India is one of the world's fastest growing digital economies and to tap into the advantages associated with being on digital platforms, creative agencies like Cheil India are focusing on building their own intellectual property and product.
To find out about this trend of building intellectual property, The Drum spoke with Sanjeev Jasani, chief digital officer at Cheil India, who says: "When you talk about intellectual property and products we believe it’s a vast area. We want to narrow it down to tech platforms that make it easy for clients to do business. We want to build our own, yes for sure, but we also want to take out the trouble of high costs.
"So we want to get into a SaaS model which is cloud based, where clients need to just subscribe and pay as they go. No need for huge investments and hardware. They don’t need to really look under the hood. And as we improve, so do they."
Jasani further emphasizes on how agency like Cheil India is building tech for brands more often, as he think there is a clear differentiator for them and there is a huge gap in the market.
He adds: "The ability to fuse creativity and technology to build something unique for our clients is something we feel will become more and more relevant with each passing day."
But this is not the case with all the Indian agencies, they say. Many big and mid-sized conventional agencies promise to do 360 campaigns but end up doing more above the line work. There are also digital creative agencies who struggle to do brand work, while creative boutique agencies are doing new age work but can’t sustain for a long time on their own, while they want to scale it up.
Whether Indian agencies have evolved, Sagar Mahabaleshwar, chief creative officer, Cheil India believes that internet penetration and digital transformation which began from 2010 onward put the ball rolling.
He says:" There has also been a significant shift in storytelling. From one way communication with consumers, today the POV is the most important aspect of brand communications. The one thing that has always been central to advertising is Idea and storytelling and it will continue to be in there.
"Going forward, the agencies where creativity is inspired by technology will be the ones having the edge over others. One big change which I have noticed that clients started demanding time of the people who contribute to their business. Creative minds from servicing, planning and creative departments."
Mahabaleshwar further cited Cheil India’s recent work for Sense International – Good Vibes project where they gave them a creative solution with a strong technological backbone by creating a mobile app enabling two-way communication for deafblind. The app won a Graphite Pencil at D&AD 2018 and 4 Abbys at Goa Fest 2018.
Talking about Good Vibes, he says: "This is not a campaign but the first ever two-way communication tool conceptualized, designed and developed completely in-house. It truly highlights our core value of creativity + technology. It is great that our work is being recognized nationally and internationally.
Cheil India has also recently beefed up its creative investment, and has appointed Moosa Khan and Nitin Pradhan as a part of the senior creative leadership. Moosa has been named as head of digital (creative) and Nitin takes on the role of senior executive creative director.