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In his recent Newsweek article ‘New Wave of Advertisers Consider Consumers the New Medium’, columnist Nick Summers points to an interesting trend that is happening in the United States which companies in India – if the cable digitization plan is carried out, covering the four major metros by July this year and another 35 cities by March 2013 – may soon find relevant.

 Referring to how advertising was once a simple undertaking, he writes:

“Today it’s chaos: while passive viewers still exist, mostly we pick and choose what to consume, ignoring ads with a touch of the DVR remote.”

Once set-top boxes become the norm in Indian homes, the Indian consumer too will most likely be able to fast forward through annoying TV ads to watch their programmes. Summers feels this is going to make companies turn the social media space to create ad content that is engaging, that has viral potential; something that you would like to share with your friends on Facebook or Twitter.

“After decades of advertisers blaring messages at consumers, those consumers now have their own megaphones to blare back.”

As Summers points out, advertising agencies are today more likely to brag to their clients about Facebook Likes than a hike in product sales. He then goes on to talk about viral advertising, mentioning some interesting examples in the American context.

But what could this mean for Indian consumers? Besides quirky or sensational ad content soon flooding our inboxes instead of our TV sets, the more exciting trend to look forward to is how Indian companies, no longer able to avoid an online interactive presence, will be forced out of their ivory towers and be accountable not just for the ad content they put up but also the products they are selling, in REAL TIME.

How else do you feel digital video recording (DVR) technology is going to change the face of Indian advertising? Tell us in the Comments section below!

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