Kunal Roy on Cheil’s win at Effies 2018 & key digital ad trends this year

Cheil Worldwide bagged a Silver in the recently held Effie India Awards 2018 for its work done for Samsung. Adgully caught up with Kunal Roy, Head of Integrated Strategy at Cheil Worldwide, to know more about the win. He also shares his insight on key trends dominating digital advertising in 2018, challenges in terms of creativity, influence of big data and AI, and more. 

On Cheil’s Silver win at the Effie Awards 2018 for Samsung...
The win is very encouraging as we begin to focus on Effies – we entered 7 campaigns and were shortlisted in 4 categories, that’s a conversion rate to be happy about. 

What’s rewarding is that our metal win is for Samsung, which is a testimony to the industry recognising and rewarding our work for Samsung who provides us with great products to do impactful work on, year on year. 

What was the creative brief for the campaign?
The creative brief was simple – we wanted to break away from the category convention of shouting out features and specifications and create work that demonstrated the benefit of our key features in an immersive, engaging manner. The outcome was a challenge to create short films shot on Samsung A9 Pro on a single battery charge. 

What would be the key trends dominating digital advertising in 2018?
2018 should be an exciting year for advertising. Content will continue to be king, with AR playing a bigger and more immersive role, going beyond filters in cameras. Further, my belief is that content will become more interactive with tutorials, educational or even entertainment videos that’ll allow users to personalise and customise them to suit their own needs. 

Influencers are becoming celebrities and the Millennials have apathy towards paid endorsements. So, the fear of influencers becoming less credible and more commercial will increase the importance of accountability and effectiveness while creating Influencer strategies. 

The other big change I’d predict is the increase of digital engagement programmes being integrated into real-life experiences. Real-life experience is the social currency of the youth and so walled digital experiences alone won’t cut it anymore. 

Finally, how can we talk about digital without addressing the importance of data? Data will be key in 2018 in deciphering the consumer journey and which points of influence are critical and which one are superfluous. 

What are the challenges that the digital medium faces in terms of creativity?
Talent is the only strength and challenge of a creative industry. With more and more digital natives entering our industry, the challenge doesn’t lie in understanding the domain, the challenge still lies in attracting, motivating and nurturing good creative talent. In the absence of great ideas, domain knowledge is useless for our industry. 

How do you think creativity is affected or changed with growing use of technology, big data and AI?
Big data and tech innovations help spark new opportunities and formats of ideas, so I’d say that the range of output has become more varied and diverse. There is so much more for creativity to play with. 

How do you see content shaping up today for ads both digitally and traditionally?
As I said earlier, content will continue to be king - just delivered in a more immersive, personalised manner. 

How much more challenging has it become for agencies to have long-term relationships with clients?
Long-term relationships become challenging if the two parties work at cross purposes. I believe long-term relationships can grow stronger only if the agency and the client share the same goals, capitalising on the same opportunities and combating the common challenges. 

The New York Festival has recently added Sports as one of the categories in its category roster. What, according to you, will be the implication of this on sports advertising?
It’s about time. Historically, some of the best advertising and engagement programmes have been created for cult sports brands like Adidas, Nike or even Under Armour. What will remain to be seen is if advertising agencies will be contested by sports marketing companies in this category. If yes, then it’s game on!


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