2015 roundup for Campaign India

2015 was the year when mobile came into being in a very big way. Mobile is a moving, evolving category, and till now has refused to get boxed in by boundaries. Five years back Angry Birds was possibly the first ever consumer brand that was available on mobile only. For a brand to only exist in the virtual world was path breaking. 2015 has seen not just brands, but categories exist as mobile only categories. Today almost everything that is exciting is on mobile. Mobile lets commerce become hyperlocal, serve deals that are location-based. The offline world is now actively moving to online platforms, brands are helping them go online in a big way. Music, travel, social networks, fashion, food, entertainment – everything is powered by mobile.
Along with all the convenience came the downside of being on mobile. Privacy is now something that is unknown. Brands know when we are travelling and where to, they know if we bought the dress for that favourite occasion, they know if you took your special person out for a candle-lit dinner. Remarketing on mobile tracks you and leaves you with no choices. Now they also know if you were indiscreet for whatever reason; they put your name on the whole world wide web.
Apps define the way we live now, apps track us real time to know who we are.
2015 was the year when Apps became a mainline word, and redefined consumer lives. 2016 will be the year of social networks, but the social networks themselves will change. WhatsApp is already challenging the numbers of Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram. Till now social networks were more about friends and followers; Whatsapp has changed that already. Whatsapp is not the place to collect followers and fans, but the place where you interact with people you know. Whatsapp groups will become a potent force in coming year. Brands will have to become far more intrusive to keep their fans and followers engaged with them.
Mobile will be far more intricately integrated with consumer lives in 2016. This would be a fresh new challenge for the marketing fraternity.
Original published here http://www.campaignindia.in/Article/399703,8216i-see-the-return-of-comedy8217.aspx

AdStand: Looking back at 2015. Episode 2

2015 is the year of apps and connected devices. The way technology has invaded every sphere of life is rapidly changing the way we live. From groceries to grooming, from music to machinery, from entertainment to elections, from fashion to farming, from car pool to carpenter, everything has a disruptive app.

Our celeb endorsers have added categories to their repertoire; they now sell groceries, music bits, discounted deals and many more things than you could ever imagine. The apps have changed the game for celebrity engagement; they now no longer only endorse a brand, they are now actively on apps where they happily tell their fans and followers what they wear, eat, drink and tell them to buy the same things. Gwyneth Paltrow has her own dedicated site, Goop.com, and closer home celebs are on lots of platforms pushing their wares.

If the app economy is the first trend of 2015, app is the second trend too of 2015. I call it the Ashley Madison Bomb or the death of privacy in connected world.

If there is a flip side to connected economy, this is it. “Remarketing”, or the process of dropping a tiny programme on your system called cookie that lets brands follow you online, to constantly offer the product till you buy is now an old paradigm. Remarketing became more powerful in 2015, it broke the shackle of devices, following you from one device to another with social platforms taking it on with gusto. But despite this, remarketing is nowhere near what the new technology can inspire.

Early in 2015 two hackers – Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek – remotely took control of a new Jeep Cherokee, took control of its climate control system, its entertainment system, activated the wipers, and even disabled the engine and made it come to a standstill, while the driver in the car could do nothing. Watch what happened here: http://www.wired.com/2015/07/hackers-remotely-kill-jeep-highway/. This is as scary as it gets. Mercifully it was an experiment by ethical hackers, or else a ‘Transporter’ kind of movie can play out every day on our roads. May be the cops can enforce the odd-even formula of Delhi remotely from a connected control centre!

We all know that hackers released 36 million accounts that were members of Ashley Madison. Now Ashley Madison’s services are not the services that someone will put on their social networking profile, this is something that they would like to keep hidden. The hackers were not the keepers of morality or conscience; they were seeking fame out of moments of weakness or notoriety of others.

What the leak tells us is that internet is neither private nor anonymous. Even if the site or service wants to guard the privacy, it is not easy in today’s hyper-connected world. This will have implications on consumer engagement strategies in 2016.

