bonus being an ad for a watch or chocolate.

15. 2016 will be the year of the mobile – again. But brands will continue to offer non-responsive sites, banks will continue with their mobile-unfriendly login screens and so on.

16. Agencies will continue to undercut each other on retainer fee. 75,000 per month? No problem.

17. Ex-ad agency old farts will continue to rant about advertising in their personal blogs, even if they were guilty of all of the above when in advertising.

I am sure there more, some not-so-depressing ones as the above. Feel free to add, by commenting in.

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