One Big Idea by Dhunji S Wadia: The idea generator: We can’t build a fire in the rain

13 Feb,2013

By Dhunji S Wadia, President, Everest Brand Solutions


Consider this..

1. The CEO of a large MNC agency confidently proclaims, “Digital is the Future.” We are in 2012, pal – wake up!

2. Yet another takes pride in the fact that he doesn’t know how to switch on his computer.

3. One of them gets his PA to print all his e-mails and then dictates his responses and forwards to her.

4. One reads out ‘tweets’ to his PA, from whichever part of the world he is, in for onward transmission.

5. And almost all have a TV commercial/ print campaign in mind even before receiving the brief from the client.
If there’s one Big Idea that can be a gamechanger, then it would be for industry heads to wake up to the new reality; by modifying their on-going lip service towards the digital world and consumer engagement.


Close to 3.5 billion brand conversations happen in public every day – therefore it is time for agencies to master the art of listening to what’s happening out there.


The role of the agency should be to facilitate conversations as opposed to the current formula of orchestrating advertising campaigns. The consumer is now a creator/sharer/distributor; we need to learn to harness and inspire that. Today, consumers trust consumers more than they trust brands; we need to mobilize fans and followers to evangelize on our behalf.


Even marketers will move to the concept of a new communication entity – one that shifts from creating messages to creating consumer connections.


Over time, traditional agencies will have very little option other than to make this shift; they will start by connecting with consumer communities and will eventually become an integral part of them.


Too many agencies still are not making themselves an integral part of the new reality. The old system of agencies employing a few creative teams to come up with agenda-setting ideas simply doesn’t make sense in a digital era where ideas can and should come from anywhere.


You can’t start a fire without a spark. Clear the clouds in your mind. Come out of the woodwork. Burn the deadwood. Clear the cobwebs. Wake up. Interact with what’s happening out there. Engage your consumer. And become part of the new reality.


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