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2017 in Review: A year when VR, AR, AI saw dramatic progress - Gurmit Singh

Gurmit Singh, VP and MD – India Business, Oath Inc., lists the major developments in digital which defined the year 2017. This has been a year when advertisers saw Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality among the top revenue drivers of all new video formats. 

When it comes to digital adoption in the Indian market, the country has paced towards becoming a digital-first nation and its growth story is both interesting and surprising. In 2017, we have seen brands embracing digitisation so rapidly that it has created large opportunities for online marketing. 

Some of the major developments which defined the year 2017 include: 

360, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR): These technologies saw a dramatic progress this year, and with each passing month continued to become more robust, seamless and accessible. It no longer sounds like a wildly futuristic concept with brands across gaming, travel, health and other sectors indulging in it. The potential that it offers for brands is immense as it lets viewers be active participants and makes the experience more engaging for them. Many advertisers claim that AR and VR are among the top revenue drivers of all new video formats in 2017 and consumers are driving increased demand for this fully immersive video format. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) delivering a personalised customer journey: This year, AI began to come into its own in a big way, not only through improvements in consumer touch points like Siri or Cortana, but in ad tech platforms too. It’s a powerful proposition if done right – consumers want contextual and relevant advertising and what could be more relevant than someone offering help, advice or products based on your needs. These are insights that marketers can use now to develop their advertising strategies. 

Micro video going macro: The attention span of consumers is dissolving, and with 59 per cent of people watching videos of one minute or less duration, it’s up to the advertisers and publishers to find a way to reach these fast-moving end consumers. Advertisers honed in on this desire for shortened stories as these short-form videos presented the largest opportunities this year. 

2017 – Annus horribilis or Annus mirabilis? 

Definitely, Annus Mirabilis. It’s been a spectacular year and India is now being recognised at a global level. The country won over 40 medals at this year’s Cannes Lions 2017, which is a huge win for us. The advertising industry is growing by leaps and bounds, and the Indian advertising market is set to touch “one trillion” ceiling in 2022. We are being recognised as the highest spending and fastest growing advertising markets in Asia. With increase in digitisation and enormous adoption of internet usage, every major brand is bringing in their technology exclusively and massively to the region as they recognise the huge, untapped potential here.


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