Ciao'14 | 2015 will be an exciting New Year; Dentsu's Ohri

With the year coming to an end, everyone is fervently awaiting to start a fresh with the New Year. Media Agencies are nowhere behind, they too are all set to unfold the New Year with the new set of ideas and ways to reach out to wider market. The core of any service is linked with the benefit it offers to its buyers and creativity in their heart.

Amongst many others, Dentsu Aegis Network too helps its clients build consumer relationships by communicating their products and brands effectively. With acquisitions, expansions and appointing some of the best creative talent Dentsu Aegis Network is all set to speed up their growth even more in 2015. With so many new developments our country witnessed this year, media/advertising world has also witnessed a lot many things.

With 62% topline growth and being #2 in metals tally at the Abbys, Dentsu stands tall with 95% client retention rate. Having bagged International Awards including AdFest, Epica in the year gone by, the biggest achievement that the group witnessed was when Rohit Ohri was announced to be the CEO of Dentsu APAC South, in addition to continuing as Executive Chairman, Dentsu India.

As it is rightly said that the team plays a vital role in achieving growth, Denstu got some of the best creative minds on board like Swati Bhattacharya as principal partner, Simi Sabhaney joined Dentsu Communications as CEO and many more.

The two new babies that got acquired last year, Webchutney and Taproot also performed well in Denstu’s favor hence giving thumbs up to the decision of acquiring. Webchutney’s buzz-generating, award-winning work for Comedy Central (Destruct-O-Matic) and Bacardi (Disappearing Tweets) and Taproot’s conversation cornerstones for Airtel (Boss) and Mumbai Mirror (“Some hate it. Thankfully”) made the group stand ahead of the curve.

We at Adgully thought of listening directly from the horse’s mouth and caught up with a media agency veteran Rohit Ohri, Executive Chairman Dentsu India & CEO Dentsu Asia Pacific (South).

Adgully: It’s time to welcome the New Year and bid adieu 2014, how have you planned to welcome 2015?
Rohit Ohri:
It seems like an exciting New Year because we have introduced some strategic new initiatives like Mama Labs which is all set to meet our clients in January (during its launch). Since it’s a new strategic division form our bouquet, we are hoping it to do good after it gets launched. The other exciting and new area that we would be looking at is our (Dentsu) partnership with UNFPA for CSR initiatives will be proactively going to the clients who need to spend in the CSR space. Above mentioned initiatives are the big highlights but other than that we are all set to give encouraging work to or clients.  

Adgully: What was the biggest change/shock in the media/ad-world that you witnessed in the year gone by?
Rohit Ohri:
If I look back to 2014, from the advertising and media point of view the biggest game change was to see brands using long format content as advertising. For Example, if you see brands like Nestle. Pepsico etc have dabbled with long format content related copies which are like a mini movie that they are releasing online which tells a story of the brand integrated in a very watchable manner. This leverages the brand to get out of the 30-second format and look at a long content hence engaging the viewers with a proper story wherein the brand is beautifully integrated. This shift to online and optimising it is the best part of 2014... A part from this new technique by brands, broadly it was quite an uneventful year.    

Adgully: What would be your strategy for chasing the ‘new consumer’ this year?
Rohit Ohri:
2015 is the start of the phase wherein we are talking about old generation of new consumers who came into the digital era with their own purchasing powers and making their own decisions. A testimony to that is the fact that online, e-tailers have boomed the industry and have become the biggest rage. If you look at the year gone by the biggest spenders are the e-tailers. From an agency point of view what we are doing is that we are looking at how well we can service this new consumer through our best in class capabilities therefore we are looking at bringing the best of  Dentsu’s knowledge around technology, mobile and online from Japan to India and using Webchutney and Denstu digital to accelerate that process. 

Adgully: Dentsu has been on an aggressive growth path, what is the plan for 2015?
Rohit ohri:
As in 2014 we added some really good entities in our network so what we would look forward for in 2015 would be consolidating those entities. Of course there will be new acquisitions for sure but it is too early to talk about that. We will be focusing on largely organic growth in 2015.

Adgully: Would we be seeing more acquisitions in the near future in the PR/Digital/mobile/creative or any other space (analytics/media etc)?
Rohit Ohri:
Definitely but the way we look at acquisitions is completely different. Acquiring is really not our strategy but building capabilities around is what our strategy is. Within the network whatever capabilities we think need to be strengthened we will be looking at building those either organically or by acquiring.

Adgully:  How has been the journey of Taproot and Webchutney? Which are the clients/projects you have worked on together?
Rohit Ohri:
The good part of both those entities is that they both are on the top end of their game in terms of creativity and have provided Denstu brand the cutting the edge creativity in the market which is the key to our aggressive growth in the market.  We have worked together on quite a few clients like akzonobel, ITC and lot more. We are collaboratively doing a lot of work for these clients.

Adgully: While acquisitions have given you a strong foothold in the Indian market what are the other key things that you have done to achieve growth.
Rohit Ohri:
Strengthening our core brand is what has been our core focus area. Over the last couple of years we have got in the best talent in our agency and now we have a very strong core of Denstu with great creative, planning and account management talent. So the core team is very strong at Dentsu and it is been embellished by acquisitions like Taproot and Webchutey. Also it is not that that we have grown only through acquisitions but grown organically as well. So, having said that what I meant was that Taproot and Webchutney have taken our brand to a next level.

Adgully: The year gone by saw internet penetration curve going all the more up, so with regards to advertising, how can you like to elaborate on the importance of traditional media over digital media? (As we see many marketers still prioritizing TV, print and Radio over digital medium)
Rohit Ohri:
The fact is that complexity of India makes certain strategies a bit challenging for the marketers to make it reach their target audiences. Every market has its own needs and kind of target audiences hence what works in one market not necessarily would work in other markets too. So while there may be large number of mobile users in India but there are still a large number of audiences that doesn’t even have electricity. So India is a very diverse market and it will take time when traditional media will be preferred less than any other medium for advertising.

Adgully: What trends do you visualize in the media and advertising space in the next couple of years?
Rohit Ohri:
Firstly how content will be what brands would communicate and advertise through; Secondly, the changing habits in media buying is another big thing that will change the way marketers and ad agencies would look at. | By: Aanchal Kohli | Twitter: @aanchalkohli 


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