Imagine the possibilities.

Travel sites will know about your travel plans and will bombard the users with rival offers in real time making choices difficult.

The shopping websites will know about your shopping basket and in real time will alter their offerings to lure you away from rivals, either by offering value-adds or by offering better prices.

Fashion sites driven from data they have, will know about your fashion style and will first offer the stuff that fits your style, making the process of choice a lot more data driven and a lot less look driven.

Marketing is all about creating a following for the brand, the new Ashley Madison Bomb effect may enhance the commoditisation of a variety of categories for it will become easy to tailor offers, and offer discounts.

This is discounting the fact that all of us may be sitting ducks for cyber terrorists who can wreck our lives by string of codes.

Next week, a look at a third trend, something that may not have been a result of the internet dominating our lives.

original published here http://www.bestmediainfo.com/2015/12/adstand-looking-back-at-2015-episode-2/

AdStand: Looking back on 2015 – Episode 1

The year is coming to an end, and it is a good time to look back at the year that has gone by. Every year that passes by leaves an imprint for the next year to follow. 2015 may be leaving behind a major trend that may be changing the world of communication in a major way.

In June this year Chevrolet sent out a press release in the US written almost completely in Emoji. The press release was for the Chevy Cruise 2016 model for global markets. The release generated global buzz, may be more than the overall coverage that the car launch generated.

Emojis are small electronic images and icons that help users express emotions.

Emoji’s are an awesome development. The start of language for humankind was pictures. As far back as 3300 BCE Egyptians were using Hieroglyphs to write the story of the kingdom. Hieroglyphs were a series of pictures that were used to tell the glory of a kingdom to its citizens. Language evolved to have what we now know as alphabets. And, in the last couple of years, it has evolved to become a series of pictures again. Emoji’s are the new age Hieroglyphs, and mobiles are the new edifices where they are displayed. Mobile phones became central to the way we live in more ways than it can be imagined and changed the language forever.

This is the first big trend of 2015: The Year of the Apps.

2015 will be the year where apps became mainstream categories. Apps till now were mobile presence of mainstream brands, but that changed in 2015.

Take payments for instance. Apps have redefined how people pay, transact and shop. It is difficult to believe that consumers can trust their mobile device to hold money and pay money to another user. The category of mobile payments did not exist even a year back. Not just mobile payments, banks too have adapted to the world of mobile. Bank apps now allow you to do new things like video chat, ask questions and do everything that traditional bank accounts let you do.

Mobiles are making pictures and videos mobile and ubiquitous. With apps like Meerkat and Periscope, photos and videos are now always available on demand everywhere. While pictures were for a long time, now even video is.

The category of Music has seen a revival thanks to music that is available through apps. From Apple to Deezer to Spotify to Gaana, songs are now available online anytime they are wanted. Last year Apple released the new U2 album exclusively online; today this has become mainstream with the possibility that music may never be available in offline format.

Games are the new category that have moved to mobile, what started as an innovation from Angry Birds, became an epidemic with Candy Crush, and now has become mainstream with NFS and FIFA 16 moving to apps on mobile devices.

By the end of the year cops across the country have hitched on to the bandwagon. Now citizens can report traffic violations, file an FIR and in some cases even pay pending challans. This is serious mainstreaming of apps.

There isn’t a category that is now not available as an app. Groceries, vegetables, medicines, doctors, eye wear, beauty products, fashion advice, driving tips, music, movies, deliveries, food, reviews, tickets, and whatever else that can be imagined.

Mobiles phones are no longer about make, price range or features; they are today only about apps that are installed on it. Smart watches are pushing this even deeper with integration between life and mobile device getting deeper. Did you not reach out for your mobile phone first thing today morning?

This is the first of the four trends of 2015. Next trend in next post.

Original published here: http://www.bestmediainfo.com/2015/12/adstand-looking-back-on-2015-episode-1/