Inhouse production, agency's participation in a shoot remotely, opportunities for directors and production houses beyond metros, etc. are some of the emerging trends
There is no argument about the advertising industry being massively hit by the pandemic. Amidst the record-breaking Corona virus cases and employee safety concerns, the production houses have been literally shut since the pandemic’s outbreak. This year has been particularly heavy for the people involved, across departments, given issues with their own health or with someone in the family.
To this effect, production houses started operating out of smaller cities with a skeleton crew to make films but getting the kind of actors and crew that one would ideally want for a project has become a pipe dream. Adding to it all, adhering to the restrictions and requirements is another chunk to the cost and digital films, which were made with smaller budgets.
Giving us a sense of how ad production has been impacted post the announcement of the lockdown, Manika Juneja, EVP, Operations WATConsult shares, “With the sudden spike in cases and lockdown restrictions, Ad production has started witnessing the impact. Budgets are being curbed down while production costs have spiked up because of the last-minute changes which was not the case a few months back, when things were seeming to get back on track.”
On the other hand, Sarvesh Raikar, Creative Head, Lintas Live believes that the pandemic has brought in a great demand for re-purposing old content or post-based production using CGI or even graphics.
Agencies Lend A Hand
Especially because of their long-term association with most brands, reaching out and helping their partners comes instinctively to the agencies. And not just at a professional level, but at times even at a personal level. There have been peculiar requirements, sudden requirements and seemingly impossible requirements. But this crisis has seen everyone surmount these challenges & work as one, going beyond their roles as ‘clients’ and ‘agencies’.
These agencies have come up with alternate options in the form of script revisions, change in concepts, various ad formats for the clients to cope up with the situation and yet keep the workflow intact as much as possible.
Agrees Ameer Ismail, President, Lintas Live, “Our ultimate goal is to be the single window solution for clients so that we can help them navigate a complex and evolving landscape and deal with challenges like the pandemic.”
Advocating the adage, necessity is the mother of invention, Naila Patel, Executive Creative Director, Mirum India asserts that agencies are doing their best to keep the creative flag flying. “Shoots are happening in some cities and agencies are guiding projects remotely. Shoots on phone have also become commonplace. Illustrations and stock imagery are all being used to continue the storytelling. Innovative use of technology has helped immensely.”
Trends To Look Out For
The industry has learnt a bit from last year. Instead of panic, it has been relatively more supportive and accommodating this year– giving room to push deadlines, accepting intermittent work timings and much more.
Collaboration has come out as one of the main trends that have emerged as a result of this pandemic. The way to navigate the new normal is to work with partners who can come together to deliver value and relevance to agency clients’ needs.
“This is especially true in digital where offerings are so diverse and keep evolving. I also see more clients who are keen to consolidate with an agency/group who can deliver relevant and effective solutions. The lines between disciplines continue to blur and, for clients, clarity of thought and seamless delivery is what is important,” suggests Ismail.
Raikar highlights that the show must run, despite lockdowns and other restrictions. “We have released films made with just supers and graphics. We have shot films on our phones and borrowed stock footage to put together compelling narratives. Creative Directors turned into film directors, DOPs have remotely taught actors to shoot themselves – in a zero crew scenario,” he adds.
Juneja is also optimistic about motion graphics, smartphone shoots, user-generated content, repurposing content & stock image-based content making a comeback if the situation persists for a longer period.
“A changed world of new dynamics, different behavior and greater opportunities and challenges. where we all will be very dependent on technology. Everything we do, from connecting with each other to sharing opinions will have a far greater dependence on digital platforms,” anticipate industry experts on the future of ad production.
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