This is what excites me about the coming year:
GDP growth: The robustly growing GDP gives us reason to hope that clients will shell out more dough that will enable us to do big campaigns.
Digital might just be real: Tumbling prices of laptops, integration of the internet into TV and mobile phones and products such as media players (which can store movies, TV programmes, Wi-Fi in one box) will bring in a new revolution.
The real India: The saturation of urban markets has given way to huge opportunity in the form of rural India. Marketers will use everything they have to successfully converse with this India. FMCG firms have made inroads - DTH and mobile phones are in the process of doing so. Regional advertising will come to the fore, replacing national advertising. It will be interesting to see companies communicating with so many Indias.
Talent pools: Never before has advertising seen an influx of such genuinely interested and talented youth. People are leaving engineering, banking, consultancy and other sectors to work at ad agencies to create something.
And these are the things that worry me:
Bulls and Bears: The emphasis on financial growth, shareholder value and the quarter-to-quarter reporting culture is pushing brand building into a corner. Clients are holding back investments meant for brand-building to pump up financials.
Forgetting the old: The excitement of using social media and 360-degree advertising has resulted in traditional media being ignored. We shouldn't let ourselves go astray by forgetting our purpose of focusing on the medium that actually builds the brand and delivers on efficiency.
Absconding talent: The talent that has been so carefully nurtured is running away to start on its own. What happened to Pepsi and JWT can happen to any brand.