Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has unveiled its new brand identity. The Drum speaks to the key people behind the repositioning of the regulatory body – ASCI’s secretary-general Manisha Kapoor and chairman Subhash Kamath – to learn what’s in store.
After being around for many years, Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the premier self-regulatory body for Indian advertising, has unveiled its new brand identity – its first-ever rebranding since its inception in 1985, according to secretary-general Manisha Kapoor. “The idea is to launch its future-ready and more inclusive avatar to face a fast-evolving world.”
The new identity has been designed by Indian ad veteran KV Sridhar, who is the chief creative officer (global) at Nihilent Ltd. Sridhar says the logo “reflects the dynamic nature of media platforms and the newer, interesting ways in which communication is being created and consumed today”.
In an exclusive chat with The Drum, Kapoor and ASCI’s chairman Subhash Kamath reveal the future of brand ASCI.
Kapoor on the backdrop of the new brand identity and future plans
The new identity is a recognition of the changes in the advertising and communications environment and the evolving journeys of our stakeholders. With digital, this change has accelerated. ASCI’s agenda for the future is seeing a shift in our approach. We want to be more collaborative, thought-provoking, progressive and inclusive – addressing the complex challenges of the digital world we operate in. This digital world is exciting but brings in new kinds of consumer vulnerabilities. We want to support responsible advertising through consultative, advisory, thought leadership approaches beside the rigorous monitoring and complaint management services we have.
The new logo symbolizes a contemporary organization geared to the future for the emerging generation, which is savvy, vocal, aware and very invested in technology and digital media. At the same time, they hold others accountable for their actions and are not afraid to call out what they feel is incorrect. Hence being responsible and honest is extremely important for all brands, more so than ever. As a self-regulator that aims for advertising to remain honest and truthful, our agendas are really aligned with the emerging generation mindset.
Kamath on the client brief and logo design
The brief, in this case, was to look at a logo that reflected the change and vision for ASCI going forward. Advertising is a vibrant industry and creativity is exploding. We look to provide leadership to this industry in the area of responsibility, within the new realities of these exciting times.
Nihilent Ltd is the agency that worked on the logo under the charge of Pops (Sridhar), who is an ASCI insider, being on the board for the last few years. The team was required to understand and interpret the nuance of dealing with a vibrant creative industry responsibly, and in a way that was open, transparent and collaborative. The elegant font signifies leadership and openness, and the colors used represent the creativity of the industry as well as the diversity of communications media, approaches and tools in today’s age. It also signifies our commitment to our diverse set of stakeholders, from the government to the citizens of this country.
Elements of the refurbished ASCI brand
Helping advertisers with services that help them ‘get it right’: To help advertisers make sense of the emerging realities, ASCI plans to launch advisory services and research-based insight studies. It has already embarked on a massive study GenderNext, which looks at gender depiction in advertising and aims to provide new starting points for advertisers for more progressive gender depictions. Plans are also afoot to overhaul its advertising advisory service, which will support advertisers at the pre-production stage. This approach will provide the necessary thought leadership, provocations and support to the advertising ecosystem to create more responsible advertising.
Getting ready for the digital age: ASCI recognizes that with the digital age, not only are consumers seeing more ads in digital media but their expectations and interactions with advertisements and the media world are also changing. The industry has reorganized itself to reflect this new reality. The coming together of marketing and information technology is determining how advertisements get created and consumed, and the focus going forward would be on updating our guidelines and procedures to keep consumers safe in the digital age.
Deploying technology for best results: As technology tools, machine learning and AI systems take over the new-age workplace, ASCI also plans to deploy the best practices to track and measure advertising content. Technology will help ASCI be more vigilant in overseeing the sheer explosion of advertising content. Deployment of press release technology in its complaint management system will also enable a smoother interaction between consumers, the industry and other stakeholders with ASCI.