afaqs! news bureau
The Planner’s Special

"The rural market is mirroring the urban market..."

An interview with Rajul Kulshreshtha, CEO, Madison Media Plus. This is part of a special series of conversations with media agency heads - interview 14 of 31.

What, in your view, was your agency’s best campaign of 2019? What about it impressed you?

I think there were three campaigns that impressed me: First, our Max Life campaign titled ‘You are the Difference’. This was impressive because it achieved all the KPIs that it set out to. Similarly, our campaigns for MagicBricks and Domino’s were also highly visible. Both these campaigns had fresh communication that the audience needed to see – and, indeed, they did see it.

In 2020, what is that big trend that ought to concern or excite media agencies?

I hope we see an integrated approach to media, going forward.

In the context of media planning/buying, what’s the one global practice/trend India will do well to catch up with fast?

Buying GRPs upfront, perhaps?

From a media spend perspective, which product groups do you suppose will be most affected by the economic slowdown that has crept up on us – and least?

The automobile segment for sure is the most affected – and it will continue to be so. The food segment, however, will be unaffected to a large extent, I think. That’s because people have to eat.

And within that, what consumption trends are you seeing in rural versus urban markets?

The rural market is mirroring the urban market, albeit in a smaller manner. They are, however, more cautious and need that extra push to make it happen.

In the next 12 months, the solution to the digital ad fraud menace will come from…

Strict legislation and execution of the same.

What kind of specialisation/talent is missing in media agencies today?

Looking at media in an integrated manner is an approach that’s missing today.

I wish client would…

I wish they’d start looking at agencies as partners rather than as vendors.

Note: This interview was conducted for the mid-March edition of our magazine afaqs!Reporter. It is a special issue dedicated to the top media planning and buying executives, who service some of India's largest advertisers. Market conditions have changed dramatically since this interview was first written and any apparent obsoletion therein must be seen in that context. To read/download all 31 interviews, please click here.