LookBack 2012: The year that was

27 Dec,2012


By Ritu Midha


The world did not end, after all, but 2012 was an eventful year nonetheless – and if nothing else could wake up the country’s slumbering sensibilities, the recent gang-rape and attempted murder in a Delhi bus seems to have done it. While some have taken to the roads, others went to Twitter and Facebook to express their agony and empathize with the 23-year-old. The important thing is that everyone is trying to make a difference, in whatever way.


For the news media it has been a field day, and they should continue doing their job until justice is done.

It is the culmination to what has been a TRP-loaded year for news television, which has been kept on its toes with a host of incidents. Key among them: Bal Thackeray’s sad demise, Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement, Arvind Kejriwal’s follow-up to that, elections in a few states… And with the government on what seems to be a standard collision course with people’s feelings, here’s raising a toast to the coming year and the spirit of survival!


Though the year gone by saw a lot happening in media and marketing space, there were some events that made a difference in the landscape.



Debrief Special: Best and worst ads of the Year

Paritosh Joshi: It was roses, roses all the way

Shailesh Kapoor on 10 Things That Defined 2012 for TV

Pick of MxMIndia stories – I

Tales with a tail – the packages

Pick of the Anchors

Manesh Tiwari came as I&B Minister in place of Ambika Soni who, while appreciated for her pro-industry stance, came under fire for the delay in digitization. As for Mr Tiwari, it’s still early days – but the industry’s expectations are high. BARC, FM Phase 3 and digitization, among other things, demand his immediate attention.


A rather interesting development has been the change of guard at The Times of India. Bhaskar Das has moved on to the Zee group (DNA included) – while Sujoy Ghosh is working as a consultant with The Hindu and The Hindustan Times. With veteran ToI brains going places, we might see a few interesting battles in the English dailies space.


Lynn de Souza hung up her boots as far as her innings in the media industry go – and is making her strides felt in social entrepreneurship. Be they fans or critics, no one can deny that Ms de Souza has been a key force in the evolution of media planning.


BPN took off and started flexing its muscles in the Indian media space is the other big development. The combined power of Lintas Media Group and Lodestar UM under IPG Mediabrands will have other biggies on the watch. With Shashi Sinha at the helm, it is set to fire on all engines.


Taproot moving to Dentsu was also nothing less than a coup. Will Dentsu be the new definition of an integrated agency? It is known to be scouting for partners in all fields, and has made smart moves as far as choice of leaders is concerned.


In Jagran pocketed Nai Dunia and garnered a mega entry into MP and Chhattisgarh. It is now the Number One publication group in the country, and all eyes are on how the development will impact the Hindi newspaper space.


Big business entered the media with the Reliance India chief Mukesh Ambani picking up a significant stake in the Network 18 group. Later in the year, the Aditya Birla Group acquired stake in the India Today group.


The year also saw the rise and rise of social media (read Facebook) – marketers and media agencies kept up their scramble for Likes and caused a certain amount of fan fatigue in some cases. But the focus is now on “what next?” Better and more effective social media strategies, we hope.


Any epilogue to 2012 cannot be complete without a mention of DAS. While digitization in Delhi and Mumbai has been a near complete success, Kolkata too has done a modest job – but Chennai is still a non-starter. Will March 2013 finally see a digitized India? Your guess is as good as ours.


Also, the Ad Club of Bombay dropping “Bombay” from its name is good news. While Shashi Sinha has emphasized that the intent is not to be the only ad club in India, the fraternity would be thrilled if it spreads its wings real fast, so that agencies from across the country can meet on a common platform and take the advantage of the immense reservoir of learnings.


Now two stories that tugged at the heart, though in actual terms they impacted nobody but the people concerned. One, the hearty farewell Bobby Pawar received from Mudra when he joined JWT at the start of the year. Mudra’s banner outside the JWT office said, “Mudra welcomes Bobby Pawar to JWT” and no one took offence, Mr Pawar least of all. And two, Rana Barua’s salute to his ex-boss Apurva Purohit via MxMIndia: “Tough love.” It is these learnings and their open appreciation that keep the industry going.


Lastly, a quick mention of Satyamev Jayate – one would love to see a second season of it, and in the light of current awakening of the country’s youth, one is sure that it would not only do even better in terms of TRPs, but would prove to be a far more powerful medium (catalyst being too strong a word) of social change.


India projections are stabilizing, and with 2014 being the election year the government will be on its toes to prove its worth – and hopefully all would be right with the country and the economy, our sector being no exception.


Here’s wishing that 2013 is a better year than 2012 for the country, the industry, and for each one of us. Not forgetting our cricket team, which desperately needs a boost.


Image: Rafiq Barak


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One response to “LookBack 2012: The year that was”

  1. Sanjay Rakecha says:

    Nice article