Short-Sharp-Simple. The Way To Approach 2019: Aakash Chatterjee

Authored by Aakash Chatterjee, Regional Head - West, WATConsult.

With 460 million plus internet users, India is the world’s second largest online market. Thanks to cheap smartphones and cheaper internet tariffs, the recent growth has been phenomenal, and I personally believe there is no stopping this for years to come.

We, as new age marketers and advertisers have believed in this paradigm shift favoring digital and have always tried to find new means and avenues to reach out to the consumers. We can’t shy away from the fact that digital, especially mobile internet, has put the power of consumption back in the hands of consumers. It is convenient, personalized, cost effective and available in abundance. Not just brands, but it is the consumers’ inclination towards digital that is causing the shift.

Keeping this in mind, it is safe to predict that the focus for Digital 2019 shall definitely be skewed towards video and audio formats. Here are a few trends according to me that we should look forward to, for the coming up years.


  1. Platform Specific Edits: Remember the new I-Phone launch? I have always been a fan of how much attention to details the brand puts in their marketing. Recently, they went a step ahead by making custom size video ads for all platforms. Gone are those days when a singular edit type worked across platforms. Consumers these days want content to be specific to platform dynamics to make the experience seamless. This includes aspect ratios that are more mobile friendly compared to traditional widescreen. Short duration, sound-off design and multi-language subtitles are a must. AI shall also be important to transcribe video content making videos thus making them more searchable. Short-Sharp-Simple is the way to go
  2. Vertical Format: This year has seen a drastic increase in the consumption of stories. If you are an avid Instagram user as me, you would agree that stories have become the first preference over regular posts. While there are speculations of YouTube getting into the vertical video space, IGTV continues to grow exponentially globally. Mobiles are the primary screens now and vertical formats allow 100% indulgence with reduced clutter. Further, AR integrations (filters) into vertical stories shall continue growing with better innovations
  3. Story Telling: In the cluttered communication market, consumers are looking for ads that connect with them emotionally. Doesn’t matter if you make them laugh or cry, brands will have to make sure that they tap on the right chords of the human heart within the consumer. Content shall always play the most predominant role in convincing a consumer. A lot of brands I work with have already shifted or are looking forward to stories over traditional ads. The series of “Real Life Real Stories” we did for “SBI Life Insurance” is one of the best examples that good story telling always leads to a better engagement at cost effective rates
  4. Personalized: Data, as we all know, is becoming the core of digital marketing. The same shall be utilized when it comes to video marketing. With technology like Vogon and Search To YouTube, videos shall become more and more personalized to the digital behavior and needs of the customer. We at WAT Consult recently did a Vogon Series with VIVO India featuring Ranveer Singh that took the internet by surprise and bagged numerous Indian and International awards
  5. Live: Live streaming services are growing in popularity across all platforms, thanks to Facebook. Live streaming encourages more better audience engagement and ensures higher retention time. Features like Facebook Premier shall encourage brands to leverage deferred live for their communication


  1. Voice: Voice Search Optimization is the future. It is increasing and becoming a popular medium for seeking answers and shopping. Brands will soon have to optimize information on Amazon and Google voice services looking at the increasing popularity of Alexa and Google Home. Recently, we integrated the same for SBI Life Insurance where we keep an eye on branded and category searches initiated by consumers and optimize campaigns accordingly
  2. Audio Banners: Speculations state that Google is ready to push audio option in Google AdWords while the current options are only via Google Express in selected markets. This will lead to an increase in voice ad options in 2019. Although, there is no such news from the house of Alexa, we can predict that it would just be a matter of time
  3. Podcasts: With the increase in voice enabled devices, podcasting has witnessed a global growth of almost 120% since last year and shall continue at a more aggressive pace. A lot of radio channels are also moving into this space. More podcasts like #NoFilterWithNeha on Saavn can be expected to catch up
  4. Connected Cars: With the increasing popularity of autonomous vehicles and connected cars, brands are soon going to turn their head towards exploring marketing means in this space. While this is still applicable for a niche audience, podcasts and voice enabled ads are soon to hit this market too

To summarize, the proportion of companies recognizing the benefits of using video marketing has risen globally from approximately 60% in 2017 to 8o% in 2018 and shall continue so, further. Additionally, we need to acknowledge the fact that we are in the midst of a sonic revolution and audio is important. As consumers are rapidly disposing their traditional media devices in favor of content on digital, new opportunities await for marketers in 2019.

With an experience of 7+ years, Aakash is currently working as a Regional Head - West at WATConsult. He started his career in 2011 with Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd. and joined  WATConsult in 2013. Over the years, he has worked on brands like SBI Life Insurance, Mumbai Indians, ITC Group, Bestseller Group, Emami Group, Eureka Forbes, Abbott and many more. Managing a team of 30 people, he helps achieve business and marketing goals for over 28 brands. While taking a charge of client servicing, he also contributes actively to account planning, strategy and execution.

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